18 January, 1997

>3:40 PM Jan. 18   I hope by now that my earlier journals from the field are
>finally up.
>I received a number of questions and comments recently but do not have the
>battery power to answer them all.  We are returning to McMurdo in just five
>days and I promise to work on them there (unlimited power at MacTown).
>On January 16 we went to Solitary Rock to collect rocks.  It was a
>spectacular helicopter ride.  Maria Stegal, the photographer for National
>Geographic was with us to get some shots of us, especially when were
>climbing rocks---she calls us the Billy Goat team.  The climbing might look
>a little scary in a picture, but I don't think any of us ever feels any
>real fear when we are doing it.  We are one of the few teams that does this
>kind of work without a mountaineer to assist us.  This is because Jon is
>experienced at climbing and Bruce is very cautious when it comes to moving
>around on rocks.  Our greatest danger is rocks that are dislodged by the
>person above us, but there is always plenty of warning when this happens.
>I've taken D Bear with me on the last few expeditions; I keep her strapped
>to the back of my pack.  I'm afraid her white fur is getting as dirty as
>the rest of us.  Maria took a few pictures of D Bear while I was up on the
>rocks, so maybe D Bear will make National Geographic.  But the chances are
>very small---Maria has taken about 17,000 pictures in the Dry Valleys over
>the past few weeks.  Only about 25 of them will make it into the magazine.
>January 17 was a parcticularly pleasing day for me.  We flew to the Friis
>area which is one of the most beautiful areas I have seen.  From the
>mountainside you can see many peaks around us and the snow covered
>Antarctic plateau.  Below was a lovely glacier.  Bruce wanted to study this
>area because he noticed that aerial photos of the the two sills (horizontal
>layers of igneous rock that formed from melted material deep inside the
>earth), the Basement Sill and the Peneplane Sill, showed that the two sills
>touched in this region.  If we could find the contact we would know which
>of the two was older, which could lead to more information about the
>formation of igneous rock.
>The evidence lay all about us.  Everywhere we looked we could see pieces of
>rock that that form when melted rock meet cool rock.  The boundary between
>the Basement and Peneplane had to be somewhere nearby.  However, there was
>so much debris on the mountainside that we could not see n
>1/19  I quit!  I lost a whole page of journal notes because of the battery
>yesterday.  I'll use what little power I have and try to get this out
>tomorrow.  I sent one battery to McMurdo for resuscitation.  Maybe I'll be
>able to work with that.  In any event we will return to Mac in just three

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