Most people do not think of looking for geology from the sidewalks of Seattle, but for the intrepid geologist any good rock can tell a fascinating story. All one has to do is look at building stone in downtown Seattle to find a range of rocks equal to any assembled by plate tectonics. Furthermore, building stones provide the foundation for constructing stories about cultural as well as natural history.
On this 1.5-mile long walk on Aug. 8 downtown, members explored stone ranging from 3.5-billion years old to 120,000 years old, fossils as large as a cinnamon roll, and rock used by the Romans to build the Colosseum. We discussed history, geology, and architecture to give participants a new way to appreciate the urban wilds of Seattle.
David is a naturalist and Seattle native, who has a degree in geology. His most recent book, Cairns: Messengers in Stone, will be published by Mountaineers Books in October. He is also the author of Stories in Stone: Travels Through Urban Geology and The Street-Smart Naturalist: Field Notes from Seattle.