Rocks of the Ages

The weekend before last, as the boys and I were driving through the northeastern San Rafael Swell along the Green River Cutoff Road, I began to realize what an undiscovered gem that part of the Swell is. I’m not very familiar with that area, and judging by the lack of information that exists on the internet about it, I’d guess that not as many people recreate there as compared to other areas. I vaguely remembered that one particular region was called the Woodside Anticline, but I had to search through some geologic maps to figure out where I’d seen that name before. I did a Google search for information about the Woodside Anticline, and I found one of the most interesting things I’d read in a long time, the June 1951 edition of Desert Magazine. An article in it (pages 11-15) details a rockhounding trip to the Woodside Anticline by Harold Weight and his wife, Lucile. I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time over the past couple of evenings trying to pinpoint exactly where the couple camped, found their rocks, and even where the photos were taken from. In a few weeks, I’m going to go there myself and spend a couple of days rockhounding and exploring some new country. There are several other nearby places I’d like to go, west of the Woodside Anticline, and I figure it will take me at least two days to see it all.
There’s a reference in that article to a USGS professional paper titled Sedimentary Rocks of the San Rafael Swell and Some Adjacent Areas in Eastern Utah. Yes, I know, it sounds fascinating. 😉 I’ve seen this paper referenced numerous times, and it appears that the authors were pioneers of geology in the Swell. I found an original of the paper and ordered it yesterday. I’m not sure what to expect from a USGS professional paper–the contents are probably not very exciting–but I am sure that it’ll lead me on some more adventures in the Swell.

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