American Adventures and Amazing Geology

Travelling is a big part of me. I’ve always been a bit of a wanderer and love to move around, which most likely stems from growing up on a tiny remote island. I  have just returned from my most recent adventure, a rather wonderful month exploring America with my big sister – also an avid traveller.

We flew into New York City for a jam-packed 5 days before continuing on to Chicago, where we enjoyed much music and art. After a couple of plane journeys we found ourself in Washington State’s Spokane to have a chilled out few days with some of our family who have settled there. Seattle was our next stop – a beautiful city that the wonderful photographer and friend Kathy Cadigan calls home. Myself and my good friend Ella Gordon just had the joy of being photographed by Kathy for Gudrun Johnston‘s new book, ‘The Shetland Trader Book Two’. Its a gorgeous book filled with beautiful designs, so if you are a knitter definitely take a look!

So, two weeks into our adventure we hit California – queue my geology obsession overloading. We hired a car, drove down the rugged coast of California’s Highway 1 and enjoyed steep cliffs dropping straight into the vast Pacific ocean. Dry land and warm hued rock hugged the winding roads we were driving down, all the way to Santa Barbara.

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We decided to leave the coast and take a trip inland to the aptly named Death Valley. Our days driving in the desert is an experience I will never forget, the landscape is surreal and extreme. Huge inactive volcanos, salt flats, sand dunes, ghost towns and vast sculptural mountains covered in multi-coloured minerals. The deathly silence is intense…and the geology is AWESOME!

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The inspiration I took away from this alien landscape is huge and I found it almost overwhelming trying to take it all in at the time. I am very glad to have been able to take thousands of photos to enjoy now.
After spending some time in San Diego and Los Angeles we had a day trip to the breathtaking Grand Canyon, before ending our trip in fabulous (and crazy) Las Vegas.
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The scarred landscape of the Grand Canyon is indescribable and on a scale that is mind-boggling. Yet another fantastic experience.
I am now back home in Shetland, currently looking out the window to a blustery sea and dramatic light bursting through the clouds. The desert heat seems so long ago!
Winter is closing in fast for us on these windswept islands and I am glad I have a head full of inspiration to work from in the studio over the coming dark months.
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2 thoughts on “American Adventures and Amazing Geology

  1. I know this is an older post, but I’ve been randomly enjoying entries in your blog over my morning coffee – in addition to admiring your work, your process is compelling. I just wanted to remark that I love your impressions of California. Having grown up on the opposite side of the U.S. in a quieter part of the country, California was always one of those places I didn’t understand until I stepped off the plane my first visit there. “Oh, THIS is why so many want to live here.” It’s a beautiful, diverse place.

    Incidentally, a friend frequently works with large groups of international conference attendees near Washington D.C., who often find themselves with a free weekend before or after their event. At least one will inquire about directions to the Grand Canyon, and she always feels a little terrible at their disappointment when she tells them they can’t possibly drive there and back in two days.

    • Oh Kristin, I deeply apologise for not replying to you sooner. I have been a rubbish blogger recently, oops! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my thoughts and enjoy my work over morning coffee. I too was completely overwhelmed by the scale of the US, its always portrayed as vast in the big movies but its not until you get there can you really appreciate the hugeness of your fantastically varying country. I did enjoy that element though, being an island girl you can only ever go so far before you are stopped by the sea, so the novelty of being able to drive for literally days was very enjoyable! I loved California, and often think about returning…hopefully one day soon. I hope you are well, and thank you once again for reading x

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