Category Archives: Vacation

凍りついていた登山道 – Icy Trail

ブライトエンジェルシェールに拘っていました。家の近くにあるビーバーダム山脈にもあるはずの地層なのに、どれだかまだ特定できていなかったからです。見てみたい、触ってみたいというのが今回の旅の目的でもありました。だからブライトエンジェル登山道を降りる予定でした。I was quite eager to know what was the Bright Angel Shale. It’s because I understand that the Beaver Dam Mountains near our house also exposes the same strata, but hadn’t identified which layer it is. One of the highlights of the trip was to see and touch the Bright Angel Shale. So we naturally had chosen Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon for our hike.

プラトーポイントまで行けたらいいな。バンちゃんは若い頃、そこまで日帰りでいって帰って来たそうです。でも、今は体力も衰えているので自信なさそうです。I wished that we could go all the way to Plateau Point, but at the same time, I understood that it could be too ambitious to do so for me. Banchan has done the round-trip hike in one day when he was young. But now even he hesitated to do so.

ビジターセンターの前の掲示によると、インディアンガーデンまでなら 6ー9 時間で行って来られる。それが私が密かに決めた目標でした。According to the bulleton board, it takes about 6-9 hours round trip to Indian Garden. We could do that. So it became my goal, although I didn’t tell anyone about it.

ところが、いざ行こうとすると難関が待ち受けていました。凍りついた雪道です。But despite my determination, we had found an obstacle literary right in front of us. It was an icy trail.

勿論、アイゼンを購入すれば行けたのでしょう。アイゼンでの歩行練習もしてないで降るのは少々危険です。友人夫妻も一緒だったので断念しました。Of course, we could buy crampons at a nearby shop, but we gave it up instead. We didn’t want to risk ourselves as well as our couple friend. The first time wearing crampons and walking down with them without practicing could be dangerous.

ボ〜ッと鳥たちの行方をおったりして、今日は一体何をして過ごすんだい?と気力のないまま話し合います。”What do we do now?” we asked. We discussed what we could do, but I just followed birds flying through the air, without much enthusiasm.

ベンチの上に作られた雪だるまを見てもちっとも面白くない。It didn’t excite me even when I found a snowman on a bench.

登山靴にアイゼンをつけて出発の準備まさに完了という人たちに出会いました。5日間のハイキング予定だと言っていました。We met a group of people who are ready to go down after putting crampons on to their hiking shoes. They told us they were planning a five day hike to go down and up.

まだまだ寒いグランドキャニオン。どうやら私達は準備不足だったようです。これをしっかり受け止めて来年に向けて頑張ります。3泊ぐらいで帰ってくる計画を立てたい。それまで体力トレーニングをして準備しようと誓い合いました。I should have known that the Grand Canyon rim was still very cold. It appears that we didn’t prepare enough for the hike, and I accepted it. We said to each other that we will come back here again next year with a three night hiking plan. Until then, we promised to each other to train ourselves for the grand hike.

グランドキャニオンの南と北 – South and North rims of the Grand Canyon

グランドキャニオン国立公園の南側に到着したときには、すでに夕暮れが迫っていました。この渓谷を作り出して来た張本人のコロラド川が遥か下にちょっぴり見えて、流石に息を呑む景色です。The Sun was already setting when we arrived at the Grand Canyon National Park South Rim. The view was simply awesome. We could see a tiny portion of the Colorado River down there, which created the canyon.

私たちの住むセイントジョージから北側まで3時間もかかりませんが、南側までは 6 時間以上もかかります。必然、北側には行った事がありましたが、南は今回が初めてでした。It takes less than three hours to the North Rim from our house in St. George, but it takes more than 6 hours to the South Rim. So I’ve been to the North Rim before, but it was my first time to visit the South Rim.

