Tuesday Journal

May 13, 2008

Journal Crew: Michael Kalpin, Dexter Pomeranz, Jesse Oeltjenbruns, Aaron Koep, Wyatt Samuelson, Brian Steidl


Group at Door Trail

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We started the day waking up to the rain at 4 a.m. after getting to bed at about midnight. Here is a direct quote from students “Next year go to bed earlier”. Some of us had to get up to pack up tents in the rain and some girls had to get their makeup on for the day.


We started our journey to the badlands and stopped at Chamberlin on the way to look at Missouri River. Today we found out that the Missouri River was formed by rainfall from all over the Northern United States. On the two hour trip to Badlands most of us filled out our journals, played cards, listened to music and many slept. At our first stop we noticed weird rock formations. We had no idea how they were formed. We were very confused. The layers of the formations were very noticeable and the layers lined up with the other layers from other formations. The grand size of the Badlands was very unbelievable. We took a short break for lunch and a gift shop. Uncle Dave (our bus driver) noticed a great feature of a formation. There was a huge reverse fault that the whole bus, including the teachers, discussed to determine what kind of fault it actually was. The Park Rangers flashed us with their lights because we stopped in the middle of a path blocking other tourists.


We went to Door Trail to examine the Badlands in a better view. We split into our groups and explored. Each group came up with questions and an experiment to further investigate their question. Our group came up with the question of, “How were the caves formed into the rocks?”  We came up with two experiments to investigate about these caves. The first experiment was to pour water in a channel above the cave to watch where it flowed. The water sloughed or dug out the soft clay that was below the hard compacted material. This experiment showed that the caves were carved by water erosion. For the second experiment we found the highest point we could climb to and picked waterways to follow. The waterways led us to drop offs that led into canyons that led to caves. This supported the first experiment and we decided that the caves were formed by rain water. Some thought this reminded them of how rain water flows on light sandy fields. All groups did similar experiments and investigations.


We next went to the Buffalo Grass Lands to see how different it was, even though it was very close to the Badlands. We observed and picked a minimum of five rocks each, but many took more. This was fun!  We found bubble gum agates and slid down a huge hill of dried clay and silt. (It didn’t hurt that bad!). Our next stop was camp but, Uncle Dave decided to take a short-cut. His high tech GPS brought the bus to a road not worthy of the bus.  We thought we saw a horse and wagon pass us. ;) We had to drive backwards for a couple of miles to find a spot to turn around. (Good thing Uncle Dave drives backward almost as well as forward!)


We got to the KOA and set up camp. We had a huge birthday party for Mr. Koep which included cupcakes and sloppy joes.


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