36th ANNUAL SDSU GEOLOGY ALUMNI FIELD TRIP
The Soledad Rojo Fm. Imperial Co., Aeolian Dune Migration & Mule Mts. Thrust Fault
Saturday & Sunday March 25th & 26th 2023
SDSU GEOLOGY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
The 36th Annual SDSU Geology Department Alumni Field Trip/Campout location will again be in Smoke Tree Valley. Our camping area is generally accessible for standard passenger vehicles however, for the day excursions, 4-W drive vehicles are required. Saturday we will be in the Palo Verde Mts. with Dr. Bryan P. Murray, Associate Professor of Geological Sciences at Cal Poly Pomona taking a closer look at the Soledad Rojo Fm. (Red Beds) which we have briefly visited on a previous Alumni Field Trip. Bryan is doing extensive mapping in this area and has obtained some zircon dates he will share with us. We will start the 25-mile Saturday loop excursion at 9:30 from the camp area and return late afternoon. There will, of course, be a Saturday night campfire (bring some wood) and drawing for any students that are with us.
Sunday we will be in the Mule Mts. with Miles Kenney, PhD, PG, of Kenney GeoScience and an SDSU Alumni. Sunday’s activities include packing up camp (if not staying Sunday night) and starting at 9:30 on a 40-mile journey north on the Milpitas Wash/Wiley Well Road towards the I-10 freeway. We will be looking at the sand migration process through the Little Chuckwalla Valley, some Colorado River Gravels, Mule Mts. Thrust Fault and possibly some Petroglyphs if time allows. From our last stop on Sunday to the I-10 / Wiley Well Rd. off ramp is about a 13-mile trip for a quick jump onto the freeway to head home. It is about 25 miles back to camp for those staying Sunday night.
CAMPING: We will be “Primitive Camping” on 40 acres of private land in Smoke Tree Valley with a nice fire ring and cabana so bring everything you will need for the trip. We should have our “Grand Canyon Porta-Potty” available. It is a nice spot for telescopes if you have one!
DIRECTIONS TO CAMP: From the junction of Hwy. 78 and Ogilby Road (S34) proceed northbound past the Border Inspection Station (which may or may not be open due to current border conditions). Approximately 6 miles past the inspection station is the MIDWAY WELL Rd. turnoff, turn left. You do not have much lead time between the sign and the turnoff so be very careful when making the turn! From Blythe/Palo Verde on southbound Hwy 78 go about 6.5 miles past the Walter’s Camp turnoff to the MIDWAY WELL Rd. turnoff and turn right. Follow Midway Well Rd. (it should be passenger car friendly but slow) about 4.6 miles and it makes a sharp right turn. Go another 1.7 miles to the first good road and turn left on Smoke Tree Lane (sign is faded but there is a house on that corner and you cannot turn right). Go about 0.75 mile and look for a red reflector on the right, turn right there and go 0.25 mile until you hit a fence, turn right and then about 100 yards down the fence turn left into camping area. There is fuel in Palo Verde, however, I would suggest you fill your tank in Blythe or El Centro on the way in to be on the safe side. Watch for ”SDSU Geology” signs at various points after leaving Hwy. 78.
COMMUNICATIONS: There is spotty phone service in the camp area in Smoke Tree Valley. We will monitor FRS channel 4 (no tone) on Friday evening and Saturday morning. Call for the SDSU Geology Group but remember FRS has very limited range. For the Amateur Radio Operators or “Hams”, we will monitor a repeater on Black Mt. north of Picacho State Park 147.120 + pl=103.5 (backup is 146.880 – pl = 162.2, also on Black Mt.) both should be good from Ocotillo into camp. We also monitor National Simplex 146.520 Friday PM & Saturday AM. Call for Joe-N6SZO, Bill-K6GHN or Sue-KM6HLY.
All SDSU Geology Alumni, faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend, especially students, as you will soon be alums, and this is a great opportunity to not only see interesting geology but also meet past alums and possibly get involved with geo‐alumni activities!
As always….If any of you SDSU Geo‐Alumni are interested in becoming involved with our Alumni. Activities such as the Annual Banquet, Annual Field Trip, quarterly trash pickup or monthly Tuesday lunch/planning meetings or, if you have a special place in mind that would be good for a future Alumni Field Trip let me know and we can get you involved. Please let me know if you think you will attend this trip as I will need to be forming a list to match up the 4WD vehicles with people that need rides. Weather permitting there will be someone in camp Thursday evening and Sunday night for those that want to R & R a little and are not in a hurry to return to the Rat Race. So…… come on out and enjoy Smoke Tree Valley and the Midway Mountains with the SDSU Geology Alumni Group on their 35th Annual Field Trip!
Questions….????? Contact Joe Corones, SDSU Geology Alumni Field Trip Chairman, firstname.lastname@example.org, H-858.484.3582, C-858.603.5545.