Hawaii’s Haiku Stairs

By Hawai Foto – http://www.hereisthebest.ru/index.php/kategor/potryasayushchie-mesta/72-lestnitsa-v-nebo, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The Haʻikū Stairs, also known as the Stairway to Heaven or Haʻikū Ladder, is a steep hiking trail on the island of Oʻahu, Hawaii. The total 3,922 steps span along Oahu’s Ko’olau mountain range. Access is forbidden by the Hawaiian government due to liability issues and land access problems.
“Haiku” does not refer to the Japanese poetry genre. The area is named “Haʻikū” after the Kahili flower. Originally built to transmit radio signals to Navy ships that were operating throughout the Pacific during World War II. In order to obtain the necessary height for the antennae, the Navy stretched them across Haʻikū Valley, a natural amphitheater surrounded by high ridges. To accomplish this, they needed “easy” access to the top of the ridges, so they installed a wooden ladder up the mountain. The ladder was later replaced by a wooden staircase. The trail was closed to the public in 1987. Some hikers ignored the “no trespassing” signs and continued to climb, contributing to the local community’s misgivings about reopening the structure.
info source: Wikipedia
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The Arches of Alabama Hills

Rocks of the Alabama Hills with the Sierra Nevada in the background, winter dawn – By steveberardi – originally uploaded to Flickr as Alabama Hills, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

The Alabama Hills are a range of hills and rock formations near the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada in the Owens Valley in California, United States. Dozens of natural arches are among the main attractions at the Alabama Hills. They can be accessed by short hikes from the Whitney Portal Road, the Movie Flat Road and the Horseshoe Meadows Road. Among the notable features of the area are: Mobius Arch, Lathe Arch, the Eye of Alabama and Whitney Portal Arch. The Alabama Hills are a popular filming location for television and movie productions, especially Westerns set in an archetypical “rugged” environment.

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The Windmills of Kinderdijk

By EOSPhotoOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Kinderdijk is situated in the Alblasserwaard polder at the confluence of the Lek and Noord rivers. To drain the polder – like much of the Netherlands, Kinderdijk lies below sea level – a system of 19 windmills was built around 1740. This group of mills is the largest concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands. The windmills of Kinderdijk are one of the best-known Dutch tourist sites. They have been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997.

Info source: Wikipedia
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Dry Tortugas

Fort Jefferson at the Dry Tortugas. The clear waters in shallow areas surrounding the fort, seen easily in the photo, are popular for snorkeling and scuba diving. (By U.S. National Park Service – U.S. National Park Service [1]; English Wikipedia, original upload 2 March 2005 by Brian0918, Public Domain, Link)

The Dry Tortugas are a small group of islands, located in the Gulf of Mexico at the end of the Florida Keys, United States,  known for its famous marine life, its legends of pirates and sunken gold, and its military past. The first Europeans to discover the islands were the Spanish in 1513, led by explorer Juan Ponce de León. The archipelago’s name derives from the lack of fresh water springs, and the presence of turtles. Turtles provided a food source to the pirates who roamed the waters around the islands in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and used adult turtle meat as currency for trade.

Fort Jefferson located on Garden Key in the lower Florida Keys within the Dry Tortugas National Park, is a massive but unfinished coastal fortress. In the middle of construction, the Civil War broke out, and building materials were increasingly hard to come by. This bastion remained in Union hands throughout the Civil War. It later was used as a prison until abandoned in 1874.
info: Wikipedia
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Trona Pinnacles recognizable in more than a dozen hit movies.

By Bureau of Land ManagementBLM Winter Bucket List #7: Trona Pinnacles, California, for Out of This World Rock Formations, Public Domain, Link

The Trona Pinnacles are an unusual geological feature in the California Desert National Conservation Area. The unusual landscape consists of more than 500 porous rock formed as a deposit when springs interact with other bodies of water, rising from the bed of the Searles Lake dry basin. Known as tufa pinnacles, these strange shapes formed underwater 10,000 to 100,000 years ago. The pinnacles vary in size and shape from short and squat to tall and thin, They now sit isolated and slowly crumbling away near the south end of the valley, surrounded by many square miles of flat, dried mud and with stark mountain ranges at either side. The Pinnacles are recognizable in more than a dozen hit movies. Over thirty film projects a year are shot among the tufa pinnacles, including backdrops for car commercials and sci-fi movies and television series such as Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Disney’s Dinosaur, The Gate II, Lost in Space, and Planet of the Apes.
info source: wikipedia
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Incredible ice shards pile up along Lake Michigan shorelines

During the winter, 56% of the Lake Michigan was frozen as temperatures reached negative 23 degrees Fahrenheit. As the frozen lake started melting, water underneath the ice pushed broken pieces of ice against one another and  up to the surface transforming the region into a magical wonderland.

Lake Baikal – The world’s oldest and deepest lake

Lake Baikal, meaning, in Mongolian, “the Nature Lake”, is a rift lake located in southern Siberia, Russia. It’s at least 20 million years old, and roughly a mile deep at its lowest point. The Siberian lake is the largest freshwater lake by volume in the world and is considered the world’s oldest lake. The lake is completely surrounded by mountains and is fed by as many as 330 inflowing rivers. During ice season, that starts usually in mid-January and lasts till mid-April., ice depth increases up to 140 centimeters, that allows quite safe vehicle driving on ice cover. The ice itself is very picturesque because of transparency of 1 meter depth, having different patterns of crevasses and bubbles, performing astonishing sounds.

By Артём ПолозOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
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