Saturday, January 15, 2011

And They're OFF

High on the list of requirements when you travel is knowing where you are going...knowing where you are...knowing how to be found..."ABSOLUTELY!" "Absolute Location," the intersection of the imaginary lines of latitude and longitude, is a traveler's friend. Jeff arrived, oranges in hand, and showed you that lines of latitude are slices of an orange, but that lines of longitude are wedges, bulging, just like the sphere of the earth does. Longitudinal lines(remember to elongate that mouth so you know the lines run North to South) start and end in the poles, dividing the earth east and west. We learned how for thousands of years, navigators and explorers used the sun to find their latitude on the seas (stretch that smile out on your face when you say latitude and you'll know the lines run parallel to the equator). But longitude was a problem. It's based on TIME. Each hour away from the homeland represents 15 degrees of longitude. But with watches rusting and pendulums getting sea sick and off beat, how was a sailor to know what time it is in the homeland? How could the sailor count the hours from home to where he was now? For centuries, sailors had to guess where they were. And sometimes...often...ran into that pesky nuisance called land. Some sailors used the howling dog system of navigation. Remember? Look it up! It's such a fun story! 

Jeff sent you on a wild hunt with coordinates (latitude/longitude) for major world cities. You did AWESOME! I brought in some stuff from home and asked you to find where it was made and find the coordinates of that city. The city Ellie found for this bumper sticker was Minneapolis.

Computer parts were found all over Asia and even in Europe! See how fast Thomas, Cody and Jacob are sliding their hands over this map to find the coordinates Jeff called out? They are pros.

Needless to say, you all started traveling today. Everyone was thrilled. Frances and Cody are in Egypt, heading, bravely, for the Valley of the Kings; Nicholas is dazzled in Morocco, where, what?, there are gushing waterfalls? Eleanore and Anna are in Nuuk, Greenland, a tiny town where big scientific expeditions are happening--and they're joining! Keegan is in South Africa, famous for an earth FULL of diamonds. Jacob and Logan are in Japan, home of sumo wrestlers and snow monkeys. Ellie is finally in Turkey, where when she asks for help, her tongue performs some serious acrobatics! Mia and Kelsey are in South Korea and, lucky girls, they get to call Mia's mom to ask for help translating! Thomas is spending hours devising ways to climb a very tall mountain...but where are you Thomas? Which mountain are you climbing? Tell us! Niki? Are you out there? What are YOU doing? Cody? How is sailing? 

So many questions, so many bewildering finds! Please be sure to tell us where you are "ABSOLUTELY." You know what I mean. Absolute location. Tell us about one or two physical phenomena (mountains, rivers, deserts, oceans, waterfalls, plateaus, craters, etc.) you crossed or will cross getting to or being in your country. Create your scrapbook page so you'll have a journal of your trip forever!

One thing Frances said when she called from Egypt is, "Everything is just so surprising!" If you keep your eyes and hearts open, traveling is constantly surprising. You're constantly readjusting your perception of the physical world, its people, and your place in it!

And have fun! Ciao!

PS can you tell where I am writing from? I'm going to give you a few clues...a famous man loved this place, wrote about it profusely, traveled by foot here, experienced a windstorm from the top of a battered tree, and nourished himself with bread crust. Careful walking or you might trip on discarded obsidian lying scattered on the granite...chips from arrowheads. Dip your toe -- or whole body -- in the green/blue glacial water and you'll be instantly renewed! Stay here long and you'll forget everything you ever worried about EVER! It's my favorite place on this earth. I'm NOT GIVING you the absolute location or you'll figure it out too fast! I'll give you one more "graphic" clue below.

Do you see the "choo choo" that makes the ridge line? Yes, it's called "Choo Choo Ridge."

Write soon with bewildering facts! I miss you all already! :) Carolyn


  1. Well, I have no clue where you are. . . I give up!! Also, I left Thursday night, Landed in Spain, then went to France, next, to Italy, and now I have finally reached my main destination, GREECE!!I will say more in the blog post!! So long!And good luck on your expedition, TRAVELERS! (Indiana Jones music)

    Niki Mouse :)

  2. Carolyn why can't you just tell me?I literally die
    if I don't get to know a secret,you really need to tell me where you are or I will travel around the world till I find you in your exact location.
    Please tell me before I dig a hole and die.
    again, I really want to know!

  3. Okay, okay: Yosemite. Near Vogelsang. Lake Evelyn. So close to home and yet so very very very very far away. :) Carolyn