Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Whole New World

Rain forests. Deserts. Mountains. Oceans. Tropics. Our planet seems to have an endless amount of variety. Even within a single country or state you can find all different kinds of landscape.
It's always fun to discover a new part of the planet you've never seen and this week has been a great time of discovery for my family. We're in Hawaii and, while the white sand beaches were my initial focus, we've also found lots of other dramatic landscapes.
Yesterday, we came about as close as you can come to a lunar landscape without leaving the Earth. We visited Haleakala National Park on Maui - at 10,023 feet it is a long way from the sandy beaches! We figured out along the way that it's actually the highest elevation my kids have ever been. After a two mile descent into the crater and the uphill return hike, we all noticed the effects of elevation on our lungs!
We also learned a little about volcanoes while we were there - the Haleakala "crater" is actually made up of many cinder cone volcanoes (which have had eruptions), but the valley is actually the result of erosion by wind, water, and landslides rather than a large eruption.
The other really fun new world we've discovered is underwater. We'll see if those underwater camera pictures develop for a future blog...
What about you? What new landscape is waiting to be discovered in your backyard - a rain forest? high plains desert? a cave? an underwater oasis?


  1. Sounds like a great vacation! I love that volcano. It is amazing as you change elevation from the beach to the top. When I went, it was 80+ temp at the beach and freezing rain at the top. But it is a sight to see the difference in landscape. They also have a sunrise bike ride down.....

  2. Oh... those crazy bike riders. I definitely don't have the stamina to keep up with the uphill riders or the nerves to hang with the downhill riders - perhaps it was a bit rough the day we went, but it was near whiteout conditions on the drive and I wouldn't have wanted to be a cyclist!