一般に北側からより南側からの眺めの方が良いと言われています。1番の理由は南側の高度 (2,100m) の方が北側 (2,438m)より低いため、渓谷内がよく見えるからだと説明を受けました。確かにこの日見た渓谷は夕日に照らされて神秘的にすら見えました。In general, people say that it’s a much better view from the South Rim. It was explained to me that the elevation of the south rim (7,000 feet) is lower than the north rim (8,000 feet). So that you can see the valley better from the south rim. Indeed, the valley on that day was so grand and mysterious, lit by the magical light from the sunset.

もっと眺めていたかったのですが、気がつくとあたりはすでに真っ暗で足元も見えなくなっていました。「明日は渓谷を降りられるところまで降りていくぞ!」と意気込んで早々にホテルに引き上げました。We wanted to be there longer, but it was already dark so that we could only see faint shadows. We planned to walk down the valley as far as we could the next day. So we went back to the lodge early. “Tomorrow!” said I, gallantly.

フーバーダム – Hoover Dam

今日からまた先週のグランドキャニオン旅行について書きます。その初日に、グランドキャニオンの側のフーバーダムについて書いておきましょう。I will start writing from today about my trip to the Grand Canyon last week. The first topic is Hoover Dam to the west of the Grand Canyon.

まず、ミード湖について。このダムの建設にあたって作られた貯水池ですが、大きさも貯水量も半端でなく、日本にあるすべてのダムの貯水量を合計した2倍近くあるんです。The picture above is Lake Meed which is the reservoir created by Hoover Dam. Its size is huge, and the capacity is nearly double the total capacity of all the dams in Japan. Wow!

もう一つの面白い発見は、フーバーダム渓谷にかかる橋コロラドリバー橋は、日本の大林組が請け負い完成させています。Another finding was that Oobayashi corporation from Japan was involved in building the Colorado River Bridge over the Hoover Canyon.

そしてアメリカ最長のアーチ型の橋となりました。日本人の私としては、ちょっと嬉しい発見です。It is now the longest arch bridge in the US. This finding made me proud, since I am Japanese.

ダムの上から下を除くと、流石に怖い。建設中に100人近い作業員が死亡したとの事です。多くの犠牲の上に完成した貴重なダムなんですね。Looking down from the top of the dam was quite scary. I’ve read that nearly 100 workers died during the construction. Hoover Dam was built based on many people’s sacrifices.

貯水量は巨大なんですが、降水量があまりないので、ここ何十年もの間満杯になったことはないそうです。放水中の光景は巨大な滝のように豪快なことでしょう。Although the capacity of Lake Mead is huge, it hasn’t been full for many years due to less precipitation in the southwest. I imagine that it will be even more grand when they can again discharge water over the spillways making a huge waterfall.

帰途 – Going Home

いよいよ家に帰る日がやって来た。朝、外を見たら新雪が宿の外を覆っていた。It was the last day of the trip. The parking lot of the motel had been covered with snow when I woke up.

こんな景色を見ると、もう少し居たくなってしまう。I wished we could stay longer, at least one more day.

それでも車を走らせると、見えてくるのは果てしなく続く断層の跡。一体どれほどの地殻変動があったのだろう。ただひたすら息をのむ。Soon after we started driving, we were awed by a long stretched out fault line. I wonder how big the earth movement was to create such a long cliff. I was speechless and thought how lucky I was to see such a landscape.

ユタ州に入り、凍りついている道を走っていたら、牛たちの大移動にあった。ゆっくりと歩く牛たちと一緒にノロノロと進む。After we entered into Utah, we encountered a large number of cows marching on the icy road. The cows moved very slowly, and we also moved slowly with them.

110km ぐらいで走っていたのに突然5kmのスピードになった。そして最近読んだ本を思い出した。「時間」についての本。Although we were running over 65 miles per hour, we suddenly slowed to 5 miles per hour. Somehow, it reminded me of a book I’ve read recently. It was about “Time”.

物理学者に言わせると、「時間の流れ」は存在しない。私たちが心の中で作り出して流れるだけらしい。ビッグバンから遠ざかる方向性があるだけらしい。牛たちを見ていたら、そんな言葉を思い出した。By watching how cows walk, I remembered phrases in the book. According to physicists, there is no such thing as the “flow of time”. Our thoughts in our head makes us think it flows. Instead, time has a direction that goes away from the Big Bang.

