The Earth Is a Mystery

Happy Earth Day!

Earth is the third planet from the sun and the fifth largest in the solar system. The earth is a big mystery. It is the only planet that has oxygen, gravity, and constant movement. The Earth consists of four concentric layers: inner core, outer core, mantle and crust. The crust is made up of tectonic plates, which are in constant motion. Earthquakes and volcanoes are most likely to occur at plate boundaries. The crust is the land and ocean where we live.

One of the best places to observe the volcanic activities is Yellowstone National Park.

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Yellowstone National Park spans an area of 3,468.4 square miles (8,983 sq. km), comprising lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges. Mostly in Wyoming, the park spreads into parts of Montana and Idaho. Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high-elevation lakes in North America and is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano on the continent. The Caldera is considered an active volcano. It has erupted with tremendous force several times in the last two million years. Half of the world’s geothermal features are in Yellowstone, fueled by this ongoing volcanism. Lava flows and rocks from volcanic eruptions cover most of the land area of Yellowstone. Yellowstone features dramatic canyons, alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs and gushing geysers, including its most famous, Old Faithful. The park is the centerpiece of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the largest remaining nearly-intact ecosystem in the Earth’s northern temperate zone.

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth

Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge – Mystery

Guest Blogger – Mercy Rossi, Zion National Park

Daily Prompt: Climbing

It is a pleasure to introduce my guest blogger Mercy Rossi, my daughter. She will take you on an exciting trip. before they went on this trip, they took rock climbing lessons!

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The fall of 2016, my husband and I traveled to Zion National Park.  We were awed yet again by God’s beautiful creation.

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The sun moves towards the horizon, casting shadows on majestic rock formations, which draw thousands of visitors each year.

We did an overnight camping trip along the West Rim trail.  Sometimes in life, we lose sight of what’s truly important, but being in nature helps us regain our focus.

Alone in the wilderness, I gaze out over the deep canyons, breathing in the sweet air slowly, appreciating being present in the moment.

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The light breaks through the trees in a soft and gentle way.

This was our first canyoneering trip together.  It involved trusting one another, trusting ourselves, trusting the equipment, communicating well, overcoming fear, and I saved the best for last – having fun and memories of being outside of our comfort zone together!

There are many quotes about hard work but this one I find captures what we experienced during this trip: “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations” – this was true of canyoneering but also true of life in general, whether it’s overcoming a difficult situation with a good friend or a partner or something more personal like being hurt by a loved one.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Broken Highway at Key West

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Key West, Florida is the southernmost point in the continent of USA.  It’s one of the best places to watch sunset. Key West is humid. The fog came in at nightfall.

The second day of the trip, we drove up and down the Highway to visit other Keys. Apparently, part of the Highway was broken. Instead of repairing, a new section of the Highway was built, parallel to the broken section. The two ends of the new were connected to the original Highway. The broken section was left alone.

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We went to the Ernest Hemingway House, I took a photo of the picture of his fishing boat named Pilar. Hemingway regularly fished off the boat in the waters of Key West, Florida. Several of Hemingway’s books were influenced by time spent on the boat, most notably, The Old Man and the Sea and Islands in the Stream.

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The winter White House of President Harry S. Truman was his white house away from the White House. Today it is a public Key West museum.

Successful fishing trip! Many birds around were waiting for the scraps from cleaning the fish.

Wreck Museum displayed the treasures found from the shipwreck. Marilyn Monroe’s famous Seven Year Itch status was in front of a theater.

One of the highlights for my husband was his diving trip.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Broken

52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 4

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This is the “52 Weeks of Thankfulness” Week 4 at Haddon Musings

I have been traveling by air for forty five years, and haven’t missed a flight yet. When the flights were delayed in a significant amount of time, the airlines usually compensate by overnight accommodation, tokens, or coupons. If we miss the flight, that’s another story.

We almost missed the flight coming back to California from Portland, Oregon last Tuesday, March 28. We eventually made it and got on the plane eight minutes before the plane closed the door! I was so very thankful!

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Here is the story. We were leaving Portland last Tuesday. My daughter and her husband went to work. We checked out from the hotel at 11:00 a.m. Our flight left at 5:55 p.m., so we spent a few hours at their house, then took the MAX trains to the airport.

I already went online and printed the train schedule. We needed to take the yellow line to a Transit Center, and then walked across several crosswalks to the red line that goes to the airport. We took the yellow line on time as recommended. After we got off the yellow line and walked to the red line station, for some reason, we were just a few steps short to catch the red line train.

Alright, the train comes by every fifteen minutes; we just had to wait for the next train! My husband said the next train would arrive in 24 minutes due to a 10 minutes delay. I started to get anxious, and looked at the time on my phone every 15 seconds. I sent a text to my daughter about the delay. My daughter offered to ask her husband to take us to the airport. I looked at the traffic and told her that driving could be worse. The 24 minutes wait was like forever, but finally the red line train came.

While we were still on the train, my phone received the boarding notification. I just kept praying instead of telling my husband. I knew if we had no problem going through the security check, we would have a chance to make it.

Thankfully, we had TSA Pre-check, so we went through the short line for security check. Then my husband ran to the gate, let them know that we were there. He had my phone with the Boarding Passes. We finally got on the plane eight minutes before the door was closed.

I sent a text to my daughter to let her know that we made it. She said she was praying for us all that time! God is good!

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You’re invited to participate to share your thankfulness at Haddon Musings.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Atop of Eiffel Tower

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One of the cities we toured during our Europe trip is Paris. We went to the top deck of the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower is 324 meters (1,063 feet) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building. The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second levels. The top level’s upper platform is 276 meters (906 feet) above the ground – the highest observation deck accessible to the public in the European Union. The observation deck provides 360o view of Paris.

We took the steps from the ground level to the second floor, 300 steps for each level, 600 steps total to the second floor. We then took the lift to the top deck. These are some of the photos taken atop of the Tower.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eiffel_Tower

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Atop

The Sound of Music – Austria

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Austria is a beautiful country to visit. The mountain ranch is majestic. Being a music lover, traveled to Salzburg and Vienna was a thrill to me. We visited Mozart’s Birthplace, admired his statute, and enjoyed the beauty of Salzsach River. We didn’t have a chance to visit the movie site where “The Sound of Music” was made, but we drove by the Von Trapp Family Home. The color photo is from the movie, and the black and white photo is the real Von Trapp family. For more real story about the Von Trapp Family, please refer to http://www.ebners-waldhof.com/von-trapp-family.

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We went on to Vienna, and enjoyed a Romantic concert of Mozart and Strauss.

Daily Prompt: Sound

WPC – Against the Odds, Family Trip to China

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What are the odds to have seven people from four families in one extended family in US to take a family vacation to China? These four families live between 40 to 1,000 miles apart and in two different states in US. Out of the seven, six people were working for different companies with different vacation schedules. When I first contacted the travel agency in US, the agent said if we had ten people, we could have our private tour – a private van with a private driver. Initially we had nine people. After contacting the tour company in China, the travel agency said they could accommodate nine people for a private tour.  We proceeded with the booking. Shortly after that, one couple was not able to go. Since the tour company from China made the arrangement, they decided to take seven people for a private tour. We went to Beijing. Xian, Guiling, and came back to US via Hong Kong, so that we could stop by to visit my family. It was against all odds that we could make this memorable family vacation. As far as photos, I am showing the photos of the first city – Beijing. In Beijing, We visited the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square, and the Great Wall.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Against the Odds