It was Thor's birthday so he got to choose where we went for the day:
Hole in the Wall.
A great road trip out through the Eastern Mojave National Preserve. I've been to a few of the places we drove to/through that day, but never out to Hole in the Wall. It's a favourite of the kids, but somehow, each time Thor and the kids went out I had to work or was otherwise occupied. The drive was fabulous, the day was warm (YES!) and we headed out through 29 Palms, Kelso Junction, Old Route 66, and on to Hole in the Wall.
Hole in the Wall is beautiful and interesting HUGE rock formations made from volcanic activity. The colours are amazing!
According to the USGS Geology Parks Guide:
Visitors to Mojave National Preserve are fascinated by the brightly colored, fantastically sculpted rocks at Hole in the Wall. Little do they know that these intricate forms hold the key to a devastating and violent episode in Mojave's geological past.
About 18.5 million years ago, a powerful volcanic eruption blasted outward from the nearby Woods Mountains. Propelled by the force of rapidly rising and expanding gasses, a ground-hugging cloud of ash and rock fragments spread out at near super-sonic speeds across the countryside. Some of the rocks thrown out by the blast are 14-20 meters (60 feet) across - the largest ever documented!
Hot, suffocating ash buried every living thing in the path of the blast. An area of over 600 km2 was covered with ash and rock fragments so hot that they welded together after they reached the ground. The toasted and fossilized remains of birds, mammals, and plants lie entombed beneath the volcanic tuff that forms the colorful cliffs of Hole in the Wall.
Records of many more catastrophic volcanic blasts can be seen as you drive through the Preserve."
So the moral of the story here is: If your hubby decides to take you out on his birthday and suggest you go to a Hole in the Wall, GO!
More photos to follow tomorrow.