昔訪れたバレー オブ ゴッズ、畏敬の念が湧き上がるような景色が眼科に見えて来た。ぜひまた行かなければ。Wow, it’s the Valley of the Gods! An awe-inspiring view suddenly showed up in front of us. We’ve been there once years ago. Seeing it this time, we think we must go back again.

そして、雪がちらつく中、霧の間から見えてきたモニュメントバレー。有名な場所ですから、流石にこんな時でも観光客の車が多い。家まではまだ遠い道のりだけど、馴染み深い場所を見ると安心する。時間の流れの錯覚のように、心の中で家が近いと思った。The famous Monument Valley appeared in front of us. With snow falling sometimes, the famous rocks poked their faces through the fog. Even under such foggy condition, many people were there. Yes, this is a very, very famous spot which attracts people from all over the world. Ahh, it’s already a familiar place to us. I thought our house is close, though it was still a long way to go. It’s just like the “flow of time”. My mind fabricated an illusion and made me think so. Hahaha.

砂丘の不思議 - Wonder Of Dunes

砂丘、大好きです。 I love sand dunes.

Landscapes with simple lines are my favorite abstract pictures.

砂丘に登る人とジェット機。 – A jet plane and a man climbing a sand dune.

Great Sand Dunes National Park was the highlight of our trip.

It has the tallest dunes in North America, surrounded by high mountains, and a river that flows right next to it. No wonder it is the only sand dune (just found out that White Sands NM became NP on December 20, 2020, so it’s no longer “the only dune) National Park in America.


But the most interesting thing of the park to me is the recycling process of sand. Grains of sand fall into the river flowing next to the dune. The river carries the sand away from there, and deposit it at a new location. As the sand deposits, the river gradually disappears under the sand. So the river never has a solid river line. In the meantime, very strong winds blow and carry the sand. The Sangre de Cristo mountain range is so high that winds die down right before it, and drop the sands back onto the dunes.

川に雪崩れ込む砂。Sand falling in to the river.

This dune has a rather darker color compared to my favorite Eureka Sand Dunes in Death Valley NP. I felt this dune field is masculine, whereas Eureka is much more feminine because of the color. After reading about the park, I found out that the reason for the darker color was that crystalized magnetite sands are included.

そういえば、ニューメキシコ州にあるホワイトサンズ国立公園 (去年2020年12月に国定公園から国立公園になったばかり)の砂丘は名前の通り、白いです。妖精のような砂丘は石膏の結晶でできているからなんですね。
Oh, this reminded me of White Sands National Park (became a NP from NM in December 2020) in New Mexico. My impression of White Sands was that it was like a fairy. In any case, the reason of the white sands there is the sand is made from Gypsum.

砂サーフィンを楽しむ若者たち。- Young people enjoying sand surfing on the dunes..

I couldn’t spot any animals in the park unfortunately, but found foot prints on the sand. I wonder whose footprints they are.

山の顔 – Faces Of Mountains

Beautiful scenery awaited us even along the way to the next destination from Gunnison. Then I confirmed one thing while I was gazing at such sights.

The shape of the mountain is defined by the crystallized minerals from magma and the softness of sedimentary rocks.

That’s why we see pinnacles of rock in one place, but the smooth face of other rocks in other places.

45度の熱と マイナス20度の氷結も道具なしで巨岩を分断し、山間を流れる川と空を舞う風は、岩が硬くても柔らかくても岩を削り取っていく。こうして山の顔ができるんだ。
The temperature extremes of a baking110F on the high end and a frozen -10F on the low end can also crack through a gigantic rock without using any tools. And don’t forget about rivers running through mountains and blowing winds. They also erode even the hardest of rocks. This is how the faces of mountains are created.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

グランドジャンクションから 80 km ほど南東にブラックキャニオン国立公園があります。ここでは、ペグマタイトの岩脈を見ることができました。Black Canyon of The Gunnison National Park is approximately 50 miles southwest of Grand Junction. We could see pegmatite dikes there.

