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Evening sky with thousands of stars at Lost River Field Station in Mackay Idaho

An Ode to Field Camp ‘97

An ISU Traditional Arranged by Michael Stout

It was an Idaho morn, so bright and so clear when Dave found a cliff face real tall and all shear. Then Dave starts a lecture, these never prove boring so you try to take notes, except someone keeps snoring “What we have today is an unsafe traverse, so don't slip and don't fall, because that would be worst. For a wise man once said ‘It's best not to die' so hold on to your brunton's, and Shane… Zip up your fly.” So you and your friends head across the ravine stumbling on rocks all wet and all sheen. Left and then right with things boding well, When behind you, you hear rocks slide and friends yell. One and then two and then three of them slip they bounce down talus at quite a great clip. Twenty minutes go past and they're still in their falls, you say to yourself “Man, this is the Balls!” Your hand is caught and torn off in a crack you wince and continue there's no turning back. You lose your left boot, your hand lens, your hammer. “I think I'm the only one left up here!” you stammer. You glance at your friends laid a strewn in the chute, twisted arms, mangled necks and you add some boot. The earth levels out, your brain gets in gear, the unit you stand on is familiar and clear and as the relationship jumps true in your head your camp store brought pencil has run out of lead. You're hungry, you're famished, so you get a hunch, it must be that wonderful time they call lunch. You look to the sun for you carry no clock when above, you hear someone unseen screaming “Rock!” You feel a sharp pain, you're knocked out of sorts, and out of your head sticks a Porphyritic Aphanitic Dacite Cobble containing Phenocrysts of Plagioclase, Hornblende, Pyroxene, Biotite and Sanidine with a pinkish groundmass, weathers brown, showing secondary  mineralization of Quartz. You assess your own damage, you conclude that you're hurt, then you develop a sudden affinity for Curt. Your vision grows hazy, the colors they swirl, it's sixties psychedelic, man, it's out of this world! An old crow flies down and offers you some while a lunatic beats upon coolers for drums. Then what to your wondering eyes do appear but a rusty ol' back hoe and eight mangy mule deer And a jolly ol' driver as slim as a snake, you know in an instant it must be St. Jake. He guides them past synclines and steep mountain walls screaming, “ Go faster you bastards, or I'll cut off your…” In this state of mind you can find no fault trace So you decide that it's best to get out of this place. You crouch chin to knees in a tight little bundle, and roll down the slope like a rock that's been trundled. You crash through the talus, you knock over trees, and stop at the bottom with a few skinned up knees. It's been a good day, your data is ample with the rock in your head you have quite a good sample. You're beat up and weathered like an Eocene stone, but you should wait for the others before you go home. Then you say to yourself “ah, screw all those jerks! There's keys in that van, so I'm going to Perk's.”