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.


Flying over Mountains in New Mexico

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.

Two Weeks Until the Mojave

by Damien Knight

March 9th I leave for my geology trip to the Mojave Desert. I am responsible for talking to my classmates about folds, faults and strike and dip measurements. I will also make sure to take a lot of photos and post on the blog daily (if I manage internet access) about the trip. My next post will be posted today or tomorrow and will be a summary of what will go in my power point concerning faults and folds. I will also post a quick tutorial on taking strike and dip measurements. As you can see, I was very busy this last month preparing for this trip. See ya’ll soon out in the Mojave!