Thursday, August 10, 2006

Random history/trivia

Thought I'd go online and check out some of the sights we've seen. Tony thinks I've substituted work for blogging. I can sit at the computer and work without calling it "work." He's probably right.

The Church in the Rocky Mountains from an earlier blog: Camp Saint Malo

For over eighty years, the land at the eastern base of Mount Meeker in the Rocky Mountains has been special to the Catholic people of Colorado. One can say that there is even a sense of the holy attached to the place – and the huge rocks on which the statue of Christ now stands.
It was an August night in 1916 when Msgr. Joseph J. Bosetti saw a fiery meteor fall from the sky. An avid mountaineer and, at the time, a young assistant pastor at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Denver, Msgr. Bosetti later related that the meteor seemed to fall into the aspen and pine-covered forests at the foot of Mount Meeker.

He never found the meteor, but at dawn, did discover an impressive lichen-covered rock formation. Bosetti regarded this as a message from heaven and vowed to build a chapel on the site.

In 1993, Pope John Paul II stayed at Saint Malo during his World Youth Day visit to Denver. Photographs of his visit appear throughout Saint Malo and his prayer-filled walk through the Rocky Mountains was commemorated with a plaque on the Saint Malo grounds.

Msgr. Bosetti said it all when he reflected on the significance of Saint Malo: "The religious atmosphere of the camp cannot fail to make an everlasting impression." (source:

We passed a bentonite plant in Wyoming and didn't know what it was. So, here you go if you don't know: Bentonite is an absorbent aluminium phyllosilicate generally impure clay consisting mostly of montmorillonite, (Na,Ca)0.33(Al,Mg)2Si4O10(OH)2·(H2O)n.

Bentonite can be used in cement, adhesives, ceramic bodies, cosmetics and cat litter. Fuller's earth, an ancient dry cleaning substance, is finely ground bentonite. Bentonite, in small percentages, is used as an ingredient in commercially designed clay bodies and ceramic glazes. Bentonite clay is also used in pyrotechnics to make end plugs and rocket nozzles.

The absorbent clay was given the name bentonite by an American geologist sometime after its discovery in about 1890 - after the Benton Formation (a geological stratum, at one time Fort Benton) in eastern Wyoming's Rock Creek area.

Most high grade commercial sodium bentonite mined in the United States comes from the area between the Black Hills of South Dakota and the Big Horn Basin of Montana.

(source: Wikipedia)

That's enough education for the day. Time to get dressed and ready for Mt. Rushmore.

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