Getting in/out of a van. Walking about 1/2 mile throughout the day; standing at field trip sites.
In the front lobby, the breakfast buffet offers a variety of hot and cold choices. You may eat in the lobby or take your breakfast to your room.
We will get into the van and ride to the Delta Community Center for educational classes led by local experts. Most of the day will be classroom time learning about local history, historic events, and geologic history of the area to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of what we will be finding and collecting in the desert. At other times of the day, we will be exploring local museums and a rock shop. We’ll have a presentation on the fascinating history of the Topaz Relocation Japanese Internment Camp established in Delta during World War II. The Topaz Camp historian will tell us the wrenching story of families forcibly removed from their homes — more than 9,000 Japanese immigrants as well as Americans of Japanese descent — and interned here due to fears of terrorism. We’ll also examine the artifacts from the site that is now a National Historic Landmark. Next, we’ll learn about modern-day beryllium mining. This uniquely strong yet light metal is highly toxic and requires special handling. Delta is a source of one of the richest pockets of beryllium. We’ll hear from a representative of the Materion Mine about its properties and processing, and how it is used in military applications and cell phones. We’ll also see a video presentation on gemstones of America to learn how and where they are mined and made into beautiful jewelry.
At a local restaurant.
We’ll be joined by a professor of geology who will inform us about the fascinating geology of the Great Basin area. From the National Park Service: “Defining the Great Basin begins with a choice: are you looking at the way the water flows (hydrographic), the way the landscape formed (geologic), or the resident plants and animals (biologic)? Each of these definitions will give you a slightly different geographic boundary of the Great Basin, but the hydrographic definition is the most commonly used... The region is bounded by the Wasatch Mountains to the east, the Sierra Nevada to the west, and the Snake River Plain to the north…The Great Basin includes most of Nevada, half of Utah, and sections of Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon, and California.” Mid-afternoon, we’ll walk down the sidewalk a few minutes from the Community Center to the Great Basin Museum. We’ll explore and see a variety of local artifacts, antiques, fossils, rocks, minerals, and more. We’ll then head back to the classroom and learn from our geology professor how to organize, label, and display the rocks, minerals, and fossils we collect.
At a local restaurant.
We will visit West Desert Collectors and see a cutting and polishing demonstration by a local expert who was involved with the Red Beryl Mine. We will also visit the West Desert Collectors Rock Hound Shop for a discussion of the rare and beautiful red beryl, also known as red emerald. The only known deposit in the world is found in the Wah Wah Mountains of Beaver County, Utah. According to the Utah Geological Survey, “Red beryl is estimated to be worth 1,000 times more than gold and is so rare that one red beryl crystal is found for every 150,000 diamonds.” We will learn about the ups and downs of owning a large rock hound (mining) business in Utah, then observe a rock cutting and polishing demonstration to see how specimens evolve from a rough rock or gemstone to a beautiful finished product.