Sunday Roast: Glacial Erratic



The trail to the glacial erratic.

Mossy trees.

The erratic!

The view from the erratic.

Another view from the erratic.

Photos by Charles Meier

My eldest and I recently took a trip to the Oregon coast to celebrate his 31st birthday, and we stopped by Erratic Rock State Natural Site, in the Willamette Valley near Sheridan.  I gave him my camera, and found that he’s another member of our little family with a great eye for photos.

A glacial erratic is rock that is different from the type of rock normally found in the area where it has been found, having been carried to its present location by glacial ice.

This particular erratic is a bit different, in that it was carried to this place encased in an iceberg let loose by the Missoula Floods.

The pre-historic Missoula floods began in western Montana fifteen to twenty-thousand years ago. These large floods altered the landscape of the Columbia River valley and flooded the Willamette Valley. Many rocks were transported down the Columbia encased in icebergs and deposited from Montana through Idaho,Washington, and Oregon when the flood waters receded and the ice melted.

The really cool thing about this rock — other than the fact that it’s a friggin’ glacial erratic — is that it comes from Canada, and it’s the only rock of its type outside of Canada.

Geologically, the rock comes from Canada and is the largest glacial erratic rock in the Willamette Valley. The rock is argillite believed to be 600 million years old and originally part of the sea-floor.

This geology geek just went all tingly.  Coolness!!!

This is our daily open thread — Geekify!

54 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: Glacial Erratic

  1. Al Jazeera Host David Frost Dies

    Sir David Frost, the veteran television host, author and producer, has died at the age of 74 following a heart attack.

    The only person to have interviewed the last seven presidents of the US and the last six prime ministers of the UK, Frost had been with Al Jazeera English since its launch in 2006.

    “Sir David died of a heart attack last night aboard the Queen Elizabeth which is a Cunard [cruise] liner where he was giving a speech. His family are devastated and ask for privacy at this difficult time,” the Frost family said in a statement read on BBC television on Sunday.

  2. On UP, Jay Newton-Small of Time said the Syria issue will have the Libertarians and the Doves on one side and the Hawks and the Bleeding Hearts on the other.

    I always thought that the Doves and the Bleeding Hearts were the same people.

  3. Also on UP, Sen. Angus King: “I think the President’s kicking this over to Congress was brilliant. Not necessarily politically, but I think constitutionally, but also because Congress has a tendency to stand on the sidelines, wring its hands and criticize whatever the President does.Now the Congress is going to have to step up and say, OK, we wanted this vote, we’re going to face it, we’re going to take the vote, and we’re going to understand that these votes are going to be on our record and we’re going to have to live with it.”


    • Reminds me of this old one (I think I probably posted it here before, but what the hell!):

      A few decades back, a Texas family – mom, dad, and son – moved to another state. Come fall, mom and dad enrolled their son in first grade in the local school and told him that from the first day onward they wanted to hear all about what school was like, how things were going, etc. Dad said, “Son, always remember one thing: we’re from TEXAS and proud of it! And being from Texas means we got a heads up on everybody else, cause that’s what happens when you’re born in TEXAS!”

      Son nodded and smiled. “Yes, daddy, I know. We’re from TEXAS!”

      Over supper the night after the boy’s first day in school, dad asked, “So, son, how was school today? What’s it like?”

      “It was ok, daddy. We all got told by the teacher where we should sit and I’m in the front row! Then she asked if anybody knew the alphabet and I raised my hand and she called on me, had me go to the blackboard and write it out, and I did! And I got all the letters wrote just right and teacher said I was the only one in first grade that ever knew all the alphabet on the first day! Is that cause we’re from Texas, daddy?”

      “Yep, son, that’s cause we’re from TEXAS!”

      The next night at supper, daddy asked again how school went. The boy smiled big and said, “It went great, daddy. Today the teacher asked if anybody could count all the way to twenty, and I raised my hand and she had me stand up and do it, and I done it! She was really happy, cause most kids can’t even count to ten and get it right. Is that cause we’re from Texas, daddy?”

      “Yep, that’s cause we’re from TEXAS, son.”

      On the third night, daddy again asked the boy how school went.

      “Well daddy, today we went to the gym and they gave us shorts and a shirt to wear when we learnt how to do exercisins on the gym floor.”

      “How’d you do, son?” Daddy asked.

      “Oh, I done good. But afterwards we all had to take a shower get cleaned up afore we went back to class, and in the shower I noticed that all them boys had little bitty weenies compared to me.” The son paused, then asked, “Why is that, daddy? Is that cause I’m from Texas?”

      Daddy thought a minute, then finally said, “No, son. It’s because you’re seventeen.”

      The following year the Perry family moved back to the cotton farm in TEXAS.

  4. Okay, something pissed me off in this article:

    The decision about whether or not to launch limited, offshore strikes against Syria is really difficult and complicated with strong pros and cons. It’s risky, although so is inaction. And beyond just the debate on offshore strikes, most people agree there are no good options; whatever we do or don’t do, the killing is going to continue and it’s going to stay very bad.

    Again, what I’m seeing is the false choice of military strikes or nothing.

  5. Zooey, another remarkable thing about the Canadian Shist in your photo is the fact that it contains no impurities….it is wholley shist.

  6. In the grand tradition of Big Mouth Billy Bass, we now have commercials for the Perfect Polly Pet, a motion-activated fake parakeet!

    • I’ve long felt that the only realistic way to deal with Virgina Republicans is not via a team of lawyers but rather by a team of Proctologists. Thanks to each Gov. and Cooch and EWww for confirming that hypothesis.

    • Of course the favors the governor’s office performed for Jonnie Williams were routine. When I launched our new line of beef products Maureen held a reception for our farm in the mansion. The do it to promote all Virginia products. 😉

    • Damn cute – even turtles in that bunch!
      I really got a kick out of the socks’ ‘field trip’: everyone remember the buddy system!

        • There is nothing hotter than a man in a kilt trying to pick up and heave that telephone pole thing. Do you do that?

          • I’ll stick to playin’ th’ pipes, thank you.

            Robin Williams once said he believed all Scottish cuisine started as a dare. I think the same is true of their athletic competitions.

            “I bet ya canna toss that tree over there.”
            “I bet I kin toss tha’ tree further the yew!”
            “oh yeah?”
            “Yer on!”
            “Oooh, I like how ye made it go end over end like that”
            “Yeah? well tha’ put th’ tip o’ my tree further away than th’ tip o’ yer tree. I win!”
            “Fook that. I’m gonna get a bigger tree!”

            And so it began, and continues to this day.

  7. Dycker, are you watching the Cup race?

    I can’t recall seeing a tire fall off as bad as this one is doing.

    Danica’s hanging in the mid 20s, position-wise. I think she’s waiting for the track to come to her setup. These early cautions have helped her stay on the lead lap until that happens.

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