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California, USA

I am learning that California is pleasantly diverse and geologically quite remarkable.  From volcanoes - both active and ancient, to earthquake geology to fossil beds  to deep blue glacial lakes, scenic rugged coastlines, natural rock columns and towering granite domes and walls, California is one place I can spend many years exploring and still not be completely satisfied that I have seen it all.  Here are our explorations thus far....

United States of America (USA)

USA is an awesome place to explore.  Lacking much of the known history that Europe has, United States has a diversity of natural landscape that is hard to beat.  From red rock canyons to massive granite rock formations, to volcanoes, to rocky columns and towers, to amazing waterfalls, to fossil beds and amazing coastlines, United States has something for every nature lover, and every so often, a few things for a history lover.  Here are our recent explorations by state:

Colorado

Our last spring break led us to explore parts of Colorado. I was hoping to see some of the blue alpine lakes I had seen in so many pictures, but early April proved to be a-less-than-ideal time of year for high-country Colorado alpine lakes.  Most high elevation lakes were frozen over in a crisp translucent white sheet, the roads leading to it known for being narrow, winding and icy, and our sea-level bodies would not fare very well walking in snow, cold temperatures and high elevation. Given all those reasons, we opted for the shorter, easier hikes that were somewhat easy to get to in Colorado Springs and Boulder, in addition to the ones in Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Rings Trail, Mojave National Preserve, California

This hike was an exciting one, though short in distance.  The trailhead we took was off the parking lot loop (Not the picnic area) which led us past some petroglyphs, over some short desert brush, and under giant light colored rocks dotted with many many holes.

Trona Pinnacles, San Bernardino County, California

If you are looking for an otherworldly landscape, this is the place for you. A skyline made up of about 500 tall tufa spires dotted the barren landscape as we walked in an ancient dry lakebed named Searle Lake. Searle Lake was one of many lakes filled with glacial meltwater connecting the Sierra Nevada to Death Valley as glaciers melted from the Sierra Nevada mountain range.  According to one of the information boards, half of  all of earth's minerals are found on this lake bed, one of which is trona, the park's namesake.