2019-09-20 Pat Pringle: Geology of Mt. Rainier Field Trip

Sept. 20-22, 2019:  Mt. Rainier Field Trip

Professor Emeritus Pat Pringle of Centralia College and colleagues led a 3-day trip to the Mount Rainer area to see the geology of this fantastic mountain and its geologic and environmental effects on the surrounding region.  Participants provided their own transportation and lodging (in Ashford and Packwood); we provided field trip log, a published guidebooks, experts on specific aspects of the geology and geomorphology, and a chance to see one of Washington’s three active volcanoes.

The trip started at 11 am Friday at Mud Mountain Dam Park south of Enumclaw.  We made a CCW circumnavigation of Mt. Rainer and ended up on the northeast side on Sunday afternoon, east of Enumclaw. Rain and socked in that day, but good wx for the first two days. Many of the stops were roadside, but we took several 1-2 mile hikes with 300-500  feet of elevation change.  A good time was had by all, and a true value at $50 each.

Pat Pringle

For more info, you can download the preliminary field trip route and schedule by clicking here. In addition, Pat published a guide to this area that will serve as a more comprehensive resource. Pdfs of the various chapters of the Roadside Geology of Mount Rainier National Park and vicinity, Information Circular 107 (IC-107) as well as pdfs of other publications can be downloaded via links in the Washington Geological Survey’s online catalog.

Go to this link, and then go down to the WGS publications catalog link. This catalog gets updated regularly. Suggestion, it may be easier to download the book as individual chapers, because the entire book is >300 MB.

2019-06-22 Jim Aldrich — Field Trip to Hurricane Ridge

Field Trip June 22, 2019:  Geology of Hurricane Ridge and the Olympic Mountains; Jim Aldrich—Leader

On this one-day field trip we explored the geology of Hurricane Ridge, the Crescent basalt (which holds up the ridge); additional aspects of glaciation, volcanism, metamorphism, etc.,were discussed in addition to the tectonism associated with the Olympics. Our leader was Jim Aldrich, a structural geologist formerly with Los Alamos National Lab in NM, who has been working in the park for several years, pursuing his passion to understand more about his fascinating area inboard of the Cascadia subduction zone.

This trip was road-based with a bit of walking on the road, but nothing strenuous. We meet at the National Park Visitors Center (3002 Mt Angeles Rd, Port Angeles) at 9 am, when it opened.  We’ll formed carpools to minimize the number of cars (5) at roadside stops.  From there, we’ll traveled up to Hurricane Ridge, visited a number of roadcuts to see the Crescent basalt.  Lunch was had on the deck of the Hurricane Ridge Visitors Center.  From there, we drovee to see geologic features along Hurricane Ridge and overview the evolving landscape of this region. We saw how tectonic forces of uplift driven by the subduction zone are balanced by the erosive forces of precipitation (Mt. Olympus gets 260″ annually).

Afterwards, about 10 of the field trippers went to Camaraderie Winery on the west side of Port Angeles, where the owner Don Corson (trained as a geographer) provided a free wine tasting and tour of the winery.  A good time was had by those who came along.

A fee of $10 per person covered printed quidebook materiasl. (Amount reduced at request of Jim Aldrich; he said this was adequate to break even.) We reached our limit of 25 persons, which is controlled my limited parking along the road to Hurricane Ridge. The field trip guide is available by clicking here.


2019-05-11 David Williams: Seattle Building Stone Trip II

Seattle Building Stone II

Geologic Excursion to Seattle;
Saturday, May 11, 2019


David Williams, author of Stories in Stone (and a Geology Group lecturer)  led a second small group on a second walking tour of Seattle Building Stone. We saw all types of rock used in Seattle’s historic buildings and will learn about the geology and history of the stone and its use. This is a very popular walking tour and has been recently updated from his previous walks.  More information about this tour can be found on David’s webpage.

He can accommodate 15 persons per tour and the price is $20 per person (based on 15 persons).  We met at the Bainbridge Ferry around 10 am, walked on, and joined him in lower downtown.  The tour took about two hours, but some continued on for lunch or shopping in Seattle before returning on the Bainbridgr ferry. Registrants’ names and contact information were shared to facilitate carpooling from home to the ferry.

The date of the field trip was Saturday, May 11. The trip filled and we had wonderful weather, here are a few pictures and some words about ourMarch 18th trip: 

One of the most enjoyable and fascinating field trips I’ve been on. David Williams was trained as a geologist, but he has the soul of a storyteller. His explanations of the geological makeup of the stones used in creating some of Seattle’s iconic buildings was interesting, but the stories and historical background he added was the best part for a non-geologist like myself. Not a difficult or strenuous walk, with  some stops to look inside at amazing art deco lobbies. This is a field trip that will open your eyes to Seattle. DN


Michael, I would like to take this opportunity to comment on this weeks Geology Group field trip to Seattle.  The trip was, in short, outstanding.  Close to perfect.  The weather was pleasantly warm, the walk not overly long and last but not least was David Williams presentation.  David was cordial, unassuming and approachable while being extremely knowledgable. If you thought this trip was just about rocks (building stone), you were wrong.  It was that and much more.  David knows and presents the history of the buildings and the surrounding development in the context of historical growth of Seattle.  This trip was highly educational and a real pleasure.  Thanks to you for organizing and David for leading.  KN