The Scribbler is helping a certain paleoceanographer drive across the country toward the esteemed paleoceanography department at University of California, Santa Cruz.
This special update comes to you from Bozeman, Montana. There’s a lot of geology out here, much of it kindly heaved into view, thousands of feet into the sky, by some ancient but obliging cataclysm. Every road cut, canyon wall, and scenic viewpoint is striped with the hardened remains of ancient sea floors. We’re reading John McPhee and trying to keep up.
So far we have endured an altitude headache (or the Scribbler did, after waking up at 13 feet elevation, flying to Denver, and driving to 9,600 feet). We camped under a bright Venus and the purring whistles of a boreal owl. We’ve spied soaring Swainson’s and ferruginous hawks, watched Old Faithful spurting dutifully at the clouds, and passed enormous statues of elk, grizzlies, bighorn sheep, pronghorn and jackalopes. We’ve crossed the Continental Divide six times so far.
This morning a storm swept through, the temperature dropped 20 degrees, and black rosy-finches were on the porch, eating sunflower seeds, flicking their pink wings.
More ocean news will be on its way as soon as we stop gawking.