Once the observer leaves the vehicle and begins to walk about any of the central Washington plateau in the vicinity of obvious flood artifacts, numerous features make themselves appareant. Chief among these are the basalt columns that puncture the region.
Seen here at a distance, the exposed basalt was generated from the extensive lava flows that occured millions of years before the floods ravaged the forests and topsoil, exposing the columns to the weather and the viewer.
The Bus Tour to Mars will take you to a number of geologically interesting sites/sights. These sites have features in common with Mars, and in some cases, Luna. Dr. John Buchanan of the Eastern Washington University Geology program will act as your guide for this tour.
John is familiar with the geology of the central plateau and has conducted numerous field trips to the area with his classes. You can expect to hear in detail how the planteau and its surface features were formed and what makes them analagous to features that have been observed on Luna and Mars.
This all day tour will provide ample opportunties to generate questions and have them answered. You should expect clear weather with temperatures in mid-80's to low-90's. Be sure and bring head protection and sunscreen as several stops are planned which will include some walking and observing in the open.
The Spokane Indians have a story that they tell about the origins of the present day tribe. It seems that there was a young couple who were out walking in the foothills of Mt. Spokane when they heard a great noise. The couple ran further up the mountain and saw a great flood fill the land for as far as they could see. Climbing higher still, they evaded the rising waters while the rest of their tribe perished. After the waters receded, the couple became the beginning of the present tribe of Spokanes.
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