This batch of photos are aerial shots from the airplanes. I included photos I like from both flights which I'll of course separate. I love photos like this, I love being able to look out the window of the plane and identify geological features and locations. You might think that incredibly nerdy of me but I don't care, it's fascinating!
The Flight North
This is the Mammoth Lakes region in Eastern California. The Mammoth region was formed by volcanic activity which is very obvious from this photo!
More evidence of how this part of the state was shaped. The region is still active nearby Mammoth Mountain is a major skiing destination.
Very obviously Crater Lake in Oregon. Crater Lake was formed after an ancient volcano collapsed. The island is volcanic and has a crater itself, it's called Wizard Island. Crater Lake is one of the deepest lakes in the world.
Glacier! The first one I saw :D
Two glaciers! I was bouncing in my seat with all the glaciers!
You can see the moraine clearly here (the dark line of sediment in the middle)
This is a tidewater glacier. Any glacier that ends at the water is called a tidewater glacier :)
The Flight South
This flight was also fabulous!
This is Orcas Island, the second largest island in the San Juan island chain. The name comes from the shape of the island which looks like an abstract orca! I visited Orcas Island in 2001 I believe. That was the first time I went whale watching for orcas, it was really lovely there.
Some lake in Washington. I don't know if it's man made or natural but it looks like an orca too!
Here's a great shot of Mt. Rainier in Washington! Mt. Rainier is the highest peak in the Cascades Mountain range and can be seen from Seattle (only 50 northwest of the mountain), Portland (OR), and Victoria (BC). It is an active stratovolcano but it hasn't erupted in over 100 years.
I believe this is Mt. Saint Helens. If it isn't, it's another volcanic peak in the Cascades Mountain range :)
The Columbia River. On the left is Washington and on the right is Oregon.
I looked outside my window and immediately identified this as south Lake Tahoe. I went to Lake Tahoe for the second time last July, some of you might remember those photos. I knew it was Tahoe based on just how big the last one, it's California's largest lake. I also identified it based on the small bay you see which is called Emerald Bay. I took a few photos of this lake and I might try to paste them together so I can have a full lake shot. I was able to see Carson City in Nevada from out my window and I took a few photos which I might share. Lake Tahoe was caused by a number of things, volcanic and glacial activity played key roles for various parts of the lake. It's called the "Jewel of the Sierra" due to his rich blue color.
Now this is a cool photo! I looked out my window and immediately turned to mom and said "Yosemite's out there!". Indeed it was, the flight attendant confirmed it over the loudspeaker (though I didn't' need any confirmation!). This is a photo of Yosemite Valley, California's most beloved National Park. On the bottom left you can see the giant granite El Capitan and on the upper left (it's towards the center of the picture actually) you can see Half Dome (both are very visible!). Yosemite Valley was created by glaciers although that was a controversial theory back in the day, people used to think it was carved by massive earthquakes. Yosemite Valley is breathtaking at all times of the year, I've been there in the Spring and in the Winter. Beautiful! You can compare mine with another aerial shot (taken with a better camera on a clearer day and obviously lower down!) here! You can see El Capitan and Half Dome in this photo as well :)
A random photo of geological formations.
Lolz. You know you're in Los Angeles when it gets hazy. Actually, LA has gotten a lot better with the smog, this city is a lot cleaner then it was in the 80s! Still has smog though. I won't say "because it's a big city" because Vancouver, BC has no smog and it's a big city! I wouldn't mind living in Vancouver, it's absolutely beautiful! I have some photos of Vancouver for a later post.
This post took me awhile since I had to double check my facts so feedback is happily accepted ;)