The accretionary Wedge #45 is about geological pilgrimage – the sacred geological place that you must visit at least once in your lifetime.
I know I am a bit late and I am going to violate the rules of the game because I do not wish to pick a single location. Instead I am thinking about a huge and geologically extremely versatile landmass – the western part of the USA.
Many among my readers would now say: wait a minute, shouldn’t it be a remote and relatively inaccessible place? But for me it is both remote and inaccessible. It is remote because I live far away and it is inaccessible because I should go for a very long trip to see a tiny fraction of the places I’d like to visit there. I have never set my foot on US soil. Not because I can’t do it for some reason but I just see no point in going to New York for example for some days. I am not interested in it. If I am going to make a trip to US, then it should last some time to justify the money spent on airplane tickets, etc. It is very hard to do because of other commitments in life. It is much easier for me to take a week and visit some geologically interesting place in the Mediteranean area, for example. The Med, by the way, is very interesting as well.
There is one aspect of US geology what makes me jealous. No, I don’t mean Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, or other places with spectacular geology. Its the fact that USA is a country where people share a common language and taxpayers money adds up to initiate something big. There are projects like “Roadside Geology” series of books for every state and digital geological maps available free of charge. There is nothing like that for Europe. Europe is composed of small nations, everyone speaking their own language and dealing with their own small and globally absolutely unimportant projects. GPS was not accidentally created in the USA, it is easy to understand why it didn’t happen in Europe.
Yes, I know, Europe may be culturally richer because of versatility but I do not see much value in it. It really disturbs me that for every country geological guides that are in existence are written in strange languages understandable to few millions only and they are mostly printed, very little is available in the web. Every geological survey has their own mapping rules. Even if you can access some of their maps, the coordinate system used is often local and usable with great difficulties, if at all.
My geological pilgrimage would ideally take a year at least, possibly even more and involve many stops in California, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, etc. I doubt I will ever make it because it means I have to take a year free of other commitments but who knows. It costs nothing to dream and things you would like to do very much sometimes happen.