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Talking Rocks
Week-long Tours in the Desert Southwest

Navajo Sandstone (Southern Utah) Tour

October 16-23, 2022

This is a week-long tour, Sunday-Sunday. We begin at Snow Canyon just outside St. George and move east across southern Utah. Our central focus is the Navajo Sandstone, the largest collection of fossilized sand dunes in the world in any era. At the height of the “dune era” this dune field would have made the modern Sahara look small. We will examine the processes of dune formation, the evidence for local exposures of water between the towering dunes, and the evidence for living creatures among the dunes (from dinosaurs to worms).

We will enjoy the superlative food prepared by our chef, Robert Johnston, and evening conversations that are rich and wide-ranging.

We will stay in state park campgrounds that have showers EXCEPT Wednesday and Thursday nights. Those nights we will be at a BLM campground that has pit toilets but no running water.

Gerry Bryant, co-founder and science director of Talking Rocks, will be our guide.

 

Death Valley Tour

October 24-30, 2022, Monday night through Sunday morning.

The neighborhood of Death Valley National Park includes a cornucopia of natural wonders.

Stromatolites more than a billion years old. Fish ponds surrounded by desert, ponds that are tiny remnants of immense lakes that once filled the valleys here, the fish themselves the last survivors of a once-teeming watery world. Sand dunes, deep valleys hiding lush oases.

Telescope Peak, 11,000 feet above sea level, snowy in winter, home of bristlecone pines overlooks Badwater, a brackish wet spot 282 feet below sea level where summer temperatures commonly are more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

We will examine different kinds of faults, various sedimentary processes, and try to get our minds around the crustal movement on display in every mountain range in the area.

We will enjoy the superlative food prepared by our chef, Robert Johnston, and evening conversations that are rich and wide-ranging.

We will be staying at the Texas Spring Campground which has toilets and running water, but no showers. We will schedule shower runs to Furnace Creek Ranch or Stove Pipe Wells.

Gerry Bryant, co-founder and science director of Talking Rocks, will be our guide.

As is stated elsewhere on this web site: If you have any questions, contact John McLarty. jtmclarty@gmail.com or 253-350-1211.