Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Road Traveled

I am constantly amazed in talking to fellow geology majors here at UNR how many have never been to places like Yosemite or Lava Beds. I joined our Mackay Rockhounds Club and one of the things we do as a group is go somewhere geologically interesting. At our last meeting, we listed the places we would like to go.

Some places listed were Great Basin NP to see Lehman Caves, Lava Beds National Monument to explore lava tubes, Yosemite National Park, and few other sites in Nevada. Two of the ladies in our club one who is a Masters student has NEVER been to Yosemite. I honestly thought she was joking with us when she told us this. I think my mouth dropped open and stay in that awkward position for the rest o the meeting.
Merced River in Yosemite NP

Yosemite is one of California's most beautiful places...in fact I believe it is one the world's gems. John Muir gave a tours to the likes Theodore Roosevelt and Ralph Waldo Emerson in Yosemite before it became first a state park, and then later a national park. I often wonder how much more beautiful it was prior to restaurants, campgrounds, stores, tourist spots, hotel, and the blacktop parking lots. I imagine however despite all the modern conveniences, my geology club friends will love Yosemite as much as I do.

Although my ex-husband, Dave and I took our kids every New Years Day to Yosemite from the Bay Area, I truly got to "experience" it with my community college geology professor who opened my eyes to even more wonders than I had seen in Yosemite in prior family visits.

Not only have I been on college geology trips to Yosemite, but I have experience beautiful sunrises in Lava Beds with my fellow MJC classmates. I have seen places like Cape Disappointment in Washington, however the real disappointment came when I went to see Mt. St. Helens which was so fogged in I could only see my hand in front of my face. I have seen Mt. St. Helens in 1974 prior to her 1980 eruption where she puked up the entire side of herself. That's okay though because I have seen so many other wonders.

Gettysburg - VA Memorial Monument
Glacier National Park, Yellowstone (several times), San Juan Mountains in Colorado, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon (several times), Bryce Canyon, Zion NP, Capitol Reef, Antelope Canyon, Ancient Bristlecone Forest, Long Valley Caldera in Eastern Sierra Nevada, Fossil Falls, Red Rock Canyon, Petrified Forest, Acoma-The Sky People Pueblo, Taos, San Ildefonso Pueblo where my dad was raised...and The Redwoods. This is to name just the ones I saw on my geology trips.

Inuit Statue in Fairbanks AL
I traveled to Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, Eastern Seaboard, the South, and all the way back to California in a year with a fifth-wheel. I have seen beauty in nature at Lake Louise and Banff, Alberta...Hope, British Columbia, and Skagway, Alaska to name just a few of my favs.

Geology students all have very different backgrounds. Many have never been outside of their region. I am grateful that I had such great family and a teacher who took us places that some only dream about seeing. I am grateful for all the opportunities I have had and shall never take them for granted.

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