Mt. Lassen

Ready for a geology lesson? Geology is the study of the earth and how it was formed. Mt. Lassen is an active volcano which was born about 27,000 years ago. Scientists believe that with a lot of eruptions of lava, the volcano rose and reached its current height of over 10,000 feet in just a few years. The most recent eruption was just about 100 years ago starting in May 1914 and lasting until 1921. Because Mt Lassen is unique, it became a national park in 1916. Today visitors go hiking to Bumpass Hell, a stinky, noisy area in the park named after explorer Kendall Bumpass, who severely burned his leg after breaking through a thin crust of earth into a boiling pool. I saw the earth belch mud, steam that smelled of sulfur, and bubbling springs too hot to dip a paw into! Other parts of the park have beautiful forests and sparkling lakes which I enjoyed very much. Purrs, Gulliver

IMG_0921

Sacramento

Sacramento is California’s State Capitol. It became a city in 1850, following a gold rush which brought many people to the area looking for gold. Sacramento was built between two rivers – the Sacramento River and the American River.  In 1861 there were floods, and the Governor had to attend his inauguration in a row boat.  The flood waters were so bad, the legend says, that when he returned to his house, he had to enter it through the second floor window!  Here is a postcard of the State Capitol.  Purrs, Gulliver

550

General Sherman Tree

The General Sherman Tree is a giant sequoia.  Sequoias only reproduce through seed, and this particular tree started growing 2,000 years ago in what is now the Kings Canyon National Park. The General Sherman tree is among the tallest, widest and longest-lived of all trees on the planet.  The General Sherman tree is still growing and according to the California State Park’s website, “has added enough wood each year to construct a five or six room house. “   Purrs,  Gulliver

image1

Arches

I spent some time camping at several of our national parks this past summer. Arches National Park is in eastern Utah. I did a lot of hiking and saw many of the 2,000 natural stone arches, in addition to sky-high peaks and giant balanced rocks. One evening, a ranger talked about the kinds of wildlife that live in the parks. Desert bighorn sheep and mule deer can be seen often, but mountain lions come out at night. Kangaroo rats, lizards, spadefoot toads and many types of birds also live in the park. Take pictures when it is safe, but don’t bother the wildlife, the ranger said.  Purrs, Gulliver

Arches

Boston

Bean Town” is just one of Boston’s nicknames. The name was used by sailors and traders because in colonial days beans cooked in molasses were a popular dish. There is so much history here because Boston was a major city and port even before the American Revolution. Harvard University was started in 1635. The Boston Tea Party was a revolt of citizens objecting to high taxes on tea, so they dumped the imported tea into the bay. Paul Revere was one of several people who raised the alarm that British troops were coming at the beginning of the American Revolution. It is a great city to walk around in, and I sailed in a boat under the Boston University Bridge, one of the only places in the world where a boat can sail under a train going under a car that is driving under a plane!   Purrs, Gulliver

Boston

Manchu Picchu

Manchu Picchu is often called the “lost city of the Incas” and is the best known symbol of the Inca Empire.  Machu Picchu means ‘Old Peak’ or ‘Old Mountain’ in the Quechua Indian Language.   Machu Picchu includes of around 140 structures with terraced fields nearby.  It was thought to be an estate of the emperor. It is believed that the Incas were some of the best masons in the world. Legend has it, that when an Inca placed two stones together, no one would have even been able to place a knife between the stones due to their precision and accuracy in carving.  Purrs, Gulliver

33679610881_d11c8d1aa3_o.jpg

Germany

Sprechen sie deutsche? Do you speak German? Germany has 16 states instead of 50; its capital and largest city is Berlin. It has borders with nine other countries: It also has coastline on the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.  There are many castles there.  King Ludwig had three, including Neuschwanstein which was the inspiration of Walt Disney’s Cinderella’s Castle.

I love to eat German food. Traditional foods include Wurst (sausage) Schnitzle (breaded pork or veal) Spaetzle (noodles or dumplings), Stollen (fruit cake) and Strudle (a layered pastry). I finish each meal with Marzipan, a sweet made with almonds and sugar.   Purrs, Gulliver

germany

A Walking Volcano

A walking volcano?  The Pinnacles rocks are all that’s left of 23,000,000-year-old Neenach Volcano. It once stood 8,000 feet high near what is now Lancaster, CA, 195 miles south. The San Andreas Fault ripped the old volcano in half and moves the land slowly north. It took the rocks a few million years to get here and according to the National Park Service, they’re still moving – about an inch per year. At that rate, they’ll be near where San Francisco is now in another 6 million years.  The Pinnacles are a home for many kinds of wildlife, including the endangered California condor.  These ancient birds can often be seen soaring on their 9 1/2-foot wide wings, looking for food. There are only about 425 California condors left in the world!  Purrs, Gulliver

Scan144

Easter Island

How do you keep yourself entertained when you are on an island over 2000 miles from anyone else? Well, the people who settled on Rapa Nui, or Easter Island around the year 1050 liked stone carving in a big way. They created nearly 900 giant stone statues that have been found in different locations around the island. These gigantic figures–known as moai–were carved out of tuff (the light, holey rock which is compressed volcanic ash) and put on top of ceremonial stone platforms called ahus. The biggest statue is about 32 feet tall, and consists of a single block weighing about 82 tons. The rest of the statues average 13 feet high, with a weight of 13 tons. The stone carvers were creative in making the most out of sections of rock. Moai can be seen carved in all directions in the island’s cliffs. If a defect would appear in the rock the statue would be abandoned and they moved on to another area. They took advantage of cracks in the volcanic walls and also variations in colors to create their statues. No records are left to explain why these statues were carved, or how they were moved around the island, though some think trees were cut down and used as rollers.  I wish I could go back in time to find out – those are big statues!  Purrs, Gulliver

FullSizeRender (4)

Bicycling is not for sissies!

I wish I could ride a bicycle, but my paws won’t reach the pedals! There are many bicycle races all over the world. The Tour de France is one of the most famous bicycle races in the world. The race is 21 days of riding bicycles on both flat ground and up and down  mountains.  Other countries have similar races.  Though not in a race, some people have bicycled almost all the way around the world. One young American wore out seven sets of tires while he pedaled 25,000 miles through Europe, Asia and the United States over two years. What a neat trip!     Purrs, Gulliver

 

bicycle