Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Volcanic Utah

Tuesday I didn't have a class to teach until late afternoon and so Maire and I decided to do some geography field work. The Young Men of the Spring Creek 18th ward are planning a sweat lodge (aka Finnish Sauna) for this Friday night. They did it last year and the rocks they used would burst and shatter when sprayed with cold water to make the steam. Apparently volcanic rock (basalt in particular) does no burst as readily and it holds heat better. So, when a call went out from my fellow YM leaders for basalt, I decided to see what I could do. Little did I know that 90 miles southwest of Springville, just ten miles west of Fillmore (the one time capital of the Utah Territory) is Utah's Black Rock Desert. It has plenty of black rock basalt. it also has some great volcanic landscapes.

We climbed to the top of Tabernacle Hill.
An ancient volcanic cone (I believe) in the distance.

From the top of Tabernacle Hill looking south you look down on a collapsed volcanic crater with new cone in the center. 
Looking NE across the rugged, lava flow terrain toward Fillmore at the foot of the mountain range
The Subaru Outback did a great job negotiating the rough road. Marie only got a little nervous.


  1. Sounds so fun, uncle Chad!! There are so many things to discover even in the neighborhood. Thank you for the post.

  2. Chad, you certainly know how to appeal to my "Geologic" inner soul. If I were to get a "do-over" in college, I'd strongly lean towards an initial interest, rocks. Cool stuff.