Sunday, January 01, 2012

Geology Tour of Big Bend Ranch State Park

Geologist and Interpretive Ranger at Big Bend Ranch State Park, Blaine Hall shows the locations of geologic interest to our group, including the Solitario

Color change in these rocks are due to weathering

Geologist Blaine Hall

More weathering indicated by color

Taking a photo of the white rocks indicating a "mountain building event" taking place 300 million years ago

Hiking in the Solitario

Best way to see it?  On foot!
Want to explore the wildest place in Texas' state park system, but want a guide?  Want to explore Big Bend Ranch State Park, but don't want to drive in the park?  Want to learn about geology from a geologist?  One of the best values we've encountered in our region is a personalized tour of Big Bend Ranch State Park by geologist and Interpreter/Ranger Blaine Hall.

We booked a full day with Blaine, who met us at the center of the park at Sauceda Ranch at 9am.  We packed the water and lunches we'd brought into a TPWD vehicle, and started our tour.  Blaine drove us to several locations to see evidence of geological highlights in the park--and Big Bend Ranch has TREMENDOUS geological highlights!  To read more, download this issue of the award-winning El Solitario newsletter and read page 10!

Blaine showed us evidence of four major geological trends in the park:
1)  Applachian/Ouachita/Marathon/Solitario Trend
2)  Rocky Mountain Trend
3)  Trans-Pecos Volcanic Field
4)  Basin and Range Trend

We were game for a hike, too, so Blaine led us on a great trail to continue our lesson on geology...we got to see some amazing views of the landscape! 

To schedule a tour, call the park's local number, 432-358-4444, and ask to schedule a guided tour.  For two of us, we had a full day with Blaine (who is a wealth of information and genial, good-natured teacher and guide) for $150.

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