Thursday, 31 January 2019

Hanging Lake Colorado

Almost 1,000 feet up the steep walls of Glenwood Canyon, a natural hides away a basin full of water the color of Paris green, waterfalls roaring near the brittle shoreline of travertine. The bottom of lake is fully visible through crystal clear waters. This majestic lake is unearthed by a gold hunting prospector.  Hanging Lake was a private homestead and family retreat until falling into the hands of Glenwood Springs in 1910.

This is well protected by the White River Forest Service; this is a popular stop for those willing to take a short but steep hike to see the trout-filled, glacially formed watery haven seemingly suspended from the side of the canyon. Just a few hundred yards behind Hanging Lake is yet another waterfall, Spouting Rock, which jets through holes in the canyon walls.

The discovery of the lake tells of a man searching for gold in the canyon. The man found a dead horse at the opening of a gulch. When he followed the gulch up through the steep hillside through the canyon he came around the backside of the lake. This is how he first saw the small bowl-like basin hanging onto the cliffs below. As the time goes, the area served as a homestead and a private family retreat until it was purchased by Glenwood Springs after the Taylor Bill was passed by Congress in 1910.

Following the acquisition it started its extensive history as a public tourist stop. In the 1940s there is hosted a resort and cafe until the construction of Interstate-70 commenced in 1968. Hence, in 1972, the trail and the lake were returned to the protection of the Forest Service as part of the White River National Forest. This has been a progressively popular tourist destination since.

In 2011, the lake was named a National Natural Landmark by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. The brittle shoreline of Hanging Lake is composed of travertine, created by dissolved limestone from the Mississippian Period Leadville Formation is deposited on rocks and logs, creating travertine layers.

Hanging Lake is located on a fault line and was formed when roughly an acre and a half of the valley floor sheared off from the fault and dropped to what is now the shallow bed of the lake. The turquoise colors of the lake are produced by carbonate minerals that have dissolved in the water. You'll also have several benches to relax and soak in the sublime beauty of this 1.5-acre lake.

Hanging Lake is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Colorado approximately 3.2 miles round trip, and two hours of hiking time. Behind the lake, hikers will discover Spouting Rock, a much larger waterfall that flows from a set of holes in the limestone cliffs of Dead Horse Canyon. Hanging Lake receives over 131,000 visitors per year. Because of the high amount of traffic, Hanging Lake faces the threats of ecological disruption.

Thousands of visitors and their effects of wading and swimming by humans and dogs are having a significant impact on the strange ecosystem of the lake. No dogs are allowed on the trailhead or left behind in cars. No fishing or swimming is allowed at the lake. This precious natural wonder is one we all must work together to protect by respecting the rules. Source: CP

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

The Natural Rodadero Slides Cusco, Peru

There is a huge rock formation across from the impressive Inca citadel of Sacsayhuamán which the Incas carved benches, altars, steps, and many other ceremonial features. It is a sparkling diorite rock outcrop, situated directly across from the Cyclopean in the northeastern Suchuna sector of the archaeological park. It is built by the Killke culture served as both a military and ceremonial complex massive zigzagging walls and you’ll come to the Rodadero, also known as the Suchuna.

These are manmade natural slides that undulate their way down the hill. Geographically, it is the formation of diorite igneous rock that emerged by modulating its surface with bulges and stretch marks in the shape of slides. The children of the Inca, and their descendants have played for hundreds of years.

This natural hillside playground, which looks like a massive glittering greenish white oyster shell, visitors scamper up the sides to slide down the glass-smooth ruts. The well-polished slides are an odd, incongruous sight among the straight lines of monumental Inca architecture. However, erratic with Sacsay huamán’s general vibe of military power and somber ceremony.

The Rodadero was documented by a few innovative archaeologists of the 19th century. It is said that the Inca youth entertained themselves in coursing through these polished grooves on festival days. That was custom which the youth of Cuzco have not allowed to fall into disuse.  In Spanish and Quechua respectively, Rodadero and Suchuna mean “slide.” The names bring up to a series of smooth rock channels that run down one section of the hill.

