Ranger Kathryn's Arches

July 25, 2013

When the familiar is in the rear-view mirror

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 7:11 pm
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Arrowleaf Balsamroot in full bloom sets off the Grand Teton range in mid-June.

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.”

So goes the quote attributed to Augustine of Hippo. Whether he really said those words or not, I’ve been unable to verify, but I resonate with the thought behind them and find that I become restless if intervals without travel occur in my life. Preferably travel with plenty of unknowns: where you’ll end up, what the weather or road conditions may be, whether campsites will be available, what wildlife might be encountered. The rugged, ragged edges of such adventures are what thrill me.

Hot springs galore are to be found in the Norris Geyser Basin area of Yellowstone National Park.

Geothermal features galore are to be found in the Norris Geyser Basin area of Yellowstone National Park.

As Chris and I studied the Lonely Planet guide for the Canadian Rockies, and dreamed of heading to that beautiful country, we couldn’t have known that it would snow on us in Yellowstone National Park in late June and rain on us every day for a week north of the border. That hardly anybody sells block ice in the area we visited. That my credit card number would be stolen at a petrol station in Kootenay. That campfires (as American a tradition as apple pie) cost $8.80 each in Canada. Or that a persistent toothache would muck up the last days of our trip.

We also couldn’t have predicted that we’d travel during peak wildflower bloom and maximum waterfall volume, hike our way to the top of a couple of mountains, and have at least seventeen wonderful experiences for every not-quite-wonderful one. We’d also learn to say “eh?” and pronounce the word “about” differently after spending nine days among the friendly, helpful, delightful people of Canada.

You? Grab a travel magazine at the library. Type in a new destination on Google. Maybe it’s time to read another page of the world.

February 12, 2012

Acetabulum. Be frightened!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 3:34 pm
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(Note: It’s tough to follow a post like my last one, so I’m choosing a radical departure from park service topics. Enjoy the anatomy lesson.)

Life is amazing. Search engines often aren’t. After last week when I was doing an image search for the pelvic bone found in the granary, sidebar ads kept popping up based on the terms I was exploring. Google promised me they were relevant; I shake my head in disbelief to see what appeared.

First, a review. That lovely curvy bone you feel (if you’re thin enough) when you put your hands on your hips is your ilium. In front of your bladder is the pubis. When you ride a horse too long, you notice it in each ischium. Those three bones are fused at the acetabulum, which is the round socket that receives the ball of the femur (thigh bone).

Most people like their acetabula. They serve you well every time you bend at the hips, which is all the time. Most acetabula happily serve their owners for, oh, a lifetime.

Enter Google ads, putting the fear of disease and trauma on us. Look:

“Acetabulum is one of the many conditions that affect Americans.” Then they showed a scary picture of this “condition”:



And, if that weren’t distressing enough for budding hypochondriacs,

“Clinical trials are crucial to find new treatments for Acetabulum. You can check for the clinical trials currently active to find new treatments for Acetabulum. We can beat this disease together!”

Really, Google??? Must you?

Today, make a bold decision. Choose not to be apprehensive concerning your own hip socket. And remember to take search engine results with a grain of salt.

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