Colegrove Photography
Colegrovian Empire
National Parks


The main attraction of Haleakala National Park is a great extinct volcanic caldera. The road up to the rim of the caldera is long and twisty but paved well. On the way, off on a short side road is Hosmer Grove, an old experimental pine arboretum which demonstrated that nonnative pine trees fall over from shallow roots in the volcanic soil.

At the peak of Haleakala there are many interesting telescopes and astronomical observatories, not open to the public but still cool to look at

Maui, Hawaii

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Petrified Forest

The best part of Petrified Forest National Park is the display of bits of petrified tree mailed back to the park by guilty petrified tree bit stealers. Some of the letters are absolutely hilarious, particularly the ones where family members steal the rock from the thief and mail it back out of a sense of family honor.

The petrified trees are cool too.


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Black Canyon of the Gunnison

This canyon isn't as grand as the Grand Canyon but it is still very cool and well worth preserving. With all the vertical black rock, it reminded me of Devil's Lake in Wisconsin. The views are great and the roar from the Gunnison river makes it both an auditory and visual experience.

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison is a National Monument today but there is a bill in Congress to make it a National Park.

Upstream from the Black Canyon is Blue Mesa lake, a huge lake created by the Blue Mesa Dam. This and other dams reduce water flow through the canyon so the erosion that produced the canyon is not as active as it was. There is also a tunnel that diverts water from the Gunnison to the next valley over for agriculture.

While I was there a father told his son to try to chip some mica off  a rock. I wonder if the effect of two million years of human erosion will be greater than two million years of water erosion.


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Mammoth Cave

The tour I took began by decending twenty flights of stainless steel stairs fitted into a verticle crevice. The cave itself with big rooms and cool stalagtite formations was worth seeing but the effort and precision needed to design and fit the stairway impressed me the most.

At one point in the tour the group was seated in a large room with the lights turned out. The guide said "If you listen closely you can hear the cave breathing". At that instant a baby started crying and everyone had a good laugh.


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