Okay, so it turns out I will be driving down to Las Vegas rather than going to Thunder in the Valley. This is quite alright with me! On the way down to Vegas, we will be traversing the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, Montana, and camping at Craters of the Moon National Monument.
Then, after exploring the amazing geology at the Craters of the Moon, we shall continue on to Vegas. After playing a bit in Vegas (yay blackjack!), the plan is to take a day-trip out to the Grand Canyon for even more wondrous geology. And photographs.
Now, I’ve never been to Craters of the Moon or the Grand Canyon, though I’ve read a lot and seen many pictures. I am very interested in the geology of each, as well as the roadside geology along the way. To that end I have ordered the Roadside Geology of Montana and the Roadside Geology of Idaho. I hope they arrive in time. But I’m wondering if you, the gentle reader, have any suggestions of specific hikes or trails to take at any location. I believe we are going to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, where most of the trails are listed as “steep” or “very steep” on the park website. This is not a problem for me, so long as we are prepared. I just wonder if anyone out there has any other suggestions than what is on the park website.
Oh but I wish I could spend a week or so just in the Grand Canyon…. But oh the photos I will take!
Well it’s coming up on summer again, and that means festival season. One of my new favourites is Rum Runner Days and Thunder in the Valley, down in the Crowsnest Pass in south-western Alberta. If you check out the listed web sites, you will find there is lots to do.
Last year I went with friends for the day to check out the Thunder. The worst part of it was leaving after the show. We didn’t get home until about 05:30 the next morning (see here). I’m vowing not to do that again, so was planning to spend a couple nights camping in the area. I’m just hoping that I can make it down there early enough one morning to get a spot, otherwise I might be sleeping in the car on the highway (done it before; don’t want to do it again).
Anyway, aside from camping (and therefore, partying), as I said, there is a ton to do down there. The following is a short listing of potential activities for the whole family to enjoy. I’m sure there is much more to do as well.
Now I just have to see if I can actually make it down there or if I have to miss the whole thing.
Whatever you do, though, don’t forget the sunscreen and DEET-based insect repellent (just don’t apply them both at the same time, as many sunscreens are known to increase the rate at which DEET is absorbed into the skin – check out the Environmental Working Group’s sunscreen database to determine if yours is safe).
With only a short time remaining in 2010, I thought I’d fill in what the most popular posts were on this blog for 2010. I know I was surprised.
The single most common search term was “navy shower”, leading to my article on household water conservation, written back in June. I find it reassuring that so many people are interested in using the navy shower to conserve water at home. Sometimes it can be the simple things that can improve peoples’ green conscience.
Next up is the article I wrote about our trip to the Crowsnest Pass area for Thunder in the Valley, a spectacular, annual fireworks show in Blairmore.
Probably the third most searched for topic would be the lunar eclipse / winter solstice conjunction that just recently made news headlines. It is unfortunate, though, although not entirely surprising, that the common search was for the “mystical properties” of the eclipse. It is, of course, absurd that something so benign and simple as a lunar eclipse should have mystical properties. It is also unsurprising that people would look for such things. Eclipses and other celestial phenomena were thought to have magical/mystical properties, being portents of doom or victory (depending on the observer’s perspective). Thankfully, Newtonian and Galilean physics have successfully explained away the phenomena and allow us to accurately predict when other such events will occur.
Three of us drove down to the Crowsnest Pass on July 17 to experience RumRunner Days and take in Thunder in the Valley.
We started out the day at the Community Natural Foods Stampede Breakfast, across the street from the Chinook C-Train station. It was an impressive event, but I didn’t care too much for the flax-seed pancakes. They seemed somewhat dry to me, but I did eat what I could. There also were some really nice, plump and juicy pork sausages (I didn’t try the beef ones). The vegetarian sausages were long gone by the time we got to the serving stations. The whole event was billed as a “zero waste event”, so people were encouraged to bring their own plates and utensils, which we did. The only non-compostable item in the lineup was a muslei yogourt product whose container was made of plastic. After finishing the breakfast, we began our trek to the Pass, heading down Highway 2 to Fort Macleod.