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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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April 11, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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April 11, 2001
 

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:ea:r, er , Progress vs. Record eporl, er I~r 1 "- " - " - ...... ?~ .... r rl ii Inside Section B Arts & Entertainment Opinion & Perspective Letters to the Editor Vitals II 7 I - o ; ,,L f Photos by Debra Coates It's group picture timm for the eightlPgrade clmm from River Middle School In Portola. Tim lmm four days In Death Valley at tim end of March. IB II II River Middle School students discover different world on eighth-grade class fieldtrip a i solltsry moment as she to Joy Omd 'e Vilew. By Debra Coates Managing Editor As the 22-car caravan pulled away from Feather River Mid- dle School at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 27, the mo- ment many had so long await- ed, rmally arrived: the annual eighth grade Death Valley field trip. Four stops and nine hours later, students, teachers and chaperones set up camp in the Texas Springs Campground. For those familiar with the area, it is located across the road from the Furnace Creek Campground. As the students pitched their tents and unrolled their sleeping bags, the tempera- ture soared to 97 degrees. A small clump of bushes provid- ed the only relief from the un- relenting sun. The students had been warned of the heat and it came. The students had also been warned about the scorpi- ons and snakes, but thankful- ly, they never apPeared. As soon as camp was estab- with a elm e NNNte te U if lmde of the imwk 1he aew 100 leg e tlmt altem Tea ers Jerome Tam--y, aml Rex thek lished, it was off to the muse- and the students marched on. urn to learn more about Death But, as the markers came fur- Valley. There, in the air-con, ther apart, and the sun beat ditioned building, the stu. down hotter, the students dents completed question-trudged along--many stop- naires about the people and ping in the little patches of places important to the area. shade which appeared sporad- Science and-math teacher ically. Rex Coffman; English and so-At marker 10, there was a cial studies teacher Jeanne collective sigh of relief, as the Tansey; and librarian Trish students hugged the shade of Work; led the trip, The trio, the canyon wall to work In all veterans of previous trips, their notebooks. The note- laid out a packed itinerarY, books, which were to be which took the students to turned in after the trip, corn- many points in Death Valley bined many different subjects during the next three days. while focusing on Death Val- Days usually started around ley. 5:30 a.m., when the first early Several gallons of water lat- risers began ascending the er, it was on to the Harmony cliffs surrounding the camp. Borax Works, where students Soon, the smell of coffee filled viewed old machinery and the air, as the adults arose to' learned about the importance chaperone, of borax to the valley. Cooking groups had been Back at camp, the students formed before the trip to make enjoyed a water fight to keep the meal process easier, cool. Never mind that the wa- Breakfasts ranged from cold ter from the camp's only spig- cereal, to rolls and muffins, to ot sent a river through Mrs. pancakes, eggs, sausage and Tansey's tent. bacon, to breakfast burrltos. Food groups prepared din- Once breakfast was over, net, and then it was time for the students and their chaper- the campfire. Mrs. Work ones packed bag lunches, pointed out various constella- Quickly, students learned to tlons in the night sky. pack lots of water. They were While the adults slept, the amazed at how thirsty they girls toilet paperea the boys' were throughout the day. tents. All were awake by 5:30 Wednesday morning, the the next morning. group's first stop was Dante's The highlight of the morn- View. There, students saw the ing-and based on many of the grandeur of Death Valley and students' comments, the high. had a group photo taken with light of the trip--was a visit to plenty of mugging for the cam- Scotty's Castle. A S0.minute eras. tour of this veritable oasis in The next stop was the Dev- Death Valley, left Inn Cooke il's Golf Course, where the saying, "That guy knew how students walked far into the to live." distance on a crust of salt pin- The cool green lawn sur- nacles. At first, students dell- rounding the castle provided cately trod on the formations, the perfect place to eat lunch, having been warned that any work on notebooks, and, of slip could be very painful. But course, indulge in yet another soon, the more adventure-watertight. some were leaping across the Then, it was off to Ubehebe sharp points, and others were Crater, where students looked hesitantly tasting the salt. down on the one-half mile Then it was on to Badwater, wide and 500 feet deep crater, the lowest point in the West- the result of a volcanic erup- ern Hemisphere, at 282 feet be- tlon. Unfortunately, there low sea leveb Students were wasn't time for the students to warned to tread softly to pre- climb down into the crater as serve the almost microscopic planned. Mr. Coffnum encour- Badwater snails, aged the students to return Next stop: the Artist's again to Death Valley with Palette and lunch. The their families and enjoy that Artist's Palette featuredexperience. desert walls of amazing col- The next stop was Salt ors, and also provided a bit of Creek, where, during the shade to enjoy lur ch, spring, visitors can stroll Mldafternoon brought the along a plank walkway and group to Golden Canyon and a view the meandering streams hlke In the near 100-degree of salt water and tiny fish. temperature. Mr. Coffman Later, during the summer, told the students they had to much of the water will evapo- walk to marker 10. The first rate. three markers came quickly, Trip, page 2B