Tuesday, March 2, 2010

February Field Trip

Kilbourne Hole by Kyle Meredith Field Trip Coordinator

The day started out a little cooler than I expected, and never really got as warm as I hoped, but it was still a great start for the twentyfive or so people who showed up for our trip to Kilbourne Hole. I don’t know if anyone showed up in Tyrone due to the misinformation printed in the Daily Press, but let me emphasize here that the reliable information is always in the Beacon. If you’re not receiving your copy, please contact our editor, Elaine!

We had no difficulty reaching our first stop where we looked for yard rocks, some of which contained crystalline quartz with an amethystine quality. However, as I led us forward to Kilbourne Hole for lunch, I had forgotten which turn to make (my GPS unit had just kicked the bucket), and the map was worse than useless. Fortunately, we had other competent leaders who got us on the right road, and with one additional turnaround we made it to the overlook where the wind almost blew us over the edge.
After a quick lunch, we drove around to the other side of the Hole where we hiked a short ways to a superb collecting area. My disparaging assessment of what we could find was proven wrong—there was way more interesting stuff than just sandy peridot crystals, and Lee even found a larger crystal than I’ve ever seen come out of there.

As I predicted, though, the wind was fierce, and only got worse as we drove into it on our way home. By the time we got to Deming, we were driving through wind and sand, then wind and rain, and finally wind and snow. If you’ve never been to Kilbourne Hole, it’s worth the drive, but go with someone who knows how to get there. And expect wind.

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