Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Geology field trip (to the pothole)

I am starting to see that Geology is a lot of fun and very interesting to study. I think finding geology related trips to do for some hands on learning is easy to do and it adds fun to the school day. Today we took a small trip (our original plans we wanted to take a further away field trip). School ran a bit late and we had some people installing a new water softener earlier in the day (our old one was 10 years old and broke a week ago). We decided last minute to go to the Archbald Pothole. If you don't live in NE PA I doubt you have ever heard of a famous pothole!

Some info on the pothole....
I think scientist are still debating on exactly how it was formed (the website above gives at least one idea on how it was formed the sign at the actual pothole list two ideas). It is a natural pothole and it is HUGE! It is 38 feet deep and 42 feet across. It was found in 1884. A coal miner set off a blast of explosives to extend the coal shaft and when he did water rushed out. The miners ran thinking the mountain was falling down on them. I bet you are thinking that I have given you more information then you ever wanted to know about a pothole! Here are some of the pictures we took at the pothole (the lady with us is Rob's mom).

It is hard to see how large the hole is from the pictures above so I am including the two pix below. The first one is of Travis standing right at the pothole (it is right in front of him).
This picture I am standing in the place he was and he is on the other side and you can see the other side of the hole. It really is a large hole.
After checking out the pothole and reading about it we decided to check out the little trails. On our hike we found many rocks to start our new rock collections. The trails have large amounts of coal shinning on the ground (with lots of other interesting rocks). In PA it is legal to collect rocks and fossils at the state parks. Because of that I now have dirt in my purse. My children asked me to hold the rocks for them (just one of the crazy things I do to give my children an education). I wonder if all moms have dirt from rocks inside their purses? I heard many times of children with coal in stockings but I don't think I have ever heard of mom with coal in her purse (I must be a really BAD MOMMY).

Travis liked collecting rocks. Demi enjoyed picking up acorns, and this is what Grandma M enjoyed checking out. It was some very green, soft, fluffy, mossy stuff.Here is what I enjoyed finding. I have never seen a large red mushroom before.

I think I like this picture the best.The rocks in the background, in picture below, is what Travis is standing on in the picture that follow.

How is this for hands on (perhaps feet on) rock studies.

The rocks on the trail are beautiful!

After the hike we left the pothole and took the children and Rob's mom to Olive Garden for dinner.

Then hit the fabric store and toy store before heading home.

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