In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Nick Van Buer. Nick is an associate professor specializing in hard-rock geology at Cal Poly Pomona and recently completed a 530-mile hike across the Mojave Desert on what he’s dubbed as the Mojave Wilderness Route. We obviously nerd out on rocks, learn more about the history and science of geology at large, and talk in depth about Nick’s trek across the most remote parts of the Mojave Desert.
We wrap the show with a triple crown of non alcoholic drinks, we are blessed with a wonderful listener poop story via voice mail, and discuss the appropriate time to start and stop sending nudes.
Download this episode.
RTIC Outdoors: Shop at rticoutdoors.com.
Organifi: Use code “backpacker” for 20% off at organifi.com/backpacker.
Enlightened Equipment: Use code “trekit20” for a 2 day head start to 20% off and free shipping on November 3 and November 17 at enlightenedequipment.com.
Gossamer Gear: Use code “takelesstrekmore” for 15% off at gossamergear.com.
Interview with Nick Van Buer
Time stamps & Questions
00:05:05 – QOTD: At what point in a relationship do you start and stop sending nudes?
00:17:37 – Introducing Nick
00:18:45 – What got you interested in geology?
00:20:51 – Give us a taste of the professor life.
00:23:14 – How do you grind up a rock and find out how old it is?
00:25:38 – Do your students want to take geology?
00:27:20 – What are the most common geology careers?
00:28:37 – Did you use your geology skills during your hike?
00:29:37 – What are the best excuses you’ve gotten for people not coming to class or turning work in late?
00:31:20 – Can you teach us the basics of your research focus?
00:35:07 – Given your knowledge, on a scale of 1 to 10, what is your earthquake fear level?
00:38:33 – What was the process to get your sabbatical approved?
00:40:00 – Can you paint us a picture of the history of the Mojave Desert?
00:41:42 – Did you have a wishlist of things you were hoping to find during your hike?
00:43:41 – Did you develop the route?
00:45:44 – How long were your water carries and how did you carry it?
00:47:52 – Tell us about the weather you experienced.
00:48:38 – How did you know you’d be able to find water?
00:50:55 – Tell us about hiking through wilderness areas or passing notable interest points?
00:52:39 – Tell us about your previous backpacking experience.
00:55:07 – Were you nervous going into this hike?
00:56:33 – What kind of wildlife did you see?
00:57:35 – Describe to Zach what a geological map looks like.
01:00:40 – Is there one standout rock encounter?
01:03:15 – How often are there large paradigm shifts in geology?
01:04:57 – Was there anything in this hike that surprised you?
01:08:29 – Do you have any hot takes about currently accepted geological ideas?
01:10:39 – What’s the process for proving your theory?
01:13:22 – Tell us about the peer review process.
01:14:43 – Have you witnessed a lot of politicking within geology?
01:15:40 – Are there any fun geological facts you can relay to PCT hikers?
01:16:43 – How do you decide to take rocks from the field?
01:20:00 – What part of you just loves the desert, and what part of this is just public service?
01:20:56 – Tell us about swimming across the Colorado River.
01:25:50 – Tell us about the Youtube series that you made.
01:27:39 – Were there any standout stories you got more feedback on?
01:30:20 – How much weight in samples did you take?
01:31:54 – If these people were rocks, what rocks would they be and why?
01:35:01 – Do you have any other backpacking routes you’d like to do?
Triple Crown of non-alcoholic drinks
Listener Voicemails (leave us your own!)
5 Star Review
Check out our sound guy @headnodculture.
Support us on Patreon to get bonus content.
Follow Backpacker Radio on Tik Tok.
A super big thank you to our Chuck Norris Award winner(s) from Patreon: Andrew, Austen McDaniel, Jason Lawrence, Christopher Marshburn, Sawyer Products, Brad and Blair (Thirteen Adventures), Patrick Cianciolo, Paul Packman Sealy, Matt Soukup, Jason Snailer, Greg Mac, Tracy “Trigger” Fawns, Mike Poisel, and Kristina Diaz.
A big thank you to our Cinnamon Connection Champions from Patreon: Liz Seger, Cynthia Voth, Emily Brown, Dcnerdlet, Jeff LaFranier, Peter Ellenberg, Jacob Northrup, Peter Leven.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek’s ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.