WriteOut CLmooc InfoMap

Walk, bike, drive, fly–

Over the landscape

We travel our spaces;

Over rolling hills

of sagebrush or sunflower,

wheat or barley,

the horizon stretches

forever in waves of foliage

under our sky of blue.


Onward through the forest,

maple, pine, or fir

in a tunnel of

towering greens, browns, and red

curving and swerving

through a fairyland

of hidden castles and cabins

between towns and cities

that open back up

to our sky of blue.


Down the mountain

into the valley

over the river

across the bridge

grey now the towers

gleaming, shining

in concrete and steel,

glass-faced and brilliant,

forming moving shadows

in the hidden horizon

under the sun

shining in our sky of blue.


Whatever grows

Whatever builds

on our travelled landscapes

come with a history

there beneath our feet,

our wheels, our wings.

Some see, some dream,

some can’t see what was

on each of the spaces

in each of our places

on our planet shining

beneath the sky of blue.

I don’t know why, but even as a child, I’d look out the window as we traveled and wondered, “How did that hill get there? Why is the river there? Why is that rock in the middle of nowhere? Why is there a pond here?”

Geography and geology capture my imagination. Where others see bleak and boring sagebrush and rock, I see a slow history taking place now and in the past and I am amazed.

I am so thankful that way back in the 1800s, people did notice the majesty of our land:

The parks were born because in the mid-1800s a relatively small group of people had a vision—what writer Wallace Stegner has called “the best idea we ever had”—to make sure that America’s greatest natural treasures would belong to everyone and remain preserved forever.

“Americans developed a national pride of the natural wonders in this nation and they believed that they rivaled the great castles and cathedrals of Europe,” explains David Barna, National Park Service Chief of Public Affairs.

National Geographic: US National Parks: In the Beginning

And wherever you are– beneath your feet is an amazing story. Let me share with you one of the most amazing stories, which you can see almost anywhere in Central Washington State: evidence of oozing volcanoes, immense glaciers, and massive glacial flooding — all on a scale beyond anything on earth right now.

This infomap, created on my photograph as an interactive “thinglink,” is filled with information about just one such “hill beneath your feet” just east of Chelan, WA as you travel down McNeil Canyon Road towards Highway 97. Everywhere you look in this image is a remnant of ancient geological history. I wrote about it as part of a WordPress Photos challenge in August, 2017, SOL Elemental. I hope you enjoy the journey!

What’s the history of your area, human or geological?

Why not create a National Geographic cover of your own. Just go to createyourcover.nationalgeographic.com to upload an image, choose a color, and download. I added text about the location and photo with the Preview app on my Mac, but you don’t have to.

If you would like to create a Thinglink, but don’t have an account, use Google Drawings instead. Eric Curtz shows how here.

But take a moment to go outside, and look at the landscape surrounding you and beneath your feet. What is the geological history of your area? Try to find your area at USGS: here’s McNeil Canyon. Also search USGS.gov for your area and it’s geology. I found these documents about McNeil Canyon and found their Science Explorer. I searched Google for “geology McNeil Canyon WA” and found a blog post about the geology of the canyon! I searched for “geology glaciers mcneil canyon” and found that McNeil Canyon is a Natural Landmark, which led me here about the Natural Landmarks by state  at the National Park Service site to find the information about the landmark known as McNeil Canyon.

Once again — the National Park Service is amazing! See how you can search and find the information about your area?

Try it! Make a map! Share it! #WriteOut with us about your favorite places and spaces.

Images and Poetry by Sheri

This post is part of the 2018 Summer #WriteOut in places, parks, poetry, and doodles with #Clmooc. Learn more at CLmooc blog and National Writing Project / National Park Service WriteOut

#campnanowrimo 734




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