School Report 9

22 May

Man Made and Natural Wonders of the World

There are things in our world that are truly amazing. They may be something that man has built or they may be something natural. Grumpy and I have been lucky to see some amazing things on our trip and in North America we have been lucky enough to visit the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone Park.

The Hoover Dam
The Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam is a man-made wonder. A dam is a structure that is built to hold back water so that it can be saved in very large lakes and used to provide water and electricity to many people as they need it.

The Hoover Dam seen from the back
The Hoover Dam seen from the back

Hoover Dam was built to control water from the Colorado River. It is built using concrete and took 4 years to build being finished in 1935, so 80 years ago. Before the dam was built the water often used to overflow onto the farming land flooding and ruining the crops.  America is made up of states which are a bit like very large counties. The dam crosses the state lines between Nevada and Arizona which are in different time zones so you can stand at the middle of the dam and one half of you will be at 9 o’clock and the other half of you will be at 10 o’clock. Cool eh!

Grand Canyon is a natural wonder, so not made by people.

Can you see the people near the edge?
Can you see the people near the edge?

The canyon is a deep valley cut into the rock over many years with a river running at the bottom. The Grand Canyon is one mile deep and 277 miles long. Some of the rocks at the bottom of the canyon are 2 billion years old, so very very old. The river at the bottom of the canyon is the Colorado river. A long time ago American Indians lived both in and around the canyon. We were able to walk along part of one edge of the canyon. It was scary looking over the edge.

Yellowstone Park is a very big park which takes several hours to drive round. It is very beautiful and there are lots of animals living there including bison, moose and bears. We didn’t see any bears but we did see the bison and moose. All the animals can be very dangerous so it is important to stand a long way from them. One crossed the road right in front of us so we stopped Bertie and waited for him to move into the field. Video clip here: Bison crossing the road

Yellowstone also has some

The sulphur pools smell like rotten eggs - yuk!
The sulphur pools smell like rotten eggs – yuk!

natural wonders including geysers and mud pots. The ground bubbles and makes a lot of steam and some smell like bad eggs. Not nice. The most famous geyser is Old Faithful which sends water up into the sky about every 90 minutes. The water builds up underground and gets very hot, too hot to touch. Before the geyser erupts you see little squirts and jets of water and then it can shoot up to 185 feet in the air, so much higher than your houses. We all got sprayed with the water. A lot of the people didn’t like being sprayed by the water and they all ran away when we got wet. There is a video clip here of a hot mud hole bubbling: Bubbly mud

Video here of Old Faithful erupting: Old Faithful erupting

Soon Narna and Grumpy will be in Canada – can you see Canada on your maps?

Old Faithful throwing water and steam into the air
Old Faithful throwing water and steam into the air
Bison in a herd
Bison in a herd
A Bison walks across the road, we had to stop and wait
A Bison walks across the road, we had to stop and wait
A whole house moved by a lorry
A whole house moved by a lorry
Jenny's a bit close to the edge
Jenny’s a bit close to the edge

2 Replies to “School Report 9

  1. Hi Jim and Jenny, looks like a truly memorable experience so far. Glad you are still safe and well.

    Regards
    Ken

    • Thanks Ken. Well into Canada now and tomorrow we start on the Alaska Highway which will take us eventually to Fairbanks Alaska and the start of perhaps our biggest challenge so far – the Dalton Highway (gulp)

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