Posted by: Rose | April 29, 2009

Clear Creek

We turned off the deserted road between Somes Bar and Happy Camp. The slow journey up five miles of dirt track commenced (don’t tell the car hire company). This way to Clear Creek!

To the river! Photo by Simon Knox.

To the river! Photo by Simon Knox.

Mark said there was a grade V un-inspectable gorge. We all passed, everyone except Simon. Between moments of sunshine and snow, I followed Simon and Mark up the trail to the river, looking at the rocks.

Hmmm, black, sparkly, igneous. Could be pyroxene and olivine (I never was very good at identifying minerals in the field). It’s ultra-basic. That’ll do.

Igneous rocks have a sliding scale of composition, varying from acidic to basic depending on the amount of silica they contain. Volcanic rocks have the same system. This defines the nomenclature, so you have your granite at the acid end and peridotite at the basic end. Therefore, I shall pronounce that Clear Creek flows through peridotite. Although I’m not rightly sure 🙂

It doesn’t really matter though, as it was an astoundingly beautiful spot. The trail disappeared off into the woods. I didn’t dare go too far, what with the bears and all. It wasn’t until I got back that I read the notices on how to avoid attacks from mountain lions (aka pumas). They kill their prey by severing the spinal chord at the base of the skull, so never turn your back on the big cat! I like living in li’l ole England sometimes.

Simon and Mark, Clear Creek.

Simon and Mark, Clear Creek.

Big cats and bears this way...

Big cats and bears this way...

What's in a name?

What's in a name?

Clear Creek Trail. Photo by Ol Renison.

Clear Creek Trail. Photo by Ol Renison.

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