Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

It is so exciting for a retired Geography teacher to see the dsert landscapes and desert topography I had just seen on topographic maps, air photographs and films. The "Basin and Range" landscape comes alive so much more when you see it in person. Uplifted block mountains, down faulted rift valleys take on so much more meaning when you drive through them and see them with your own eyes.

Landscape terms become real. The uplifted mountain blocks are termed "horsts" in the geography texts from which I taught Grade 11 Physical Geography. The down-faulted valleys are termed "grabens." And the alluvial fans that spread at valley exits where the mountains and rift floors meet are just as imagined.

Add to this the seguero cacti, creosote bushes etc, and the west is alive.

So far all that is missing is the Road Runner (seen on our last trip, but not this) and tumbleweed.

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