As promised, here are a few more pictures of the Trona Pinnacles. I know it's been a while; it's been a very busy few weeks here. But Christmas is over, I'm finally getting settled in to the new place, and my routines are slowly renewing their control over my life, so here we go. The picture above isn't really a scary-ass man with a halo, it's just a rock with the sun placed conveniently behind it. But you can see why maybe some location scout thought this might be a good place to film a Forbidden Zone or two.
As I didn't get a chance to explain last time, the Trona Pinnacles were once formations at the bottom of an inland sea in southern California. Now they are formations in the middle of a desert in southern California. Geology is quirky that way. I took the following photo from the top of one of the pinnacles. There was absolutely no one and nothing for as far as I could see (except for the borax mining company we passed on the way in; much of the ground on the way out to the pinnacles is white with borax. Pretty neat looking) and there were no signs telling us we couldn't climb them, so of course one is obligated to do so.
I put up many many more very forbidding shots over at my smugmug page, as usual. The Trona gallery is here. And now for...
Meteor Crater Arizona! After our 2 days at that really large canyon, we headed down to Flagstaff Arizona to see what was what. The first thing I wanted to do, naturally enough, was to blow right past town and head out to Winslow where a meteor crashed into our dear home not too long ago, around 42,000 B.C. and made yet another really really big hole in the ground. It's hard to get an idea of the size of this thing from the photo... hell it was kind of hard to get a good perspective on it standing right at its rim! Granted, it's not even close to the immensity of the Grand Canyon, but this is a very different beast and equally as cool for different reasons. So here's a gauging aid:
That itty bitty pebble on the top of the rim, directly above the viewing scope is indeed the size of a house. Big crater. Small meteor. Makes one really hope that we figure out a way to blast bigger rocks out of the Earth's path jackrabbit quick. I mean, an even better way than sending oil rig drillers into space. (That would be an Armageddon reference, by the by. What's the opposite of creative genius? Michael Bay, that's what) It was so windy the day we were here that I was actually picked up off my feet slightly when I tried to go up past an area they had roped off so I could get a better shot. That was neat. I of course have my Meteor Crater gallery with more photos over at smugmug. Anyway, back in Flagstaff...
We visited the Lowell Observatory! Percival Lowell thought he'd discovered canals on Mars back in like 1895 with this very telescope! What a maroon. I'd loved that story since hearing about it from Carl Sagan in Cosmos, which I'd read long before seeing the TV series. Because of his mistake, he fired up many a young boy's imagination with thoughts of Mars and Martians, culminating in HG Wells' War of the Worlds. Pluto was discovered here, as well as the observation that the galaxies were receding from us very very fast which lead to the discovery that the Universe is expanding. Good scientific history. The telescope was also awesome to visit because it just looks so damn cool. Very Steampunk. Those are truck tires which rotate the roof of the observatory so that the telescope can be pointed at any direction in the sky. Here's a quick video I took:
The only other thing notable in Flagstaff was the hotel we stayed at, the Monte Vista. It has a bunch of hokey ghost stories about it which Miss Luongo posted about already. Parts of Casablanca were filmed there, and it's one of those places where movie stars love to check in. We stayed in the room in which Lee Marvin resided while filming some western or other. Wicked. Flagstaff Gallery is here.
So I actually have more stuff, but I'm tired of this post. I'll save it for the next one. I took way too many pictures this trip and had way too much free time, causing me to visit way too many Arizona attractions. Ugh. Work is hell.