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travels in geology

Getting There And Getting Around Oregon

To visit Crater Lake, fly into Portland, rent a car and take a five-hour ride down Interstate 5 and a couple of smaller highways to Crater Lake National Park. If you’re not pressed for time, take scenic routes 26 and 97 along the crest of the Cascades mountain range, where you’ll pass by 3,426-meter-tall Mount Hood, 3,200-meter-tall Mount Jefferson and 2,375-meter-tall Mount Washington. The closest large towns to the park are Bend, a picturesque ski town in the shadow of the Three Sisters and Mount Bachelor volcanoes 180 kilometers north of the park, and Medford, a town with a small airport — with daily flights from Portland — in the Rogue River Valley 120 kilometers southwest of the park. Bend/Redmond also has an airport. 

 
12 Sep 2010

Travels in Geology: Clear water and cataclysm at Oregon's Crater Lake

Today, Crater Lake in southwestern Oregon is known for being one of the deepest, clearest lakes in the world. In 5,700 B.C., however, the scenery stunned witnesses for a very different reason: The eruption and collapse of Mount Mazama that created Crater Lake is thought to be one of the greatest geologic catastrophes ever witnessed by humans. A trip to Crater Lake National Park will not only redefine your concept of nature’s bluest blue, but it’s also an opportunity to bear witness to the peaceful aftermath of one of Earth’s great cataclysms. 

12 Sep 2010

Getting There And Getting Around Zürich

Most visitors to Scuol fly into Zürich, and either stay to check out the old yet modern cosmopolitan banking city or grab a train straight to the Lower Engadine Valley. A train ride to Scuol from Zürich’s main station (Hauptbahnhof in German) takes just under three hours, with a transfer at Landquart. The trip provides passengers with amazing views of the Swiss Alps. Check ZVV.ch or SBB.ch for fares and schedules. If you plan to continue traveling south by train, into Italy’s dolomites, consider buying a Eurailpass to save some money. Once you’re in Scuol, try the Post Bus for day trips.

 
11 Aug 2010

Travels in Geology: Lower Engadine Valley, Switzerland

Standing on the dark rocks beneath the small Swiss town of Scuol, you can look up into the surrounding chalk-white mountains and see the view from Europe to Africa. Or rather, you can gaze from the European continental rocks that pave the valley to the mountains above, which are made up of what was once the African Plate, before tectonic forces pushed it up and over the European continent.

11 Aug 2010

Getting There and Getting Around Costa Rica

Most people traveling to Costa Rica fly into Juan Santamaría International Airport, outside of the capital of San José. The small city of Alajuela is actually closer to the airport, and some travelers stay there to avoid the capital’s congestion on their way into or out of the country. A second international airport in Liberia, in the northwest, allows for quicker access to the beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula. Visitors with lots of time and a sense of adventure can take the long drive from the United States, via the Pan-American Highway (called the Inter-American Highway in Central America). 

 
11 Jul 2010

Travels in Geology: Volcanoes, beaches and rainforests: Terrain hopping in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is the happiest place on Earth, according to a 2009 survey by a London economic think tank. Credit the strong coffee and refreshing batidos — milkshakes with fresh banana, papaya, mango or some other tropical treat — and the country’s pura vida attitude that celebrates living life to the fullest. 

11 Jul 2010

Getting There and Getting Around Montana

To get to the Bitterroot Valley, you can fly into Missoula, Helena, Great Falls or Kalispell (or any number of other smaller airports), or drive. Amtrak runs to several cities in Montana, but none are close enough that you wouldn’t still need to rent a car to get to the valley. But once there, you’ll need a car or a bike to get around anyway. Biking is quite popular in the valley, where the roads are mostly flat and bike lanes parallel the highway. You’ll often see people on bikes with camping gear strapped to their backs.

 
11 Jun 2010

Travels in Geology: Floods, Fires and Bears in Montana's Bitterroot Valley

Everything is big in Big Sky country: big mountains, big rivers, big glaciers, big floods and big bears. Montana itself is such a big place that it would take a lifetime to explore the whole state, so visitors are better off picking a few hot spots. Glacier National Park in far northern Montana may be the state’s most popular tourist destination, but Missoula and the Bitterroot Valley, a scenic four-hour drive south of the park, should also top any geo-traveler’s must-see list. 

11 Jun 2010

Travels in Geology: Patagonia: The ends of the earth

Patagonia, a region encompassing much of the southern halves of Argentina and Chile, may seem more mythical than real. As the author found, the glacial landscape is full of grandiose mountains, crystal blue lakes, wildflowers, fossils and stunning glaciers. The adventure is well worth the trip.
03 May 2010

Venturing into Argentina

We chose to spend most of our time on the Chilean side of Patagonia, although you could just as easily decide to spend your entire trip on the Argentine side. But if you follow an itinerary similar to ours (see main story), it’s still worth a jaunt into Argentina. The town of El Calafate, an inexpensive five-hour bus ride from Puerto Natales, Chile, is a great place to sample wines from the Mendoza region and try the local delicacy, crucified lamb. The sheep is affixed to a steel cross and roasted slowly over a campfire. The resulting image is graphic, but the meat is tender and savory. El Calafate is also the gateway to Glaciers National Park. This park is home to many wondrous sights, but prime among them is the Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina’s top tourist attraction. 
 
03 May 2010

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