Showing posts from 2023

Steaming, Bubbling, Rumbling, and Erupting in Iceland

 7/6/23 If there is another place like Iceland on earth, I am unaware of it. The landscape is made from multiple layers of geothermal and geological disturbances that display a history of raucous events leaving dramatic evidence across the landscape over many millennia. There are jagged mountains that turn a vivid green in the summer. Steam rises from underground, geothermal water sources. Iceland is rumbling, bubbling, and rising. As climate change increases temperatures, the surface of the Earth rebounds upward as the weight of the melting ice decreases. Lava is everywhere. Ancient lava, covered with delicate moss, strewn over millions of square miles; more recent lava flows that look like rivers frozen in time, and red-hot molten lava spewing from active volcanos. Volcanoes are one of the main geographic features of Iceland. Iceland is the home to one-third of the lava that ever flowed on Earth. As much as 25% of the Icelandic land surface is covered with volcanoes. There are 32 vol

Canary Islands in late January

Seeking an escape from the numbing dreariness of late January 2023, I took a trip to the Canary Islands. I’ve never heard anybody I know talk about them. A lot of folks will guess that they’re somewhere in the South Pacific. In fact, they are just off the coast of Morocco. Americans don’t go there much. As it turns out, the place is swarming with winter vacationers, seeking refuge from the damp, gray climates of Germany, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and northern sections of the UK. The largest island in the chain of seven is Tenerife, where the beach-going party animals coexist with the denizens slower-paced retirement communities. There are boardwalks filled with restaurants, bars, and funky stores where you can buy corny beach stuff. Volleyball in conspicuously played by strapping young men and bikini clad young women. Wake from the ferry to La Gomera Higher up into the mountainous interior however, you will encounter a whole different kind tourist. These are the tree hugging lovers

The Grand Canyon: Walking from Rim to River

  You cannot see the Grand Canyon in one view, as if it were a changeless spectacle from which a curtain might be lifted, but to see it, you have to toil from month to month through its labyrinths . John Wesley Powell -Canyons of the Colorado When John Wesley Powell, one-armed explorer/geologist and his cohort of intrepid crewmen, made their first journey, through the canyons of the Colorado, they were confronted by death-defying rapids, food shortages, tense relationships with indigenous peoples , and such serious infighting that some of Powell’s men deserted him, preferring to take their chances scaling the walls of the canyon, rather than remain under the leadership of a man whose sanity was in doubt.  Powell and his crew would be incredulous if they could see the Grand Canyon National Park today. They might have pulled out their muskets and confronted the rangers at the gate after being enraged by the exorbitant fees. On the other hand, they might have enjoyed steak and cocktails a