Vegas Trip: Diary Entry One

Damien Knight
Mar, 9 2018

We boarded the plane at 10:55 am. I don’t know when we hit the runway but it’s around 11:26 now. We got in the air, I am lucky I flew priority. I admit I am a bit anxious, but I noticed Logan is also on this flight. So at least I am not by myself really.

I brought all my notes I took in class, even the paper I wrote on faults. I am ready.

My ears just popped which hurt. The Flight is 3 hours. The clouds outside are gorgeous. Passed by the river, it looked lovely. I ordered a coke. Frontier charges for drinks, cost me 3 dollars.

I am exhausted but can’t sleep. I woke at 4:30 am and said bye to my family at 9:30. I gave my daughter the rest of my coffee before leaving. Good luck, Aaron. Being transgender, I was worried about the TSA screening. My binder was marked as an anomaly but my packer was ignored.

I am excited to get there and look at the rocks! I dressed like my childhood inspiration, Dr. Allen Grant, from Jurassic Park. I look silly. Still, I am happy. I will have a good hat to keep the sun off me. I better make this my last soda, really should only drink water in the desert.

I played Mah-jong for a bit. I really am tired, still can’t sleep. Aaron told me he flew first class in to Kentucky. That’s cool. We should be landing soon.

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Flying over Mountains in New Mexico

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WKU Geology Trip to the Mojave: Preparation’s Made

 

By Damien Knight

 

A week ago, I was waking up on the desert floor cold, wet, hungry and excited. I had been halfway through my trip to study the geology of the desert regions of California and Nevada. This week I will post several short posts about this experience and my thoughts on it.

The semester started back in January but my plans for this trip started way before that. I put my name on the list sometime in November just before the winter term started. I and 15 other geology students met at the first meeting Dr. Andrew Wulff, a volcanologist and WKU geology professor, held for the course. We discussed price, around 650 for Study Away plus the airfare, we discussed food, hotel accommodation and potential projects.

I knew I wanted to do this but as most of my followers know I suffer from epilepsy, asthma, and chronic pain issues (diagnosis still unsure “fibromyalgia?”) so any hiking expedition would be a challenge. I couldn’t bring my cane on such a trip and at 200 lbs I was (still am) obese. This meant I had to prepare.

My preparations started with an intense diet program. I dropped my calorie consumption to 1200 a day. I exercised at 5:00 am every morning for 15 minutes and 30 minutes in the afternoon. By time March arrived I had lost 23 lbs, and no longer used my cane.

The next step was packing luggage, taking notes at meetings and writing my project. I choose rock deformation, specifically faults. As time went on my project took on a wider role as I promised to blog about the trip and cover other aspects of structure such as folds and other deformation. I wrote a pre-trip information post on faults and created a power-point. With our presentations presented, our bags packed, and my personal goals achieved it was off to the airport.

Ahead was a week of adventure, excitement, and a touch of agony. My next post will be the revised “Faults and Fold” post and over the coming weeks snippets from my hand written journal concerning the trip.