Tag Archives: water

Extra(ordinary) Reflections

Over the years we have enjoyed some extraordinary reflections.  Here are a few of our favorites.

The pictured Andean Flamingos are endangered.

 

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Brr, The Columbia Icefield

Heading north to escape the heat is a summer ritual many Phoenicians participate in.  Most head to the higher elevations of Northern Arizona where temperatures typically are ‘only’ in the 90’s during the day but cool off to a nice 50 or 60 at night or towards San Diego where we are affectionately? know as Zonies.  Hey, it beats highs of 110 and lows in the 90’s.

Wooly and Raeski have also been known to follow the ritual of heading north.  However Wooly sometimes likes to go the extra mile, or in this case, the extra 1,600 miles.  Not only did we escape the heat, there were times we were downright cold.

Like the time we stood on the Athabasca Glacier in Alberta Canada.  The glacier flows from the Columbia Icefield which happens to be the largest ice mass in North America south of the Arctic Circle.  How large is it?  It’s big, very big.  It covers a 130 square mile area and has a maximum depth of 1,200 feet which is about the height of the Empire State Building.

It was a great day when we stood on the Athabasca Glacier.  We were taken onto the ice in these massive buses to an area where it is safe and we didn’t have to worry about falling into a crevasse.  Standing on the ice with the Columbia Icefield towering over us was very cool.  Well, actually it was quite cold since cold air has the pesky habit of flowing down.  And guess where all the cold air was blowing that day.  Yup, right down the glacier where we stood.

And if you are wondering if this glacier is retreating the answer is yes – as all the glaciers fed by the Columbia Icefield are.  Since the industrial age began the Athabasca has retreated 1.5 miles and the rate of ice loss is accelerating.  And yes, Wooly and Raeski agree with the climate scientists that say that human activity is a major contributor to climate change.  When 95% of all climate scientists agree on this, one must question why the other 5% are still in disagreement.  Perhaps it’s because of who pays them.

Enjoy the show of water in one of its purest and most ancient forms.  Glacial ice.

Can a goose’s neck really do this?

Monument Valley, AZ.
Monument Valley, AZ.

At 7:30am, Wooly and Raeski left Phoenix and started their journey through the state and national parks in Southern Utah with a couple of national monuments tossed into the mix.  Getting up early and beating the heat allowed us to start our trip topless.  With the occasional pit stop along the way and a few photos of Monument Valley, the trip to Goosenecks State Park, Utah took almost 7 hours.

Twisted and folded earth
Twisted and folded earth

The Goosenecks are an out of the way, I mean you really have to go out of your way to find it, state park without much to offer except a single exceptional viewpoint.  After turning off the main road and then turning off to an even narrower road and driving a few miles you reach the end of the road and the park.  You can keep going if your names are Thelma and Louise and care to go ‘car diving’.

Goosenecks State Park, UT
Goosenecks State Park, UT

While on this drive you are treated to views of earth that has been uplifted and twisted.  Wooly thinks this is cool because there is a bit of a geology bug in him.  At the end of the road you reach the park and find a couple of picnic tables, an outhouse and nary a tree.  And yes, it’s a hot 100 degrees or about 38C.

Goosenecks State Park, UT
Goosenecks State Park, UT

However what you do find is a spectacular view of the San Juan River meandering and cutting its way through 1,000 feet of sandstone.  We were even able to watch a couple of rafters running the river.  Capturing them gives a sense of perspective of what Wooly saw while teetering on the edge of the cliff.

Goosenecks State Park, UT
Goosenecks State Park, UT

We hope you enjoy the photos.  But I have one question.  Can a goose really bend its neck that much and live to see another day?