Tuesday, August 7, 2012

There's No Place Like Home...There's no place like California

Yeah, it was a flirtation...spending a few days along the Oregon coastline was wonderful. The sea stacks, the arches, the dunes, it was all beautiful. But in the end, I'm a Californian and proud of it. To get to Oregon, we...well...just had to see the northern California coast too, and caught this golden sunset at Crescent City.
To see the vast fir forests of western Oregon, we just had to pass through Humboldt Redwoods State Park in Northern California, even camped there. It is simply awe-inspiring to walk among the 300 foot tall giants in the dusk. I imagined a velociraptor peeking out from the trees...or maybe Sasquatch.
We saw Oregon's big stratovolcanoes Mt. Hood and Mt. McLoughlin in the mist, and while in Washington we saw Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens. But to get home, we just had drive under the brooding presence of the largest of the Cascades stratovolcanoes: Mt. Shasta. It is a huge mountain, visible for a hundred miles. In one view, we took in the largest glaciers in California, the largest stratovolcano complex in the Cascades and possibly in the world, and a debris avalanche that defies imagination. It was 28 miles long, more than two times the length of St. Helen's giant 1980 slide. Of course, no one saw the Shasta avalanche happen since it took place more than 300,000 years ago. Those hillocks on the center right side of the picture above are the hummocks from that incredible event.

Yes, I'm a Californian, born and raised. I love my state, warts and all. Dang if summer isn't ending all too soon. School starts soon, and I'm gonna need to start helping my students find that they too live in a geological wonderland, worthy of awe and wonder.

1 comment:

Hollis said...

You definitely hit the nail on the head with this post. California is wonderful -- for scenery, geology, botany, natural history in general. I always really enjoy my trips there.