Thursday, March 24, 2011

Scenic South Idaho

When I tell people that I moved to Idaho, they react in a couple different ways: enthusiasm about the region’s beauty, or badly veiled confusion and disgust.

Sometimes, instead of waxing poetic about rocks and getting eye-rolls, I opt for simplicity and just mention sunsets, big skies, and weird plants.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Yellowstone Pictures, Pt. II

I’m over on the east coast, doing some family visits, and thought I’d use the occasion to post some photos from this past summer/fall, that have heretofore been unpublished. This first set is from a trip to Yellowstone – there are a few more pictures here.P1240403

The entrance sign near West Yellowstone, WY. (Which has an incredible 4th of July fireworks show!)

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Mud pots! (I bet that’d make a great face mask… not that I advise trying!)

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The view overlooking one of the geyser boardwalks. It was really comforting to think about so many people enjoying and learning about geology!

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Spasm Geyser.

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Near Prismatic Spring. (I overheard a private tour guide saying that the best viewpoint for Prismatic Spring was actually the parking lot for Fairy Falls, but we didn’t get a chance to check out that tip.)

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Sunset Lake.

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The Old Faithful Inn’s interior is spectacular! (And the ice-cream is very good also.)

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Old Faithful Geyser.

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Avoca Spring, possibly.

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Hint: Madison campground has no showers - which means that you can frequently get a site without a reservation!

Another hint: Getting a back-country hiking/camping permit is pretty easy, but watching the Bear Country Camping video does take some time. As does buying the required bear spray and ropes for hanging food. Oh, and they like it if you research trails in advance, instead of showing up the day of and asking for whatever slots are open. We got a permit, but by the time we got to the trailhead, realized we couldn’t get to camp before sunset, when the bears come out to rummage through your groceries, and the rangers require you to be off the trails.

Another hint: advance planning is probably a good idea when visiting a major tourist attraction! We had a good time, but that would have made it a great time.

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(Another note for unprepared/impromptu travellers: if want to hike the Grand Canyon, but lack the permit/reservations, you can sometimes get cancellations the morning of! My family’s actually had that work out twice. You definitely want to be in sufficient physical condition, however!)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Accretionary Wedge #32: Carnival of Blogs

Ann at Ann's Musings on Geology & Other Things is hosting March’s Accretionary Wedge, with the special Mardi Gras theme of a parade of favorite geology pictures!

It’s always hard to pick a favorite geology picture, but this wintery Crater Lake panorama tops my list right now. Crater Lake is one of my favorite places, and it was exciting to visit in the winter! The perfect mirroring effect was particularly stunning. In person, the sky and water were the same color, making the caldera look like an arch in the sky.

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