Day 85: November 7, 2007 Salta to San Carlos

Trip Start Aug 15, 2007
Trip End Mar 01, 2008

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Day 85: November 7, 2007 Salta to San Carlos-Travels with Toyo I

I got up at 6:30 and was ready to head for the field by 8:00. We were delayed in our departure until 10:00 by a malfunctioning hard drive which Toyo had to remove from a computer, box it up, and arrange to have fixed in Buenos Aires. We left at 10:00 and made a stop at the Kiosco David, which is reputed to have the best coca leaves in Salta. Then, we went to the bus station to send off the hard drive. Finally, we were underway by 10:30.

The sky was clear as we drove south through the Valle de Lerma and into the Quebrada de las Conchas. The light playing on the rocks was spectacular but we didn't stop in order to make up for lost time. At the exit from the canyon we took the dirt short cut over to San Carlos and ate lunch at the hosteria on the square.

We continued north to Angastaco, after lunch, and filled up our water jugs at the central plaza. We use lots of water to keep the drill bits cool as they bore into the rock. After getting 50 liters of water, we drove into the Quebrada de los Colorados, which cuts into the Sierra Negra just south of town, as far as the road would take us. A nonconformity exists between the Proterozoic metamorphic rocks and the Eocene redbeds and an angular unconformity is present between the Paleogene and Neogene strata. A 2001 sample site was right where the road had washed out so we tried to sample it but could not get the drill started. Toyo told me to go find the other site we wanted to sample while he tried to get the drill going. .

I walked another 500-700 m to the top of the redbeds. In 2001, the road went back even farther to a small shrine with a nice view looking out of the quebrada but heavy rains had eroded the road so that it was no longer passable. I walked up to the shrine but could not figure out to which saint, if any, it was dedicated

I found a site I collected with Brian Horton in 2001. Toyo soon arrived with a smile on his face; the drill was working. We drilled seven new samples out of the rock-Toyo doing the drilling while I recorded orientation data from the cores and strata. Half an hour later, we returned to the other site next to the vehicle. The strata there are white eolian beds of unknown age. Sampling went quickly there too.

Before we knew it, we were done. It was only 5:30. We had planned on staying in Angastaco for the night but decided to head back to San Carlos so that we could get to tomorrow's destination a little earlier. The sunset as we headed south was beautiful with large orange rays emanating from behind the mountains above the clouds. An hour later we pulled into La Casa de los Vientos where we had stayed on our visit to the area in mid-September. Sonia was not there but her business/life partner, Martina, was. Her hands were covered with clay from their pottery studio. She gave us a very nice room. We were the only guests. Toyo loved the place. Each room is different and very well planned out and decorated.

We both took showers and left the room at 8:30. Sonia and Martina came out to talk with us for a little while before we drove into town and ate at the restaurant I had eaten at in September. We drank a couple of liters of Salta Negra beers, which tasted great. There was nothing to do but go to bed when we got back to the hosterķa. I think it was probably the first time Toyo had gotten to bed before midnight in years. I swear the guy never sleeps when we are at the office. He is the last to bed and the first to rise every day.
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