Field Trips of '98




In August, 1998, I conducted a trip entitled Alpine Hydrology. It looked at the interaction of ground water and surface water in alpine settings in Idaho and Wyoming. More specifically, we examined the role that the local geology (both bedrock and glacial) and topography play in controlling the exchange of ground water with small streams and rivers. We worked in the White Knob Mountains of Idaho in a watershed where summer flow emanates predominantly from wetlands sitting above a Tertiary intrusion of quartz monzonite. Next we examined the Muldoon Canyon watershed in the Pioneer Mountains (Idaho) where a large portion of the summer flow comes from springs. Here the rock is a series of Paleozoic sedimentary units. Finally, we looked at the eastern side of the high peaks of the Medicine Bow Mountains in Wyoming, where a surface water system dominated by lakes flows across a sequence of Precambrian metasediments. The trip started August 11 and ended August 26, 1998.


The first two locations were part of the area mapped in the former UWM summer field camp program. The White Knob Mountains (outside Mackay and 40 miles east of Sun Valley, Idaho) are now the home of the annual White Knob Challenge, the oldest mountain bike race in the Wild Rockies series. The route follows old mine roads and rail lines for nearly 9 miles to a high point nearly 3000 feet above the start in Mackay and then drops back down to town along an entirely different route. The 1998 edition took place on August 8, so geologists making the trip were encouraged to arrive early and accept the challenge. This year none did, so the hope is that we can get some takers next year. The date for the 1999 Challenge will be the first Saturday of August.


This trip will be run again when there is sufficient student interest. Summer, 1999 is a possibility. If interested, contact me at






In late October, 1998, Tim Grundl and I took our biannual field trip to Vilas County with the Field Methods in Hydrogeology class. We spent 4 days defining the exchange of water between ground water and Crystal Lake in the Nicolet National Forest. Highlights included staying at the University of Wisconsin's Kemp Biological Station, a Friday night fish fry at Bosacki's in Minocqua and a Saturday night home cooked meal of lasagna. The Kemp Station is a wonderful hunting lodge on a huge preserve on a point in Lake Tomahawk. Log cabins, a rustic cookhouse, a boathouse - the place has to be seen to be believed. Bosacki's has reputedly the best fish fry in northern Wisconsin, if not the entire state, and it's very reasonably priced. This year, it was excellent as usual. The "home-cooked" meal is orchestrated by Chefs Grundl and Cherkauer and prepared by the highly trained members of the Field Methods class. Because the trip coincided with the Halloween weekend, costumes were optional attire at the lasagna meal, and some very creative ones were on display. Pictures from the trip are posted outside Lapham 230 and will soon appear on this site.

This trip is scheduled to be run again in the Fall semester of 2000.