Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Exploring America


Red Rock Country (Sedona, Arizona):Massive red-rock monoliths bearing the descriptive names of Bell Rock, Courthouse, Church House and Steamboat stand as sentinels guarding the town snuggled under the dominating and awesome Mogollon Rim, the southwestern boundary of the Colorado Plateau. This rugged, geological uplift, dotted with stalwart volcanic cones reaching nearly 13,000 feet in height, speaks of eons of cataclysmic activity. Fossilized sea shells and dinosaur tracks, embedded when the sandstone was merely mud, leads one to imagine how the area appeared during a much wetter period and to conjecture on the forces that shaped this magnificent and stunning locale.

The upper Mississippi River:The Mississippi River is the second-longest river in the United States,with a length of 2,320 miles (3,730 km) from its source in Lake Itasca in Minnesota to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Mississippi River is part of the Missouri-Mississippi river system, which is the largest river system in North America and among the largest in the world: by length (3,900 miles (6,300 km)), it is the fourth longest, and by its average discharge of 572,000 cu ft/s (16,200 m³/s), it is the tenth largest.
The name Mississippi is derived from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi ("Great River") or gichi-ziibi ("Big River").

Hawaii’s Na Pali Coast:On the North Shore of Kauai, the incredible Napali Coast overlooks panoramic views of the vast Pacific Ocean. Along this spectacular coastline, you can walk amongst velvet green cliffs towering into the sky and cascading waterfalls plummeting into deep, narrow valleys.
The only land access to this enchanted place is via the Kalalau Trail, an 11-mile trail that crosses five different valleys and ends at secluded Kalalau Beach. The hike into Kalalau is often challenging, and sometimes even dangerous, with narrow sections and heavy rainfall that can make the topsoil muddy.
Many hikers choose to break the trail up into two days, setting up camp at the beach of Hanakapiai, then heading to Kalalau the next morning. Camping permits are required from the State Parks office in Lihue. A trail guide is recommended and hiking during the winter months is discouraged.

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