ペグマタイトは火成岩の一種です。岩石の分類はちょっと複雑でわかりにくいので、時間がある時に整理しますが、ここでは、この公園でみられる岩が地下深くで固まったことについて、私流に、短く説明します。Pegmatite is an igneous rock. Here is a simple description of pegmatite dikes. (I will write about the rock classification when I have time, because it’s a little complicated.)

地下からマグマが押し出されると、地表まで出てくる場合もあれば、地下深くで止まってしまう場合もあります。火山から出てくるのが一つのタイプで、ペグマタイトのように地下深くでストップしてしまったものがもう一つのタイプです。地下深くで止まったマグマは冷えにくく、固まる速度が非常に遅くなります。その結果、同じ鉱物が手を繋いで結晶を作る手助けをすることになり、より大きな結晶ができやすくなります。Igneous rocks are categorized into two types, depending on where magma stops during the activity. One type is formed when magma is expelled from a volcano. Another type, pegmatite, is formed when the magma stays deep in the ground. In this case, the cooling process is very slow. This allows larger crystals of each type of mineral within the magma to form.

岩脈は、このペグマタイトのように地層の間にマグマがジワジワと進入して固まったものです。ここでは、暗い片麻岩(変成岩の一種)に比べて、明るい色のペグマタイトが線状に走っているのが見えます。Dikes are one of the classifications that shows how magma intrudes into rocks. The picture above shows lines of light color pegmatite dikes against darker color metamorphic rocks.

黒く見えるガニソン川が渓谷の底を流れているのが見えます。The dark color Gunnison river is running at the bottom of the Black Canyon.

15億年以上前、地球の中、地殻のあたりで行われたマグマ活動の話です。そんな太古の出来事を垣間見ることができるのも、ガニソン川の威力のなせる技なんですね。川の力は偉大です。This is a story of what magma was doing more than 1.5 billion years ago deep in the Earth’s crust. Wow! And the powerful Gunnison river made it possible to show the great canyon wall to us by carving the rocks.

コロラド国定公園 – Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument is right outside of Grand Junction. The highlight of the park is Monument Valley.

The park became well known especially after being selected as a stage of one of the major bicycle races in the world. Indeed, the slope of Rim Rock Drive is so steep that only world class cyclers can survive through it.

In general, any park in winter with snow is so pretty. On the other hand, most often you can’t hike much due to trail closures. Unfortunately we couldn’t hike in this park either. So we hoped to see Bighorn Sheep even more. My friend said, “I guarantee that you will see Bighorn Sheep today.”

Who could “guarantee” such thing? Around sunset, I was so close to giving up, but then we found them!



子供達。And children.

零下の気温の中、次の春までガンバレ!Even under below freezing temperatures, you guys are so tough. Live well until the next Spring!

道の名前 – Street Names

グランドジャンクションというコロラドの町。私たちの宿は F と 1/2 ロードにありました。
Our hotel was on F and 1/2 road in Grand Junction.

シンプルを超して面白い。ハリーポッターの「9 と 3/4 番線」プラットフォームを思い出してしまいました。
It’s a very simple naming system, but quite weird! It reminded me of “Platform 9 and 3/4” in the Harry Potter story.

「9 と 3/4番」を探す時間もなかったんですが、もし、探していたら、あったかもしれません。
We didn’t have time to search for “9 and 3/4”, but if we did, we might have found it.

コロラドへ向かう – Heading East to Colorado

We decided to go to Colorado for Christmas.

There are so many beautiful places in Utah on the way to Colorado, however, so we had to stop by some and ended up taking extra time to get to the first hotel. San Rafael Reef is one of the places.

コロラド高原上に隆起してできた崖と谷。ここを通り抜けて行きました。 – San Rafael Reef has been eroded into tall fin cliffs and deep canyons on the Colorado plateau. We drove through it.
馴染み深い地層。Familiar formations lined up there.

