Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday's Travels

Many of us have fascinating stories to tell about places we have visited around the world. These stories are often accompanied by captivating images we can all enjoy on the blog. The theme of this day is verbalized by Mark Twain who said, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."


The San Andreas Fault

We are in for a treat today for two reasons...the subject matter of this post and the fact that it comes from a friend and teacher many of us know.

Cynthia Baird taught at our community college before she moved to San Diego. She is an artist as well as a teacher and though she has been gone for a while, my students still remind me of the things they learned from her about working with their photography and images.

Being in California and a geologist by trade, it is not surprising that she ventured out to the San Andreas Fault. Here is what she has to say about her visit there along with some pictures she took:

"Joshua Tree National Park is for those who love their scenery without a lot of that old green stuff to cover up the rocks and land forms. In other words, this is a true desert--dry, dusty, pretty much untouched by man and beautiful to those of us who love the physical history of our planet.


The San Andreas Fault knifes along the western edge of the park, snaking north from the Gulf of California to San Francisco northward and finally plunging into the Pacific Ocean around the Seattle area. The attached pictures show the fault itself and then an explanatory sign at Keys View. The day I took these pictures it was bitter cold with a blustery wind but I still had to get out of the RV and snap these with my phone camera.


The best time to visit this park is March, April, May--the cactii and wildflowers will bloom somewhere in this timeframe. Check the park calendar on line to get a better idea. Bloom time is dependent on winter and spring rain (if any) and temperatures, so check the calendar before you come. The park has hiking trails, rock climbing, wildlife and an off-road 4-wheel geology trail.


This park is not for everyone. It would be hard to appreciate without some research before a visit-it reminds me of Big Bend. So do your research and on your next trip to the San Diego Area, take a little 2 hour side trip to this interesting land of geologic history, desert plants and wildlife."

The text below the following image is from this explanatory sign at Keys View.

"If you stood on this same spot next year you would likely be two inches southeast of where you are now. In six years the distance will be one foot, in 60 years 10 feet. If you were to return here in 3 million years the same spot would be about 100 miles southeast—all compliments of the San Andreas fault.

The San Andreas fault is in the middle distance of your view, marked by the Indio Hills. It is here that the Pacific Ocean crust (a continental plate) slides past the North American crust, sending shock waves that quake the earth and incrementally change the landscape over time. The action of the San Andreas fault is part of a geologic chain of events that caused the uplift of the distant mountains, thus creating a rain shadow that contributes to the region’s present arid climate.

The San Andreas fault stretches 500 miles Northwest through San Francisco, California and out into the Pacific."

Our special thanks to Cynthia Baird for her contribution to Tuesday's Travels! If you would like to keep track of what she is up to, visit her new blog at http://www.sandiegopostcards.blogspot.com/.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you sharing this with others. I want to visit the park ASAP! Lovely photos!

Frank Fandrick said...

Very well done, as you would expect.

Sage said...

Love the way you explained thisand yes it makes you wonder.