A smooth rolling stone, served for diversion to the inhabitants, by rolling like a garden roller, having a sort of hollow formed in the middle through friction. So, be sure to wear long jeans/pants and enjoy the smooth stone slide of the Inca. Moreover, according to Moores and Wahl in The Art of Geology, there are three theories have been advanced to explain the formation of the “toboggan slide” glacial, volcanic, and structural. 

Most likely, the grooves shaped when blocks of rock moved past each other along a fault. The hill maybe is the polished surface of an almost flat fault. That polishing expected continued for at least the last few centuries, humankind’s propensity for sliding down things.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Râpa Roșie, Romania

Romania’s interrupted by a jagged red anomaly is guarded by the steep walls of the Râpa Roșie (Red Ravine). This is a natural geological reserve on the southwesterly part of the Secaşelor Plateau. Râpa Roșie is a protected area, in Alba County, Romania. It is a geological and botanical reserve with a size of approximately 24 hectares; the reserve is classified as IUCN Category III. Erosion and runoff has given it a prominent appearance in the mountainside. The water has carved deep into the gravel, sandstone, and quartz of the plateau’s sublayer, creating unusual natural spiked towers and pyramid shapes in the red clay. When the water falls into the ravines it makes a roaring sound. 

The result is frequently matched to the Grand Canyon; however, it’s not quite as huge. Râpa Roșie measures stretch over a length of 800 meters. The Rapa Rosie tallest peaks are about 300 feet. Over the last 60 million years, it is also ever-evolving, torrential rains cause obvious changes to the folds in the exclusively steep slopes. Tiered columns and pyramids, separated by ravines, form a badlands microrelief. Specialized studies showed there are 145 plant species of 41 families and 8 endangered species are characteristic to this area.

In 1865, the first archaeological exploration made by Fr. W. Schuster, revealed remnants of large and small pottery that had ornamentation, which also attested to the Coţofeni culture. The Red Ravine remains relatively unidentified, even to those who have lived nearby for years. There are local tales of World War I soldiers passing through the red ravine in order to get to Alba Iulia. Where are at the end of the war, representatives declared the union of Transylvania and Romania. Many other natural attractions nearby, archaeological excavations were carried out here and the remains of Coţofeni culture were found, as well as dinosaur bones of the early Miocene period (~15-23 million years ago).

The geological monument is easily called a natural wonder due to gravel, quartz sands, and sandstones. The deposits are the distinct succession of red clays, grey and reddish soap-stones, and friable white soapstone.  The area is home to numerous rare and endemic plants. Also, many largest Caves in the world were declared a natural monument. Its obscurity, and consequential lack of visitors, the ravine remains in beautiful shape. Râpa Roșie is one of the major touristic attractions in Alba County, but one of the most notable natural monuments in Romania and a European rarity. This is really a cool place to explore in the afternoon. 

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Cascata delle Marmore, Italy

About eight kilometers of Terni, The Italian City has a magnificent three-tiered waterfall which is called Cascata delle Marmore. The tiered waterway, surrounded by trees and greenery, looks like a tremendous force of nature. It is also recognized Marmore Falls were once part of Grand Tour of wealthy Englishman of 17th and 18th century. He went Italy and France to seeking out places art, culture, and roots of Western civilization.

Cascata delle Marmore is a product of human engineering intervention with nature. The Cascata delle Marmore total height is 165 m making it the tallest man-made waterfall in the world. Marmore Falls’ curiosity lies not merely in its splendor but also in the fact as 2,200 years ago, no waterfall exists here. The Marmore Falls located at The River Velino, took a completely different path ending in a swamp within the plains of Reiti. The marshy and motionless waters of the swamp were believed unhealthy and were attributed for numerous illnesses that affected the population living there.

