Monthly Archives: September 2020

02-23-20 – Trona Pinnacles


The Trona Pinnacles are an unusual geological feature in the California Desert National Conservation Area. The landscape consists of more than 500 tufa spires (porous rock formed as a deposit when springs interact with other bodies of water), some as high as 140 feet (43 m), rising from the bed of the Searles Lake (dry) basin. The pinnacles vary in size and shape from short and squat to tall and thin, and are composed primarily of calcium carbonate (tufa). They now sit isolated and slowly crumbling away near the south end of the valley, surrounded by many square miles of flat, dried mud and with stark mountain ranges at either side.

During the Pleistocene, massive runoff spilled from the Sierra Nevada into a chain of inland seas. The system of interconnected lakes stretched from Mono Lake to Death Valley and included Searles Lake. Deep beneath Searles Lake, calcium-rich groundwater and alkaline lake water combined to grow tufa formations. Similar (modern) formations can be found today at Mono Lake to the north. Known as tufa pinnacles, these strange shapes formed underwater 10,000 to 100,000 years ago. The pinnacles did not all form at the same time. They are divided by age and elevation into three groups. The groups are dubbed the northern, middle, and southern groups because they formed during three ice ages.

The northern group is the youngest at 11,000 to 25,000 years old. These are the best examples of what are known as tufa towers. The northern group also include shapes called tombstones, ridges and cones. The small middle group claims only 100 spires, but boasts the tallest “tower”, rising 140 feet (43 m). The southern group, includes 200 tufa formations aged 32,000 to 100,000 years old.

The Pinnacles are recognizable in more than a dozen hit movies. Over thirty film projects a year are shot among the tufa pinnacles, including backdrops for car commercials and sci-fi movies and television series such as Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Disney’s Dinosaur, The Gate II: Trespassers, Lost in Space, and Planet of the Apes. The music video for Lady Gaga’s 2020 single “Stupid Love” was also filmed here.

Source: Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trona_Pinnacles

02-17-20 – Wander Sierra


A trip to nowhere in particular, just enjoying being outside and seeing the sights. This trip skirted around Lake Isabella and up into the Sequoia National Forest

01-04-20 – George Washington Carver National Monument


George Washington Carver National Monument is a unit of the National Park Service in Newton County, Missouri. The national monument was founded on July 14, 1943, by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who dedicated $30,000 to the monument. It was the first national monument dedicated to a black American and first to a non-president.

The site preserves of the boyhood home of George Washington Carver, as well as the 1881 Moses Carver house and the Carver cemetery. His boyhood home consists of rolling hills, woodlands, and prairies. The 240-acre (97 ha) park has a ​3⁄4-mile (1.2 km) nature trail, film, museum, and an interactive exhibit area for students.

The park is two miles west of Diamond along Missouri Route V and approximately ten miles southeast of Joplin.

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.

Source: Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington_Carver_National_Monument

01-03-20 – Gateway Arch National Park


Gateway Arch National Park, formerly known as the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial until 2018, is an American national park located in St. Louis, Missouri, near the starting point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The Gateway Arch and its immediate surroundings were initially designated as a national memorial by executive order on December 21, 1935, and redesignated as a national park in 2018. The park is maintained by the National Park Service (NPS).

The memorial was established to commemorate:
the Louisiana Purchase, and the subsequent westward movement of American explorers and pioneers;
the first civil government west of the Mississippi River; and
the debate over slavery raised by the Dred Scott case.

The national park consists of the Gateway Arch, a steel catenary arch that has become the definitive icon of St. Louis; a 91-acre (36.8 ha) park along the Mississippi River on the site of the earliest buildings of the city; the Old Courthouse, a former state and federal courthouse where the Dred Scott case originated; and the 140,000 sq ft (13,000 m2) museum at the Gateway Arch.

The Gateway Arch, known as the “Gateway to the West”, is the tallest structure in Missouri. It was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen and structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel in 1947 and built between 1963 and October 1965. It stands 630 feet (192 m) tall and 630 feet (192 m) wide at its base. The legs are 54 feet (16.5 m) wide at the base, narrowing to 17 feet (5.2 m) at the arch. There is a unique tram system to carry passengers to the observation room at the top of the arch.

Source: Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gateway_Arch_National_Park