Archive for May, 2015

Bungee Jumping Locations

In bungee jumping, the thrill from the free fall, notwithstanding the elasticity of the cord, leads to a sort of rebound which adds to the fun. There are a number of locations around the world where this extreme sport can be experienced to its fullest. Let’s take a plunge into knowing where they are.

Idaho, Perrine Bridge
One of the most exciting bungee jumping spots, Perrine Bridge in Idaho, offers a 486 ft fall in the Snake river. This is the only man-made bridge in the USA where bungee jumping is allowed, throughout the year, that too without a permit.

Victoria Falls Bridge
Go east in Africa, and you have Zimbabwe offering a fabulous and breathtaking bungee jumping location. This is a 500 ft drop from the Victoria Falls bridge over the Zambezi river, connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia. The thrill of the jump, combined with a dreamy spray of waterfall. Wow, must go!

Grande Canyon, Arizona
This is another location in USA. Here, at the northern tip of the Grande Canyon, Marble Canyon, at Kuskulana Bridge, you can jump from a height of 470 ft.

Ticino, Switzerland
Yes, this is that famous dam from where ‘007 James Bond’ jumped in the movie Golden Eye. Verzasca dam is the name of the place in Switzerland, which has on offer a plunge from a 220 m high hydroelectric dam. Ticino valley is the place where it is located.

The Bridge to Nowhere, California
This jumping site is one of the most popular ones in USA. The bridge is located around 40 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, in the lovely Angeles National Forest.

Bhote Khosi Bungee, Kathmandu, Nepal
Eastern ecstasy is at its best in Nepal, a cozy country situated in the heart of the magnificent Himalayas, very close to India. The snow-capped mountains are a perfect background to take a 500 ft fall. The Bhote Khosi river gushes wildly underneath the bridge, which is perfect for bungee jumping.

Great Canadian Bungee
If you are still not impressed, try jumping from a cliff in Canada. This spectacular site is flanked by limestone walls and an enchanting aqua-blue colored lagoon. Further, it is just around 30 minutes or less from downtown Ottawa at the Morrison’s quarry. Here, you can have a 200 ft head or body dip, and the rebound is a mind-blowing 160 ft.

Macau Tower
I saved the best for last. It is the Macau Tower in China. This plunge continues for 18 seconds, and you stop only 30 feet short of the ground, after going down a ripper―762 ft. I am getting goose bumps just writing about this. This fall will surely make you believe in God, and you are definitely going to get a flashback of your life while you go down.

The Rocky Mountains

The Rockies or the Rocky mountains are the largest mountain ranges in North America. They are situated in the west of North America and Canada. The ranges are not continuous, but, are segregated. All the peaks rise above 3000 m. Mt. Elbert (4401 m) is the highest peak, while, Mt. Massive (4398 m) and Mt. Harvard (4397 m) are the second and third highest peaks respectively. Mt. Robson (3955 m) is the highest peak in the mountain ranges in Canada.

Location
The mountain ranges cover a large area, from British Columbia to New Mexico. They stretch nearly 3000 miles, comprising American states like New Mexico, Wyoming, Utah, South Dakota, Idaho, Montana, and Colorado, as well as Canadian states like British Columbia and Alberta.

The mountains are classified into Southern Rocky Mountains, Middle and Northern Rockies, the Rocky mountain system in Canada, and the Brook range in Alaska. Canadian mountains are the largest ranges and stretch along nearly 900 miles. Sawatch Range, Sangre de Cristo, San Juan Mountains, Gore Ranges, Wasatch Range, Park Range, and Mosquito Range, etc., are the major mountain ranges.

Formation
The process of mountain formation is known as Orogeny. The formation of mountains in the world began in Paleozoic era (300-250 million years ago). The ancient Rockies were formed in this era. Followed by it was the Mesozoic era or the age of dinosaurs (249-200 million years ago). Tectonics and sedimentation took place in North America in the mesozoic era. In both these eras, huge sediments from the oceans were deposited on land due to invasion of the oceans. At the end of mesozoic era, these mountains were formed due to plate tectonic activity. The outermost layer of the Earth’s interior is called Lithosphere. It is broken into several plates. These plates are present below the surface of the earth. The collision of any two of these plates results in upliftment of vast land areas, resulting in mountain formation.

Before the formation of these mountains, there was a shallow sea in the area where Colorado is situated today. The youngest ranges were formed some 100-60 million years ago. Sedimentary as well as igneous rocks are found in these mountain ranges.

Erosion has played a greater role in shaping the Rockies since ancient times. Earlier, they were much larger in size. Tremendous amount of erosion took place and the sediments were washed away. These sediments were deposited eastwards and plains were formed.

Features
The Rocky mountains have very slanting sides. Most of the peaks are covered with snow. Inter-mountain basins are remarkable characteristics of the Rockies. They are formed where there is less upliftment. The Wyoming Basin is one such example. It is a flat grassy prairie which divides the mountains into two. Biologically, the two parts of the mountains are completely different. Different kinds of fauna are found in these two parts.

The highest and the broadest mountain ranges lie in Colorado. Various summits rising above 4000 m are found here. The Sawatch is the principle range in Colorado. Rocky mountain National Park, situated in the center of Colorado state, is a major tourist attraction. It incorporates nearly two hundred thousand acres of land. Peaks, glaciers, and lakes are found in the park. There are grasslands at the lowest part of the National Park. Rock climbing, mountaineering, fishing, and camping are major activities undertaken here.

The Rockies are the source of rivers like Mackenzie, Missouri, Fraser, and Colorado. The Great Divide, created by the rivers in the Rockies, separates the rivers flowing into Atlantic or Arctic from the rivers that flow into the Pacific ocean.

As they are rugged terrains, the Rocky mountains are thinly populated. The chief economic assets are natural resources, gold, copper, and places of tourist attraction. Lake Louise and Jasper National Park are the major tourist attractions in the Rockies of Alberta. Gold was discovered in the state of Idaho, Colorado and Montana, in the 19th century. Copper, lead, zinc is found sparsely in these areas. Leadville is a major mining center. Abundant forests are also major natural resources. These are under government control. Spruce, fir, and pine are the species of trees that dominate these forests.

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