The Roman consul Manius Curius Dentatus gave a plan to construct a canal here. Later on, it was named Curiano Trench, in 271 BC, to drain the swamps and direct the excess waters into the natural cliff at Marmore creating the falls. From this point, the water fell into the Nera River below.

Though, the solution didn’t work out as expected. The Reiti valley continued to flood, and when water was high in the Velino River, it now flooded the Terni valley too where the water was diverted. The man-made canal and the resulting flood became a long source of dispute between the inhabitants of Terni and Reiti valley.

The former wanted the canal closed, whereas the latter sought the flow of the falls increased to accommodate the excess water. The problem between the two cities was so argumentative. So, the Roman Senate was forced to address it in 54 BC, but the agreement couldn’t arrive and the matter remains unsettled for many centuries.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the barbaric invasion and the development of the feudal system caused the planed territories and the countryside to be gradually abandoned. The lack of maintenance of the Curiano channel caused the base of the channel to accumulate silt and the Reiti valley once again began to flood. It was not until the 15th century that Pope Gregory XII ordered the construction of a new canal to restore the original flow.

Further improvement was made by Pope Paul III in the mid-16th century and a regulating valve was installed to control the flow. The final modifications were given the Cascata delle Marmore the present appearance. Cascata delle Marmore received its current look in 1787, when an architect Andrea Vici diverted some of the water to create a series of lateral cataracts on the instruction of Pope Pius V1. In 1896, the newly formed steel mills in Terni started to use the water flow in the Curiano Trench to power their operation to generate electricity.

Tourists try to be there the moment the gates are opened to see the powerful rush of water. Twice a day, the power plant flips a switch and lets the water once again gush over the cliffs as it had for millennia. A beautiful path along the falls lets the visitor hike up to the top of the falls. Also, along the way, a tunnel leads to an observatory next to the falls, where a guest is guaranteed to get soaked.
Source: CP

Monday, 7 January 2019

Ramona Falls, Oregon, United States

Ramona Falls is a horsetail type waterfall on the upper Sandy River on the west side of Mount Hood, Clackamas County, Oregon, United States. Ramona Falls is located in forest along the Pacific Crest Trail at an elevation of 3,560 feet. Ramona Fall is 120 feet tall cascading and splitting into ever smaller fingers of water broken up by the hexagonal columns of basalt at the base of the cliff.

Hiking at Ramona Falls

The hiking of Ramona Falls is most admirable destination for thrill seekers due to gradual elevation gain. The climax of wondrous of Ramona Falls is a popular family hike is no longer a walk in the park. The eternal bridge at the Sandy River was wiped out but after some years, Forest service has restored the log bridge now. The river is although easy to get across on the logs, but could be hard with pets or small children. There was a sad incident took place here. When a hiker was swept off the seasonal bridge and gets drowned in the rising waters after sudden storms.

So, you need to be sure to wear proper shoes, take necessary things in your bag pack. One important thing you should keep in your mind, if there is heavy rain, then stop yourself and do not attempt to cross the Sandy River as water speed is too furious and fast.  Furthermore, Ramona Falls became part of the Mt. Hood Wilderness in 2009, so consider this is a hike into the backcountry with all the attendant precautions. If you photograph lover, then this is very picturesque and mild hike. The elevation climb was gradual that it felt very easy.

Ramona Falls Trail

A beautiful 7.1 mile Ramona Fall trail is heavily trafficked offers a number of activity options. The best time to use this trail from April till October. You can also accompany with your dog on this trail but must be kept on leash. Many people finish the trail in 2.5 hours. But we would recommend extending your time span to 4 to 6 hours to enjoy the natural scenery along the way.

However, your trip would have been fun relatively easy hike! Be prepared to walk on a log to cross the river! So, it is super pretty and cool empty trail.  The majority of the trail is a sandy mix that’s not too hard on the feet.  Also, prefer to make return trip on the north leg. That is so wonderful due to lush green path of Ramona Creek and magnificent towering cliff before veering south to head back towards the trailhead. This is most famous place, so expect to see many people especially on Saturday and Sunday.
Source: CP