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With summer drawing to a close, Bruce wanted to take advantage of the end of camping season. With that in mind, he and his dog headed to the southern area of the Utah campgrounds in Canyonlands National Park. There, Bruce set up camp.

Canyonlands Campground, via National Park Service, used under Creative Commons

Canyonlands National Park Campgrounds

About 150-200 feet away, another park visitor set up camp. Bruce waved hello, and the visitor invited Bruce to join him at his campsite for some drinks and good conversation. As it turned out, the guy had a geology degree from Western State.Thus, an idea began to germinate in Bruce’s mind: he decided to head back to school. Following the example of his new friend in the park, Bruce enrolled in a basic geology course. He was immediately hooked on the subject, largely due to his talented instructor, Bruce Bartleson.

via Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum, used under CC

Bruce Bartleson explains the local geology of Gunnison, CO.

And so, after spending the last few months outdoors, Bruce and his dog moved back inside in September of that year for school as Colorado’s own Thornton Melon.

via Orion Pictures, used under CC

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