Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cascades Ahead, Juan de Fuca Plate Off the Port Bow

Click on the illustration above 
to get up close and personal with this Cascadian view

Crater Lake was the first big stop on our recent trip into the Cascades.  It was also my first good long view of a range of mountains that first shoots up in my home state of California and dances all the way along through Oregon, Washington and into British Columbia.

The volcanic nature of many of these mountain peaks are all the fault of that boisterous Juan de Fuca plate. Or, if you prefer, you can blame it on Juan's kin, the troublesome North American plate. Skimming along towards each other atop the earth's mantle, at the rate of a couple of centimeters a year, both are headed on a disaster course.

As little Juan continues to converge into that big ole North American plate, watch out! Being more dense (of course since he's an oceanic plate) Juanito is just making trouble for himself. He's getting subducted under his bigger continental cousin. You'd think those oceanic plates would have figured out by now, that's the way the laws of plate tectonics work. But those kids never seem to learn!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Kickin' it in Our Sagebrush Sandals (Cascades:Crater Lake)

Crater Lake, California
Click on the illustration above,  to really enjoy the details

While we were walking along the rim of Crater Lake, I was already planning a return trip back to see more of that incredibly clean, blue, blue, blue water in the high, dry air.

I particularly liked reading the informative little sign about a pile of ten thousand year old  sandals an Oregon researcher found beneath volcanic ashes, demonstrating that people were probably living in this area before, and possibly during the eruption that created the crater that makes the lake basin. 

They were made out of sagebrush. Liiiiike, how comfortable would THOSE be to hike in?

There were dozens of pairs of shoes left. How come? Didn't somebody miss them? Could it be an ancient days Cinderella story?

A spot of time travel to solve this little mystery is definitely in order.
Perhaps an ancient Cinderella, ran off and left her sagebrush slippers behind

Sunday, August 19, 2012

That Burning Ring of Fire: Crater Lake and Annie Creek (Cascades: Crater Lake)

What is more traditionally Californian than an old-style driving vacation?

In early August we took a trip through the Cascades. Heading up the mountain to Crater Lake, we stopped off to see Annie Creek.  

A couple of very macho looking motorcyclists stopped off at the viewpoint near us.  One of them shook his head in wonder, A heck of a view of somethun! he remarked before hopping back onto his bike.

Annie Creek reminds us westerners that we're all sitting on top of that burning Ring of Fire, a great big circle that overlays Mama Earth's volcanic hot spots. 

If we peer to far over the side, might we just sliiiiippppp under the edge of one of her tectonic plates?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

California Summertime

Summer time is dry
Baking Edgewood wildflowers
Deep below seeds wait