Mazda Westward! Pt. 1

Though every adventure I have detailed on this online journal is indeed true, I must admit that the occasional fact is exaggerated or complete fabrication. So, in the interest of presenting a truly accurate representation of my summer in Wyoming and beyond, I will refrain from my normal mode of storytelling and present a bare account. In order to fulfill my Earth and Planetary Sciences requirements, I am required to participate in field camp. WashU doesn’t offer one of their own, so I chose a program offered by the University of Pittsburgh. I will spend half of June and all of July in Southeast Wyoming doing everything from geology, ecology, paleontology and archaeology. True, it’s not exactly the traditional “map the rocks” camp, but I was looking for something different, anyway.

I chose to drive out to Wyoming by myself. The choice wasn’t really the logical one, since most of the other students (all from Pitt) would be driving right past Dayton on I-70 on their way. The rest (also from Pitt) would be flying into Denver. Frontier Airlines even has direct service from Dayton to Denver. But, I really wanted the experience of driving out West, and the Pitt caravan was leaving a week early to work out logistics, which conflicted with our yearly Kelley’s Island trip.
Besides, there were things I wanted to see on my way to Wyoming nobody else would care about.

I left Dayton in my Mazda3 on Saturday, June 20th. The plan was to spend my first night in St. Louis with Dan and Alex. They’re living in the apartment directly above the one I’ll move into in just a few months. The drive was uneventful. I arrived in St. Louis around 4:00 to this awesome new billboard. I had time to waste, so I wandered around Forest Park for awhile and found a geocache I had failed to find last month. After that, I headed over to the apartment, and was greeted by Dan’s whole family. They were in town helping furnish the apartment or something. They rode off to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, while Alex and I threw some ultimate on the swamp. I realized around this time that I had about 35 pages of scientific readings I was supposed to complete before arriving in Wyoming. So, instead of going out to a party with Alex I holed myself up in WUTV, eating fruit snacks and Chez-Its. Not exactly the crazy night I had planned, but I felt that being 35 pages behind before even starting a class is generally a bad idea. I slept on Alex’s queen size air mattress, and was out the door by 7:30 the next morning.