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Not Only A Travel Report: US Vacation 1976

I've been traveling the United States for many years, but where does my fascination with that country come from? There are, of course many aspects. America has a great cultural influence on Germany. American TV shows, movies and music are ubiquitous here, though they are giving a skewed picture of the country. History is also a reason. America had a strong military and political presence in Germany after the second world war. The existence of West Germany pretty much depended on America's protection — a protection that was based on more than just their own political and economic interests. The appreciation for Germany, in a cultural, not political way, goes way back into American history. Like those from other countries such as Ireland or Italy, German immigrants to America never lost the connection to their families back in Europe. Some German immigrants even had an important role in America becoming a „real“ country, but are virtually unknown in Germany. I'll briefly get back to that aspect later.

Eurofurence Overflow Hotels

And here's a map of potential overflow hotels for Eurofurence, proposed by attendees:

Anthrocon Overflow Hotels

With the growing amount of hotels available for Anthrocon guests it gets more difficult to keep track where exactly each hotel is located. Even for me, who's been attending Anthrocon for several years now. Thus, I've sat down and made an interactive map. Okay, to be honest, I wanted to do that for Eurofurence anyway, and it's fun to play with Openlayers 3... Please verify the phone numbers and street addresses in the popups (and send me corrections), as I might have missed some errors while cut and pasting the information at 1 am...

More fun with OpenLayers 3: U.S. National Parks

I've made a new interactive map while I was playing with the GIS stuff again. This time to visualize the U.S. National Parks, National Monuments, National Recreational Areas, and National Seashores / Lake Shores I've visited over the last eleven years.

Updated Map

Look, it's a shiny new map! And even with two more US states I've visited:

Roadtrip 2015: Yellowstone and more, part 6 - Lava Fields and a Salt Lake

Thursday, 2015-09-24: Craters of the Moon

This is a road trip after all, so let's hit the road and spontaniously decide to make a detour to Craters of the Moon National Monument. Okay, it wasn't that spontanious, we decided on that the night before, depending on how late we'd be in Idaho Falls. Actually, faster than we anticipated, so we drove through the arid rangeland of Snake River Plain until we reached the (cold) lava fields of Craters of the Moon. Interestingly, this is still considered being an active vulcanic area which lays dormant until the next eruption within the next 1000 years or so. It looks like a vulcano in Hawaii, but without the flowing lava. Is there any other place in North America like this? In any case, a strange area. Inferno Cone is basically a tall hill made of ash (a cinder cone), a trail leads to tree molds in a vast lava field, and we climbed through Indian Tunnel, a lava tube cave. No bats there, but the home of some feral pigeons that looked exactly like the Good Feathers...

Roadtrip 2015: Yellowstone and more, part 5 - Grand Teton

Tuesday, 2015-09-22: Grand Teton

Yellowstone is great, but there is more in the area to see. Grand Teton National Park, for example. So we checked out in the morning, left the Yellowstone through South Entrance and took the scenic John D.  Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway (what a name) to Colter Bay at Jackson Lake. A short hike rewarded us with a great panorama of the mountain range West of the lake. And angry squirrels.

Roadtrip 2015: Yellowstone and more, part 4 - West Yellowstone and Yellowstone Falls

Saturday, 2015-09-19: Mystic Falls

At least my foot was relatively fine. It hurt, but differently than before. A sore neck due to the backpack, never mind. But we probably shouldn't overdo it. So, what to do? Sizzling Basin sounds good, so we went there and... Oops, that's Mud Vulcano, we've been there before. Okay, back. Hmm, Gull Point Drive, that might be a nice detour. And indeed, it has a very nice view on Yellowstone Lake. Next, West Thumb. Pools, springs, geysers. Partly in the lake. A bit overrun by other tourists.