Virtual Trip…USA

Durango, Colorado.

Durango is home of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, one of the most scenic North American train journeys. The spectacular ride aboard a historic, coal-fired, steam-powered train has been in operation since 1882. As the train winds through breathtaking canyons in the remote wilderness of the 728,000-hectare San Juan National Forest, you’ll experience the wilds of Colorado. Along the Million Dollar Highway, originally built in 1883, discover the ghost town of Animas Fork and the old silver-mining town of Silverton.
My you tube video of the start of the train journey from Durango to Silverton.
JC & CN enjoying ice creams!
In Durango 2012.

Silverton and a nice bit of Geology! 2010

Tiny and nestled between two rugged San Juan Mountain passes, Red Mountain and Molas, Silverton has been a tourist destination since its mining days, especially those pursuing new heights outdoors, from off road trails, wild camping and hiking, fishing and much more available in the district.

Bryce Canyon, Colorado

The Bryce Canyon area was settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1850s and was named after Ebenezer Bryce, who homesteaded in the area in 1874. The area around Bryce Canyon was originally designated as a national monument by President Warren G. Harding in 1923 but was redesignated as a national park by Congress in 1928. The park covers 35,835 acres (55.992 sq mi; 14,502 ha; 145.02 km2) and receives substantially fewer visitors than Zion National Park or Grand Canyon National Park, largely due to Bryce’s more remote location.

JC CN JB and MA June 2010

Bryce Canyon is not a single canyon, but a series of natural amphitheaters or bowls, carved into the edge of a high plateau. The most famous of these is the Bryce Amphitheater (pictured below), which is filled with irregularly eroded spires of rocks called hoodoos. Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunset Point, and Sunrise Point are the four main viewpoints.


If it weren’t for an artist and a photographer, Yellowstone National Park might never have become the world’s first national park in 1872. For years rugged explorers returned from the Yellowstone region with stories of a strange landscape dotted with steaming pools and shooting geysers. Most people passed them off as myth.

Things changed dramatically in 1871 when artist Thomas Moran and photographer William Henry Jackson joined a 40-day geological survey to document the area. Through brushstrokes of paint and a camera lens, Moran and Jackson captured the wonders of Old Faithful, the beauty of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and the splendor of Hayden Valley. When Congress viewed the men’s work in 1871, it had an electrifying effect. In 1872, Congress and President Ulysses Grant created Yellowstone National Park.

Thomas Moran
William Henry Jackson with a load of photographic equipment on the summit of Mount Washburn, Yellowstone Park, c1872.

Cone Geysers

Old Faithful 2010

Old Faithful is an example of a cone geyser. They are visible on Earth’s surface as mounds of porous deposits of siliceous sinter (geyserite). They typically produce steady eruptions lasting several seconds or minutes. The duration of Old Faithful’s eruptions ranges from 1.5 to 5.5 minutes. Billowing steam and 3,700 to 8,400 gallons (14,000 to 32,000 litres) of hot water are ejected at each eruption. The geyser’s fountainlike columns reach heights averaging about 130–140 feet (40–43 metres), although eruption height can exceed 180 feet (55 metres). During an eruption, the water temperature at the geyser’s opening is about 203–204 °F (95–95.6 °C).

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone 2010
Pass this bull bison at your peril!


Hubbard Glacier, Alaska

Hubbard Glacier, Alaska

Hubbard Glacier, which is found in Disenchantment Bay at the end of Yakutat Bay, is one of more than 110,000 glaciers in Alaska and North America’s largest tidewater glacier. Hubbard Glacier was named in 1890 for Gardiner G. Hubbard, who was the founder of the National Geographic Society.

As cruise ships enter Yakutat Bay, Hubbard Glacier can be seen from more than 30 miles away. This massive Alaska glacier is a staggering 76 miles long, 6.5 miles wide, and 1,200 feet deep. Its face is more than 400 feet high, which is as high as a 30–40 story building.

The Malaspina Glacier is also found in Yakutat Bay. Malaspina is a piedmont glacier, does not reach into the bay, and is difficult to see from a ship, even though it is about the size of Switzerland!

This tidewater glacier in southeast Alaska is not like the others; it’s advancing, and threatens to transform a fjord into a lake.

Off the coast of Yakutat—200 miles NW of Juneau—Hubbard is certainly gigantic: it’s more than six miles wide where it meets the ocean. It’s also been very active in the past, having had two major surges in the past 30 years. Those surges were big enough to cross the bay, turning the fjord into a lake and threatening to flood the coastal town of Yakutat. For now, the glacier isn’t surging but often calves. The face is up to 400 feet tall, and icebergs 3 to 4 stories in height aren’t uncommon. Granted, most of that ice is below water, but the ice can be so thick that cruise ships can’t get too close. In the right conditions, however, ships might be able to get within 1/2 mile of the face.

Symbols of the USA

Virtual Trip… Mexico

Image by Alfonso Moreno from Pixabay

Although this UNESCO World Heritage site has attracted a deal attention in the last few years it still remains quite untouched and protected, it’s a treasure for visitors who want to enjoy vibrant colors, wonderful architecture and stunning cobblestone streets.

Google maps

Paracho, Michoacan: A haven for music lovers where some of the world’s best guitars are made.

Guitars made in Paracho

Virtual Trip… the Galapagos

Galápagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands are a province of Ecuador, and a volcanic archipelago lying in the Pacific Ocean nearly 850 miles (1369 km) west of Quito in Ecuador. Of the 21 volcanoes in the Galápagos 13 are active!
The wildlife has been studied there since Charles Darwin first visited in 1835 on HMS Beagle where his studies of native finches later inspired his theory of evolution work on “The Origin of the Species”.


Since 1835, there have been over 60 recorded eruptions on 6 of the volcanoes. Scientists are fascinated by how such a delicate ecosystem – complete with its own micro climate – exists in such a volatile place! Historically, the critically endangered wildlife of the Galapagos has always been on the brink of destruction

Charles Robert Darwin 1809-1882

Portrait by John Collier 1883 a copy of an earlier work.
Image by WikiImages from Pixabay

Charles Darwin

The Flag

Virtual trip…Easter island

Annexed by Chile in 1888 the 63 square mile island is one of the world’s most isolated. It is approximately 5688miles (9154 km) east of Sydney and 2,180 miles (3,510 km) west of Chile. Easter Island has a maximum altitude of only 1,663 feet (507 meters) and has no permanent source of fresh water. Like many Pacific Islands, the physical landscape is dominated by volcanic topography and it was formed geologically by three extinct volcanoes.

Moai Statues, image from pixabaydotcom
Image from Pixabaydotcom

The Anthem

Easter Island’s Flag