My father was a geochemist, which meant that every family vacation we took had some sort of geology component to it. Whether we were gazing into a canyon, admiring a waterfall, trekking into a cave, taking a tour of a mine or just stopping to admire the magnificent road cut/outcropping of rock/other random geological point of interest, there was always some kind of earth-science-based educational highlight.

My favorite was the Waitomo Glow Worm caves in New Zealand — made even better by the memory of my father correcting our guide during his speech about cave formation. As a teenager, I was mortified; today I still giggle when I remember the look on that poor guide’s face and my mother scolding my father for his correction.

The Cherokee Ranch & Castle, 6113 Daniels Park Road, is following in my father’s mineral-encrusted footsteps with Geology Hikes, one of which takes place today. The hikes are led by geologist advisor Al Koch and follow a moderate two-mile path that visits Raccoon Knob and Cherokee Mountain after an overview of the ranch’s geology. The hike runs from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.; wear hiking shoes and sunscreen, and bring plenty of water and, if you like, a picnic lunch to enjoy after you’re done working your legs (and your brain). Ad-mission is $20 per person, and there is a crowd limit, so sign up now by calling 303-688-5555. Additional geology hikes will take place on August 7 and 14.

My dad would be so proud of you.
Sat., June 26, 8:30-10:30 a.m.; Sat., July 24, 8:30-10:30 a.m.; Sat., Aug. 7, 8:30-10:30 a.m.; Sat., Aug. 14, 8:30-10:30 a.m., 2010


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