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September 12 Monday, October 30, 2006

The Precambrian Shield, a huge block of some of the oldest rocks on the surface of the planet, covers most of northern Ontario and Quebec. Right near Kingston, however, it dips down south into the St. Lawrence lowlands, a much newer formation. Apart from getting on a bus at an ungodly hour on a Saturday, the only thing I remember about our first-year geology field trip is that some of the rocks were 1 billion years old, and the others were a mere 500 million years old. Or, in the barely decipherable language of our Chinese TA, "dis rok one bi'n yee oad," and "dat rok five hun'ed mi'in yee oad." Or something like that.

While I was home on this trip, my parents took me for a hike at Gould Lake in the Precambrian Shield just north of Kingston. Gould Lake used to be the site of mica mines, and flakes of the glittery mineral—some almost as big as my palm—were easy to find.

(right) My parents, Peter and Alison, hiking at Gould Lake.