Journey to the “Center of the Earth” (Or ALMOST) in Canada….

The Tablelands in Gros Morne National Park in Canada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been used as a training site for some NASA astronauts to train for missions to Mars and to the Moon. With the historic Dragon rocket launch yesterday at Kennedy Space Center in Florida with the first commercial space flight in history, launched with the first Americans on American soil in an American rocket in many years, I am thinking of my trip to this wonderful place a few years ago.

At this wonderful national park in Rocky Harbor, New Foundland, Canada, I walked along a section of orange rocks from the Earth’s Mantle, a layer of rock found normally deep beneath the Earth’s Crust that has been exposed to the surface of the Earth.

layers of the Earth diagram courtesy of Oregon State University

The Mantle is the layer just before the Earth’s outer core. How exciting it was to walk in the place where geologists proved the theory of Plate Tectonics, or the movement and collision of seven large “plates” (and several smaller “plates” of geological material), leading to the creation of geologic events such as earthquakes and volcanoes, as well as the many other processes that form, transform, and destroy rocks.

Most of the area at the Tablelands is made up of the rock peridotite, which is part of the Earth’s Mantle that was brought to the surface of the Earth by a large plate collision several hundreds of millions of years ago.

You may recognize the gem peridot, which is crystallized olivine. Olivine is the greenish area contained in the rock peridotite.

photo courtesy of gemkids.gia.edu

If you are a rock or geology lover, this is a great place to visit. I visited in September, which was cool but not too cold to hike. Click on the link below to find out the best way for you to get to the park:

https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/nl/grosmorne/visit/directions

If you are not a lover of geology, perhaps seeing fauna such as moose, woodland caribou, rock ptarmigan, arctic hare, boreal chickadee, Canada jay, or Newfoundland martins might interest you. If you’re not a big animal lover, perhaps some of the flora tucked in between the orange rock setting will interest you as well.

This place was an amazing place to visit, and I highly recommend it. In fact, two movies were even filmed at this park. If you recognize the setting, “Contact” (1997) with Jodie Foster and “Outlander” (2008) with Jim Caviezel were both filmed here.

Life is good. Travel as much as you can when the travel restrictions are lifted after the pandemic is under control. There is a whole wide world outside your window if you look for it.

Carpe diem, friends………………..

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