Granitic rocks form the backdrop of iconic landscapes worldwide – from the narrow ridge of Machu Picchu to the massive walls of Yosemite Valley. In southern Idaho, City of Rocks National Reserve contains a “sculpture garden” of granitic rock outcrops with a different appearance from most other granites. They are a result of unusual geologic processes – an interesting story.
California and other Western US states are facing another major drought, with a snowpack that is approximately 50% of normal throughout the region. The wildfire season is already underway also, stoking fears of fire in treasured places, among them majestic Yosemite Valley.
Some of us really like the mineral quartz – and for excellent reasons. Quartz is a major building block of my favorite landscapes, found in the granitic rocks forming the Andes Mountains and the Sierra Nevada; the sandy beaches along the California coast; the vast sand dunes of Death Valley and the Sahara Desert, and the Red Rock geologic units in Arches, Capital Reef, Zion.....
A curious fact: Arabian Peninsula countries import tremendous amounts of sand. There is no shortage of this material in the Arabian Desert – beautiful quartz grains that have blown around for eons and are now [...]
When Alex Honnold climbed El Capitan, the 3,200 foot high sheer rock face in Yosemite on June 3, 2017 – alone, and without any equipment for fall protection -- it was an epic feat that [...]