Saturday, May 31, 2008

Another Scene from the Colorado Plateau, for a Special Day

Today's posting is a view of the San Juan Mountains from the campus of Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. It is sort of a transition zone from the mostly horizontal Paleozoic and Mesozoic sediments of the Colorado Plateau to the Proterozoic metamorphic rocks and the early Cenozoic volcanic centers of this corner of the Rocky Mountain chain. The town itself is surrounded by cliffs and slopes developed in the Cretaceous Mancos Shale. Coal mining took place nearby during the previous century.

I just love the town of Durango. It has always been a pleasant respite from the heat of the desert on our summer field studies journeys. I would arrange for a grocery stop, giving the students a few minutes to wander about the town, getting t-shirts, and restocking their ice chests. I got to know the town even better when my son decided to pursue an Anthropology degree at Fort Lewis College.

The town occupies some glacial outwash plains along a river with one of the most poetic names of any I have ever known: the Rio de los Animas Perdidos, the River of Lost Souls. It flows out of the Rocky Mountains, joins with the San Juan River, and eventually merges with the Colorado.

Why the special day, and why Durango in today's post? My son met his fiancee at Fort Lewis College in Durango, and today they are getting married! So, postings were a little light this week for probably obvious reasons. I've been distracted....


Anonymous said...

Congratulations and I look forward to being in Durango in about 3 in half weeks! I can't wait to see everyone dressed up including myself!

Kim said...

Congratulations to you and your family!