Arches National Park is another place we couldn’t resist going to, even though it was close to sunset.

遠くにラサル山脈が見えます。 – La Sal Mountains are visible in the background.

We really needed to hurry by the time we left Arches, but we decided to take a scenic drive along the Colorado River. It was, after all, heading to our hotel in its own meandering way.

Ugh, it’s so pretty. I gave up worrying about the time.

コヨーテビューツの彫刻 - Sculptures at Coyote Buttes

What a magical power of Nature with the aeolian process.

南コヨーテビューツ – Coyote Buttes South

この美しさを守りたい。 I want to protect this beauty.

This is a wonder of nature created over millions of years.

We won the lottery for the South Coyote Buttes entry tickets in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument.

20 people per day total are allowed to enter, 10 from online applications and 10 in person the day before.

The road to get to the trailhead is through deep sand. Even off-road vehicles could , 8and do, get stuck in there if you don’t know how to drive in sand. So we hired a guide to take us there.

そこからおよそ 2.5 km 、道標もない砂原を歩いて辿り着いたナバホ砂岩のビュート群。ティーピーと呼ばれています。
After about 1.5 miles of hiking, we got to the buttes made of Navajo Sandstone. They are specifically called “Teepees”.

The sandstones in Coyote Buttes are so pretty and so fragile as you can see. So I hesitated even to step on them and had to be very careful where I stepped.

We were able to come this far led by our guide, but I really wondered what people do without a guide. They may walk around not knowing where to go and destroy precious sandstone formations. In fact, this has happened not so long ago.

The erosion of wind and water creates these fragile formations. That is why we want to avoid unnecessary damage.

The Navajo Sandstone is the geological formation formed during the Jurassic period. The area was marshy with a river running through it. So dinosaurs roamed around here as well.

Thank god we had our guide. We even didn’t know of the existence of dinosaur tracks. We blew sand off the surface and revealed many footprints.

It is amazing that we could see the footprints made 200 million years ago because they were protected by layers of rock, until finally revealed again by erosion. My thoughts jumped into the fourth dimension again.

Vermillion Cliffs National Monument is vast. Coyote Buttes is only a small portion of it. There are so many other interesting places in there, that I wonder if we have time to visit them all during the remaining time in my life.

ともあれ、この素晴らしい自然を保護してくれるこの国に、新しい Canon EOS R5 に感謝して帰途につきました。
In any case, we went back home, being grateful that this country protects areas like this well. I was also grateful that my new camera, Canon EOS R5, worked so well for me.

三葉虫を探せ – Finding Trilobites

ネバダ州の93号線沿いは面白い。地殻変動でまさに隆起した岩がいたるところに見えます。下の写真はカンブリア紀の岩が見えている丘、オークスプリングスサミットです。- US 93 is a fun road. You can see old formations, Cambrian period, here and there due to the deformation of the Earth’s crust. The picture below is Oak Springs Summit.

カンブリア紀といえば三葉虫。ここは化石を含む頁岩(けつがん、シェール)の層、Pioche Shale と呼ばれている場所で、三葉虫を自分で掘り起こして持ち帰ってもいいとう採掘場でもあります。- When you talk about Cambrian period, you must talk about trilobites. This area is called Pioche shale which includes fossils like trilobites. And this is designated to be a “you find and take home” place. In other words, a trilobite site where you can dig out trilobite fossils by yourself, and be able to bring them back home.

突然思い立って出かけたので、採掘道具も何もありませんでした。それでもカケラを取っては裏と表をじっくりと観察し、三葉虫探しをしました。大方の良質の化石はすでに取り尽くされているはずなので、表面のかけらには期待はできません。でも三葉虫の一部だけでも残っているものがあればバンザイです。摂氏42 -43度という猛暑の中しかも、飲み水なしだったので、多分30分ぐらいしかいませんでした。- We went there spontaneously without any tools for this, so we simply picked up and observed each piece on the ground. These pieces were left by previous diggers. Therefore, most of the good fossils should have been taken already and we didn’t expect to find any good ones. But still we hoped to find even tiny pieces of fossil evidence. We stayed for only about a half hour because it was so hot, probably over 110 F, and we didn’t carry water bottles either.

