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Califonia, 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....

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, San Jose, CA

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum is an interesting museum in the Bay Area with real mummies, both human and animals, and many casts of different Egyptian artifacts. Though not a huge Museum, it is a good introduction to the Egyptian culture, in my opinion. There is a replica of a tomb below the museum, and a free guided tour daily (included in admission ticket), explaining the different burial practices.  Note the unfinished portion of the painting on the tomb wall near the right - which was not uncommon.  Ancient Egyptians had to be buried at 70 days after death, never longer, so the painters likely had to stop their work before it was finished when the 70th day arrived.

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:

Kohala Coast - Northwestern Big Island

Spencer Beach to Hapuna Beach via Ala Kahakai Trail

The Ala Kahakai Trail is an old trail from the time of the Hawaiian Kings connecting the Kings' roads and fisherman's trails. Currently, only small portions are maintained and signed as hiking trails. From Spencer Beach to Hapuna Beach is a 5-6 mile return hike with fairly minimal elevation gain with occasional short climbs onto lava rocks. Spencer Beach at the north end looked to be a local beach, with many local campers.

Dinosaurs in Utah  

Dinosaur National Monument, Jensen, Utah

Our first dinosaur encounter occurred toward the end of our trip on the Utah side of Dinosaur National Monument. We visited Quarry Visitor Center at 9am and were told the Dinosaur Quarry Exhibit Hall was to open at 9:30am. Normally, there would be shuttles or a caravan escort hourly, but on the day of our visit, the Ranger told us to drive to the Exhibit Hall at our leisure. There was a 1-mile trail connecting the Visitor Center to the Exhibit Hall, but unfortunately, for the most of this year, the Fossil Trail will be closed due to a recent landslide, (estimated opening September 2017). Fossil Trail is also a hike where one would most likely encounter fossils, according to a Ranger.