Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Graffiti Mesa, Valley of Names, California

During World War II, soldiers training in the desert north of Yuma, Arizona, started decorating a site they called “Graffiti Mesa,” using rocks to write out their names in the white sand. They expressed their feelings by placing stones on a piece of deserted land. They hoped that, even if they may never return home, their loved ones would get to see their message. The different sizes and shapes of rocks have taken many years to take in 10,000 names embedded in the desert floor maintained by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management). The Valley of the Names is covered in beautiful white sand, which creates a strong contrast against the dark-colored rocks. Due to the fact, that the land is barren for miles, each person must bring their rocks from the outlying desert.
The tradition treasure continued on after the war and the graffitied area bigger and bigger. Nowadays over 1,200 acres of land are decorated with signatures, messages, dates, initials, and drawings. The mesa, commonly known as the “Valley of the Names,” located in Winterhaven, Calfornia. It is made up of hard-packed white sand, and the earliest names are arranged using black lava rocks that stand in sharp contrast. It is well preserved land filled area, where you can express your feelings by placing stones on a piece of deserted land. The land is barren for miles around, which means the rocks must be brought in from the outlying desert.
Some people have cheated by bringing bricks and spray-painted rocks from home. If you have a message or name then you require a 4-wheel drive vehicle to access the area. Once there, it’s likely to drive down, around, and through the hills and valleys covered by this exclusive rock art. Hence, you have to bring your own rocks; there are plenty of black rocks on the road leading in. People still leave their distinctive note to loved ones nowadays.
This unique desert has scheduled a clean-up day, when people go out there to clear away debris from the desert winds and replace rocks that might have been washed away in a storm. People are coming here on trips in Trackers, Jeeps or Rangers to fresh their memories which they have written even 20 years ago. Today they use the technology of GPS and record the coordinates so they can remember where it’s at, even find their name without that. Source: CP

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Wai-o-Tapu, Thermal Wonderland

Wai-o-Tapu means “sacred waters”, also spelt Waioyapu is an active geothermal area north of the Reporoa caldera, in New Zealand's. The geothermal area covers 18 square kilometers. Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is one of the most surreal places on earth so naturally it’s high on the list of Rotorua’s must-see attractions. The Taupo Volcanic Zone has dramatic geothermal conditions beneath the earth; the area has several hot springs noteworthy for their colorful appearance. This is a place to marvel at nature’s artistic splendor, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is also committed to providing a safe visitor experience.

There are many hot springs, like Lady Knox Geyser, Champagne Pool, Artist's Palette, Primrose Terrace and boiling mud pools. So, by foot, you can view the curated experience naturally forming hot springs appear around the area. Moreover, earlier to European occupation the area was the homeland of the Ngati Whaoa tribe who descended from those on the Arawa waka (canoe). Since 1931, the area has rich history of tourist attraction; well protected the scenic reserve occupies part of the reserve under a concession.
It operates under the name "Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland crosses Kaingaroa Forest, passes Murupara, and then continues as an unsealed road through the mountains of Te Urewera, along Lake Waikaremoana to Wairoa on the border of Hawke Bay. Wai-O-Tapu mud Pools are completely unforgettable experience was originally the site of a large mud volcano which was destroyed through erosion in the 1920’s. Moreover, the area in which the landscape has been sculptured by geothermal activity and where unique volcanic features can be viewed from well defined tracks.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Santa Rosa Blue Hole, New Mexico

On the east of Santa Rosa, there’s bell-shaped pool called Blue Hole located off Route 66 in New Mexico. Like several other natural pools of its similar types, the Santa Rosa Blue Hole is a small body of water that seems to fill a surprisingly deep hole in the ground with shockingly clear waters. The circular blue hole is one of most popular dive destination in the US for SCUBA diving and training session. The arid climes is a natural swimming hole that has a hidden system of underwater caves which were unexplored until 2013. The famous Blue Hole is an artesian well that was once used as a fish hatchery. The blue hole has clear water with a persistent 62 °F temperature and persistent inflow of 3,000 US gallons per minute.

Though the surface is only 80 feet in diameter, it expands to a diameter of 130 feet at the bottom. The site elevation is 4,616 ft, it is necessary for divers to use high-altitude dive tables to compute the dive profile and decompression stops when diving in the Blue Hole. The Santa Rosa deep hole was an ideal spot for scuba divers until two young divers became trapped in the pool’s tight underwater caves. After their deaths in 1976, the entrance to the caves was covered with a metal grate and all but forgotten.

In 2013, a group of adventurous divers were allowed to past the grate with the intention of mapping the system of unexplored caves. Therefore, their early probing was stymied by decades of debris and too tight passages but the excavation continues with a watchful eye towards safety lest further deaths close off the secretive caverns for decades to come. It’s still unclear how far back the caves go. The pool is open for public use with no lifeguards on duty, however another sad incident took place on March 26, 2016 when 43 year old California diver was exploring passageways where he became trapped and drowned.

In fact Santa Rosa Blue hole is a wonderful stop, where divers can jump off the rock or enter via the stairs across from the jumping rock. Santa Rosa is known as the "City of Natural Lakes," is overflowing with pristine bodies of water that provide an invigorating blue splash in an otherwise arid landscape. The Blue Hole, fed from an underwater aquifer, about 8,000 diving permits are issued per year from around the world. A super place particularly in a hot day, as water is cold and refreshing and if you get there earlier in the day before it gets churned up it is crystal clear. It is like a slice of the Caribbean in the middle of New Mexico.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Unalaska, The Town of Violent Bald Eagles

The magnificent bald eagle is the national bird of America, but most Americans are lucky to see one first-hand during their lifetimes. The Unalaska town offers classic examples of the striking nature you'll find throughout Alaska, but seems otherwise unremarkable. Then there's the unnatural amount of eagles here is due to Unalaska simply being a great place for the birds to score food. Unalaska is located on Unalaska Island and neighboring Amaknak Island in the Aleutian Islands off mainland Alaska. The small town of Unalaska, bald eagles are as common as pigeons are in other human settlements. The Unalaska is home of about 5,000 inhabitants, normally spare the space for bald eagles, who lurk above telephone poles, and stop lights watching for potential victims to sweep down upon, litter through trash, and steal grocery bags.

The view looks like out of a fairytale. Bald Eagles naturally built their nest up in trees, but Unalaska doesn’t have too many trees. So, Bald eagles find the other way to build their nests on cliffs, on the edge of town, and in manmade structures. The seven-foot wingspans, flesh-ripping beaks and vice-like talons, eagles rule the island. But why are there annual eagle attacks in Unalaska when raptors and humans peacefully coexist elsewhere in the state?

Therefore, it’s so easy to get a closer look of an eagle nest without even knowing it. The bald eagles get attacked anytime, which is why local law enforcement puts up warning signs all over the nesting season. The nesting season for America’s national bird runs from early June to the end of the summer. When going near their nests, they may be get angry and dislike it. So, local people constantly have a keep an eye out of the birds. There are almost ten cases every year, when people required medical attention after encounters with eagles with lacerated wounds. 

Moreover, fish is the favorite food of bald eagles, so during fishing season myriad eagles comes to scavenge and nest in the fishing town, creating lot of irritation to locals.  When fresh fish isn’t available, the birds will anything with meat, seagulls, ducks, squirrels, mice, the occasional raven, and human leftovers. Despite of all aspects, Unalaska is an excellent place to watch where you can take marvelous photographs. The bald eagles are called Dutch Harbor pigeons by locals. The bald eagles swarm every boat that comes into port, festooning the rigging by the dozen like baleful New Year ornaments.

Source: Charismatic Planet