This week we’ve handed the reigns of the blog over to new member Gerard Saplington – who came with us on our trip to North Wales a fortnight ago. Gerard’s a budding Amateur Geologist who’s currently on his summer break from his A-Levels. With a year left to complete them, he’s looking forward to applying to University to study Geology full time. Take it away Gerard!
The sky is a little grey and overcast when my Mum wakes me up with a cup of tea and toast. I’m only 17, that’s why I still live at home and I’m lucky enough to have caring parents who still dote on their only son, as if he were still but a child.
I packed my bag up yesterday, it had been a long while since I’d had any call to use my rucksack. A big old thing, I’d taken it on many Scout camps and hikes in the past – but it had been lying dormant in the attic for some time. Its still in good nick, considering its age, but looks smaller than I remember it being. When I’d first strapped it on for my debut Scout hike, it had felt preposterously large and unwieldy, I’d grown a few inches since then – and it now looked to be a good fit.
Inside were all the things that I would need for my adventure: sleeping bag, roll mat, emergency rations, geology equipment and spare clothes. I was as ready as I would ever be. Hearing the sound of a car horn out front, I peered out the window to find the Geology minibus waiting for me – I must have lost track of time!
Tea downed, and toast crammed into my gob I raced down the stairs, kissed my Mum on the cheek and ran to the bus to embark on my first Geological adventure!
I always fall asleep on car journeys. It doesn’t matter if they’re ten minutes or ten hours long, the swaying motion of a vehicle and the firm grip of the seat-belt always sends me right off.
So I wasn’t surprised to wake up to see the towering granite mountains of Snowdonia drifting by the minibus windows. We had arrived and I had the unsettling feeling that I had some pen on my face…
After scrubbing off the offending marks, I stepped off the bus to breathe in the mountain air – truly invigorating. We had an entire day to explore and investigate rock formations, mineral deposits and particular landmarks. Unlike professional Societies, the itinerary is often left completely up to the members rather than a governing body. We split up into teams of two and three, and scattered amongst the verdant countryside.
Dave and Sal were much touted to make another discovery, after their success in the Lake District. However, at the end of a fun but mostly fruitless day, it was Old George who had uncovered a a surprisingly rich marble vein in the side of Snowdon.
It always surprises me when new discoveries are made by Amateur Geologists. Many of our members are not scientifically trained, they’ve simply picked up their skills via osmosis – a group method has developed over the years and its proven quite effective.
After two full days, and peaceful nights sleeping, my weekend had come to a close without any discoveries. I wasn’t disappointed.
I had gone into this adventure expecting a fun time, with my new friends, walking the moors and looking at rocks. That’s what happened.
The biggest surprise of the weekend – I woke up back in Liverpool to find that my face was graffiti free. I guess this means that I’m in.
It does indeed Gerard, we thoroughly enjoyed your passion and enthusiasm. Hopefully your next adventure with us proves more productive!