Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hiking Fossil Canyon

By Susan Massey

On Saturday, a group of hikers met at the Imperial Valley Desert museum. BLM interpretive ranger Joya Szalinski explained a little about the geologic history of the Imperial Valley to us and then we left to hike Fossil Canyon. Before entering the canyon we stopped to observe a giant boulder in which we could see the strata of various layers of sediment. The strata were directly vertical rather than horizontal. Joya explained that this was clear evidence of strong seismic activity which turned the rock 90 degrees. We entered the canyon and felt overwhelmed by the towering walls on either side of us. We walked along the dry bed of the river that had formed the canyon. Growing up through the gravel were a variety of yellow, white, orange and purple wildflowers. As we got farther into the canyon, we saw many remnants of shells and one boy found a small piece of corral, a reminder that millions of years ago, the Imperial Valley was covered with water. We had a great time taking pictures of everything, including each other taking pictures!

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