HIKING NORTH AMERICA'S GREAT WESTERN VOLCANOES
By Tom Prisciantelli
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Here is an excellent opportunity to learn about the volcanic events and landforms of the American West while hiking ten trails through its most scenic mountains. Hikes in New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, California, Oregon and Washington reveal the fury of past events and demonstrate the power of volcanic activity today.
In hiking these trails, one can learn about the processes that form volcanoes and the contradictions scientists are still struggling to explain regarding certain volcanic upheavals. Interestingly, the energy released during the Mount St. Helens eruption can be compared to the atomic bomb that ended World War II--not just one but 20,000 of them. Yet Mount St. Helens was just a firecracker compared to others. And, Yellowstone Park sits within the remains of what was once a huge volcano. The rim surrounding the park is 50 miles across. Yellowstone is one of those contradictions, having been formed by the same process that brought the Hawaiian Islands out of the ocean. Both areas are still active and the hikes explore their disposition and prognosis.
In this book and on the trails, geology and archaeology intersect to tell a tale of landforms rising from the earth and the ancient people's struggle to persist and adapt. Geologists have died studying volcanic eruptions. Native Americans wrote gods into their history while watching fire burst from the ground. Hiking these mountains turns exercise into awe and respect for the energy still building under these massive ranges. The author explores the most interesting landforms, with some trails to summit craters and others through the innards of decapitated volcanoes still standing as high mountains.
For more than thirty years Tom Prisciantelli has driven the roads and hiked the trails of the American West. In his first book, Spirit of the American Southwest also published by Sunstone Press, he explored along hiking trails the geology of the Southwest and the arrival of the Native American's ancestors. From that exercise he was fascinated by a particular chapter in the geology lesson he learned on the road: that dealing with volcanoes. His research for this book took him along that path. The author and his wife live in a solar-powered adobe home in northern New Mexico, in full view and respect for one of the volcanoes about which this book was written.
Inside This Book
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