The following is a guest post from Karen Locke, one of my most cherished readers (although you know I love you all, right?). She’s submitting this for the Accretionary Wedge #51. I’m two days late posting it. Whoops. But do enjoy whilst I go off and beg Matt to slip this in anyway.
Vaughn Gulch: Devonian Limestone*
by Karen Locke
Up the bajada from Lone Pine, canyon mouths come ever closer;
we gun it to jump a gulch (the tallest students hit their heads) and then
we’re there. Three dusty Suburbans disgorge a tired crew.
Pink granite boulders, ancient Volkswagens, scattered in the canyon mouth.
This isn’t what it’s supposed to be
but there are pink granite Volkswagens, or perhaps some giant child’s marbles
“come on that isn’t what we’re here to see.”
We pick our way through purple flowers, round the boulders, up the canyon,
fold seems to leap out of the wall.
Higher than any two of us, it is incongruous; soft or hard deformation? that’s the key
we listen to our leaders, who tell conflicting stories, and I understand suddenly
it doesn’t matter. It’s a minor mystery in the Greater Story.
Farther up the canyon: corals! Students race to get one of their own.
I do not have the right tool, nor the balance for the tricky rocks.
I watch and sigh as the resource dwindles down.
Back to the Suburbans; time to visit another canyon, learn another clue.
picking our way through purple flowers
and granite Volkswagens
off to a new view.
*Stevens, C.H., and Pelley, T., 2006. Development and dismemberment of a Middle Devonian continental-margin submarine fan system in east-central California. GSA Bulletin. 118(1/2):159-170.