こちらが、持ち帰ってきた頁岩です。5億年前の石って、どうやって綺麗にするんでしょうね。クリーニング前のショット。- These are Shale pieces I brought back home. I had no idea how to handle 500 million years old rocks, so I took picture before I started cleaning them.

頁岩は基本、泥が固まったものなので、ブラシでゴシゴシ擦るとほんの少しですが表面が剥がれてきます。丸一日ゴシゴシして、気がついたらキッチンのカウンター周りが飛び散った泥だらけとなりました。- The shale rocks are basically hardened mud. It means that I should be able to remove unnecessary mud with water and a brush. So I worked on it pretty much one full day. At the end of the day, I realized that the mud spatters are everywhere around me in kitchen.

結果もそれほど思わしくなかったので、もうしません。こちらが、なんとかそれらしき痕跡のあるものです。- I think I won’t do that again since it didn’t work so well. But pictures below are fossil pieces I can proudly display here.

  1. 多分、2匹の三葉虫の表の上半身だと思います。輪郭の殻だけが黒く残っていますが、その他は剥がれてます。- These are the upper bodies of trilobites. Only the outlines are left in black shells but it seems that the rest has broken off from the surface.

採掘場では考えが及んでなかったんですが、当然、表と裏(おなか側)があるんですよね。だいたい見分けがつくようになりました。- I didn’t think about the differences of the top and bottom of the body views when I picked them up at the site, but now I can see it.

2. こちらは裏。裏側だと気付かず、ガシガシとこすりとってしまい、細い足のようなものがいくつか取れてしまいました。化石化すると、殻しか残らないので、裏側からだと判別しにくいようです。- This is a piece showing the bottom side of the original trilobite fossil. I brushed so hard that I might have removed some of it while I was cleaning it. When it fossilizes only the shell remains. So it is difficult to recognize what it is. I might have scraped off the center part of the body.

3. これも三葉虫の裏側の型。黒い部分は多分殻です。- This one is not the fossil, but an impression of the fossil. It also shows the bottom of the trilobite.

4. こちらは表。- This is the top.

もう少し涼しくなったら、また三葉虫探しに出かけよう!- I want to go back there again when the weather is much better.

ところで、私はすでに三葉虫の化石を持っています。キャニオンランズ国立公園に行く途中の石屋さんで買ったペンダントです。こんなに立派な姿の化石を自分で見つけられたら、狂喜しますね〜。- By the way, on a pendant I bought once, I have a full trilobite fossil. I think I bought it on the way to Canyonlands National Park a long time ago. If I can find a trilobite fossil like this, I will be dancing with joy on the mountain.

州の化石 – State Fossil

旅の最後の日です。へガーマンの化石床国定公園のビジターセンターに立ち寄りました。- On the last day of our trip, we stopped by at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument Visiter Center.

小さな展示場です。すでに手狭になっている小さな建物の中に、ドーンとへガーマンホースが展示されていて、展示場がますます小さく見えました。もうすぐ新しいビジターセンターが建てられるという事ですが、待ちきれません。- It’s a small display building. Therefore, it’s already filled with exhibits. On top of that, a huge skeleton of a Hagerman horse was standing at the center of the room. A new visiter center is planned for the future, and I could see that everyone eagerly awaits for it to open.

1930年にスミソニアンの科学者が120ほどのへガーマンの頭蓋骨を発見し、世界中に展示物として送り出されました。この馬は現在の馬、シマウマ、ロバの原型だとされています。- During the 1930s, the Smithonian scientists excavated 120 horse skulls, some of them went to museums and universities around the world to be displayed. This horse is a predecessor of modern horses, zebras, and donkeys.

