+3 votes
in Arts & Humanities by

Returning to Washington State after five years in Iowa has meant seeing the natural wonders here with new eyes...and much of western Washington is glacier-scoured, so very fertile. Here is a look at the tulip fields near Puyallup in April, backdrop Mt. Rainier; at 14,410 feet (4,392 m) our tallest mountain! I will be doing some camping and hiking on this mountain this summer...


4 Answers

+3 votes

I remember driving (not hiking) up Mt. Rainier and being awe-struck by its misty peak. I could well understand why mountains like that are regarded as sacred in many places.

On Long Island, there are no mountains, but Great Peconic Bay is pretty good. :)



Dear Other Tink,

Great Peconic Bay is indeed lovely! I have driven up the Hudson River a few times as far as Rhinebeck, roaming through the Catskills a bit...even circling through Cape May and the ferry over Chesapeake Bay...but never Long Island...


Hi Virginia,

I want to ride in one of the antique planes at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome! :)



What a country rich in history is New York. I still recall all the Revolutionary War battlefields and monuments I saw...plus the grand old estates along the Hudson - and most especially the home of FDR, now a museum. It was there I began to understand more of his role in WWII.

+4 votes

For me? It's beautiful Lake Tahoe.



Truly beautiful, Rooster...I did some prowling online because I do not know much about Lake Tahoe...and learned it is one of only a few lakes in North America that does not empty into an ocean! The Truckee River flows south into Pyramid Lake.

Also, some of the same subduction that ended up with Lake Tahoe also created Mt. St. Helens in Washington, famous for its eruption in 1980.


+4 votes

New River Gorge is always a beautiful place to see


The Grist mill at Babcock state park is also a nice destination.



Angela, I was anticipating what beauty you might select in West Virginia, since I have not been there (yet)...I did some Googling, and learned that "New" River is actually one of the oldest rivers on the continent!

It's beautiful, ty.

+2 votes

Most of the natural sites are relatively close, but many ways lead through rugged zones, and closer points of interest may take longer than those accessible over more direct ways.

As most of the famous sites are well known, I'll switch to some less crowded natural areas, over the whole country:

image Grande Cariçaie, near Estavayer

image Piz Palü, Grischun

image Tour de Mayen + Tour d'Aï, near Leysin

image Lake Oeschinen, Bernese Alps

 image Pyramides d'Euseigne, Val d'Hérens

image Munt Chavagl, Grischun

image Saut du Doubs, NE

image Verzasca, TI


Marianne these are lovely! I was especially intrigued by the pyramids in the Val d'Hérens, and you must be correct about less crowded areas, because all the websites are in French and I could not really find any good explanation of how they were formed! I did see they are caused by the erosion of the moraine, of which only columns remain are protected by large stone blocks...and that they are also called fairy chimneys!

Later I will look up more about the Grande Cariçaie, because that terrain resembles an estuary, which I was not expecting in Switzerland! Meanwhile, could not resist bringing this photo...where a tunnel has been since 1947, I learned. Thank you!



You're very welcome, Virginia, and thank you.

I was sure that the "fairy chimneys" would surprise you, as you have many on your side of the Big Pond.

As to all the less known sites, I'll have to look for more links in English.

Many specifications have not (or not yet) been translated, but there are some mainstream "guides", which could provide some information in English.

La Grande Cariçaie (lake shore): http://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/the-grande-caricaie-reserve.html

For T(h)ink (in German): https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grande_Cari%C3%A7aie

Piz Palü: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piz_Pal%C3%BC

Tour de Mayen: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tour_de_Mayen

Tour d'Aï: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tour_d%27A%C3%AF

Oeschinen Lake: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oeschinen_Lake

Val d'Hérens: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Val_d%27H%C3%A9rens

Euseigne: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euseigne


Fairy chimneys (you have them too): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoodoo_(geology)

(Hérens cattle - known for the fighting cows): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%A9rens_cattle

Swiss National Park: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_National_Park


Doubs river: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doubs_(river)

Verzasca: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verzasca_(river)



Marianne, I enjoyed the link about the Grande Cariçaie...the marshes interspersed with alluvial forests...they even gave an audio pronunciation for Cariçaie!

I was interested in the 'fairy pyramids' because they somewhat resemble the tufa towers in Mono Lake, perhaps not all that far from where Rooster lives in California! However, the formation is entirely different, as the tufa towers are calcium carbonate, formed because Mono Lake is a terminal lake so when freshwater creeks feed into the salty water of this no-outlet lake, these towers form as a result of the currents mixing!

I am guessing that at Val d'Hérens, the moraines must have been a conglomerate of  various kinds of stone which eroded at different rates, leaving behind the sturdier stuff of those towers...?

Oh, btw I found a nice photo of those tufa towers for you, once when I was traveling I stopped at midnight to sleep, and when I awakened in the morning, this was the sight that took my breath away! I camped there at Mono Lake for several days...just stunningly beautiful, fascinating ecology.



Marianne all this just illustrates how dynamic the Earth is! The Paratethys Sea through Eurasia...and the Mediterranean Sea going dry, along with a sudden cooling of climate? ...remarkable!

And the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Carpathians, the Caucasus, and even the Himalayas are all part of the same orogenous Alpide belt - with side effects extending north and east as far as the Isle of Wight?

And all these ancient pre-continents sailing around and colliding with each other...one of those links describes the collision of India with Asia going on now for 50 million years, and showing NO signs of abating...


Yes, Virginia, it is amazing; the Alpide belt is very long - in spite of many "interruptions", the connection between its different reliefs is evident, and the tectonic activity, or "pressure" from the "South", goes on, raising the "remaining sections" of the Alpide belt.