Jumping-Off Draw

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Allan and David called it Jumping-Off Draw, its name on the map today. Finding numerous large bones in a meadowy bog, they named the place Buffalo Wallows. Indians had apparently driven the bison into the swamp to kill them. One could infer that. One could also see that the swamp was there because water was bleeding from rock outcrops above the meadows. In a youth spent on horseback, there was not a lot to do but look at the landscape. The rock that was bleeding water was not just porous but permeable. It was also strong. It was the same red rock that the granary stood on, and the bunkhouse. Very evidently, it was made of naturally cemented sand. The water could not have come from the creek. The Buffalo Wallows were sixty feet higher than the creek. The sandstone layers tilted north. They therefore reached out to the east and west. There was high ground to the east. The water must be coming down from there. One did not need a Ph.D. from Yale to figure that out-especially if one zakelijke energie vergelijken was growing up in a place where so much rock was exposed. Pending further study, his interpretation of the Buffalo Wallows was just a horseback guess. All through his life, when he would make a shrewd surmise he would call it a horseback guess. The water in the sandstone produced not only the bogs but the adjacent meadows as well-in this otherwise desiccated terrain. From the meadows came hay. There was an obvious and close relationship between bedrock geology and ranching. David would not have articulated that in just those words, of course, but he thought about the subject much of the time, and he was drawn to be a geologist in much the way that someone growing up in Gloucester, Massachusetts, would be drawn to be a fisherman. “It was something to think about on long rides day after day when everything was so monotonous,” he once zakelijke energie remarked. “Monotony was what we fought out there. Day after day, you had nothing but the terrain around you-you had nothing to think about but why the shale had stripes on it, why the boggy places were boggy, why the vegetation grew where it did, why trees grew only on certain types of rock, why water was good in some places and bad in others, why the meadows were where they were, why some creek crossings were so sandy they were all but impassable.

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