この発見が契機となり、いろいろな調査が行われるようになりました。下の絵は鮮新世 (500 – 250万年前)の頃のこの場所の風景の再現図です。- The discovery of the Hagerman horse fossil attracted more scientist to explore around this area. Now this fossil bed is one of the few sites that preserve enough variety of fossils to study past climates and ecosystem. The picture below is a reproduction of the Pliocene epoch based on what scientists discovered here.

スネーク川の西側が化石床ですが、許可なく入ることを禁止されています。理由は1996年に通常の2倍ほどの放射能値が検出されたことによります。ただ、放射能は砂岩から出土した化石からのみて、粘土質からの化石では発見されていないことがわかっています。おそらく、後の時代に放射能を自然にもつ砂、もしくはすでに放射能をすでに受けた化石が運ばれて、堆積したのではないかと推測されています。(参照文献: Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, Geologic Resources Inventory Report)- The actual fossil bed is on the west site of the Snake river. No one is allowed to enter there without permission. The main reason is radioactivity from both fossil and mineral deposits. The level is nearly twice that of background radiation. The radioactivity, however, is variable. The fossils from sandstone units are radioactive, but the fossils found in clay rich deposits are not radioactive. The scientists assume that radioactive sands and fossils were carried by water and deposited there. (Reference: Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, Geologic Resources Inventory Report)

ところで、遅まきながら本題です。(笑)- But I digress. Let me move on to the main topic. (hahaha!)

へガーマンホースはアイダホ州の州の化石に指定されているそうです。州が指定する化石というカテゴリーがあるとは知りませんでした。そこで調査。アメリカの州ごとの化石リストです。 Hagerman Horse is designated as the Idaho State Fossil. I didn’t know such a category existed until now. So I looked for it in Wikipedia as I can find everything in there these days. List of U.S . state fossils.

私たちの住んでいるユタ州は、アロソーラスです。格好いい!- The state of Utah, where we live, has chosen Allosaurus. Cool!!!

私の好きなステゴサウルスは、コロラド州の化石なんですね。なぜ好きかというと、脳が二つあったとされているからです。でも、研究が進み、最近やっぱり一つしかなかったと改定されました。残念! – My favorite, Stegosaurus, is adopted by Colorado. Understandable. The reason why it’s my favorite is that Stegosaurus has two brains. That’s what I learned a long time ago. But sadly, today researchers are saying that that was wrong. It has only one brain. The area they thought the second brain was, in fact controlled only the spine.

ショショーニ滝 – Shoshone Falls

旅の最後の日の夕暮れ時、ショショーニ滝を見に行きました。- We went to see the Shoshone Falls near sunset on the last day of our trip.

予想外の素晴らしさに感動です。ウィキペディアによると、「西のナイアガラの滝」と呼ばれているそうで、ナイアガラより11m高いということです。- I was moved by the mystical and spectacular view which I didn’t expect. According to Wikipedia, it’s called “Niagara of the West”. It is 45 feet higher than Niagara Falls.

スネーク川にはこの滝だけでなく、この街の由来ともなったツイン滝などもあります。夏ですから、カヤックを楽しむ人たちもたくさんいます。ところで、このスネーク川に架かるペリン橋は、あることで有名です。- Besides Shoshoni Falls, there are more falls on the Snake River. The Twin Falls which became the city’s name, for example. Can you see tiny dots on the river in the picture below? They are kayakers. The Snake river running through the town is a very important part of daily living for the town’s people. The bridge where I took the picture from is called Perrin bridge, and surprisingly famous for one particular activity.

ベースジャンピングという言葉を聞いたことがあるでしょうか。飛行機からではなく、地上にある高い建物や崖からパラシュートで飛び降りるとても危険なスポーツの事です。ペリン橋はベースダイビングが公式に許されている世界でも数少ないベーススポットなんです。怖!- Have you heard the word “BASE jumping“? It is a very dangerous sport. This sport is started by jumping off from high buildings or tall cliffs with a parachute rather than jumping off from an airplane. The Perrin bridge is one of a few BASE spots in the world officially allowed to do such dangerous jumps. Scary..!