• Bruce MacFadden posted an update in the group Group logo of GABI-RET 2018 Cohort 6-The North American ConnectionGABI-RET 2018 Cohort 6-The North American Connection 2 years, 9 months ago

    2 years, 9 months ago
    2 years, 9 months ago

    5 July 2018

    Hi GABI RET 2018 folks—

    Welcome from Dixon NM. I arrived several days ago. Our trip starts in less than a week and I hope that you are looking forward to it. The weather is sunny and hot during the day (ca 90 degrees), cooler after sundown. It is very dry (typically about 20% humidity, or less), and there has been almost no rain; in fact the area is in a drought.

    In addition to the heat, Dixon and the surrounding area is at an elevation of about 5500 to 6000 feet. This means that you will feel the effects of the altitude, which will result in fatigue, particularly for the first several days. We will take it very easy the first day in the field; given the heat we will likely not work past noon on most days. Plan to bring at least 64 ounces of water with you to the field each day.

    Although we covered much of what is written below in the webinar, I want to go over (repeat) some important items. Please recall that you will be staying in the Mission Embudo, which has dormitory style accommodations, and shared bathrooms. There is no air conditioning. Ventilation is passive via closing up the mission early in the morning to keep in the cool air, and the hot air out. Given the dry air, this system works OK, although in the afternoons it can get warm inside. The Embudo Valley Library is a good place for a respite, plus it has wi-fi.

    Bed linens, towels and soap are provided, although they are of basic quality. There is no daily maid service. A laundry run can be made halfway through the trip to either Espanola or Taos, both about and half-hour away. Bring clothes that you can hand wash; things dry out very quickly.

    The mission will be stocked with food for the first day (breakfast and lunch, coffee, etc.). Breakfasts will include cereal, toast, yoghurt, fruit, peanut butter, butter, jelly, honey, and granola bars. Lunch will be lunchmeat (or PBJ) sandwiches, chips, and fruit. Dinner the first night will likely be pizza and salad. Thereafter you will receive a daily meal allotment (via reimbursement) to share a communal food supply (bring cash to pay for your share of the food supply; probably about a hundred dollars). Please try not to pay for meals using credit cards; it becomes very cumbersome.

    There is only one restaurant in Dixon, Zulys (also ranked #1 on Tripadvisor, of 2, but I’m not sure what #2 is). It is open for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays. (They charge extra for using credit cards.) Otherwise, the group will need to arrange for dinners. This will require a grocery run to town, or purchase at the Dixon Co-op, which has limited selection and is pricey. On Wednesday afternoons is a farmers market in front of the co-op. Great fresh local produce.

    We had planned to go to Ghost Ranch for a day to see dinosaur fossil localities and walk through spectacular scenery. Given the drought, however, the adjacent National Forests are closed due to forest fires. We may have to reschedule another activity for Sunday, July 15. We may shop and/or have lunch that day at Rancho de Chimayo, a local restaurant famous for northern New Mexico cuisine.

    On one day (12 July) we will be going into the field with local families. This should be fun. We also have recently developed an app to take pictures of fossils in the field and either send them out on social media or upload them to myFOSSIL. I will hopefully have more information about this next week.

    Note that the schedule of activities that was previously distributed is subject to change.

    • Thank you for the update, Bruce! Most appreciated! I am getting very excited about this trip. I can’t wait to see the differences and similarities to what is found in Florida! And… authentic cuisine is always a plus!