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Scotland Blitz

Edinburgh to Highlands, June 2010

Given the strong LPL field trip tradition, and the quest for sites of awesome geology world wide, it is no surprise Scotland has been on our radar. The landscape, born of volcanism and tectonism and shaped by glaciers, has these fundamental planetary surface processes laid bare. Reasons for going were also cultural - Ralph the native made a good case for the trip, which was initially sized at five persons and became reduced to two (see our "group" shot). We determined to make this a scout trip for a future, bigger bash. Early pics are of the French coastline from the airplane; we were blessed with blue skies and amazing weather the whole two days, and tried to picture how different our stops will be while damp and cloudy. We headed directly from the Edinburgh airport in the Midlands, past Stirling to the edge of the western Highlands, up the highland boundary fault. Lochs, weakened by tectonism and then gouged by glaciers, oriented many of our roads. Glacial terrains, such as hummocky moraines, steep mountains, and U-valleys, became more apparent. Misty views of the steep Glen Coe volcanic complex across rambling Rannock Moor (aka the Dead Marshes) were mysterious and inviting. Finally we reached the Glen Coe mountains, made impossibly high and steep by glacial erosion of schists under resistant volcanic caps. Here you can see the cross section of Glencoe Caldera, from basement, through magma chamber, up to caldera fill (although it was hard to make all that out from below!). We ate in town at a lovely pub (wild boar and venison burgers) and stayed in a great B&B, Lios Mhoire. We slept, although I don't remember it every really getting dark. Much of the next morning was spent in Glen Etive, which has a lovely stream flowing through it that we actually got in. I'm sure there's a narrow window for that, luckily we caught it. After some kite flying, we headed back out of the glorious highlands, down to the Midlands, and finally to Edinburgh. Late light illuminated Arthur's seat and the city skyline from behind. Many thanks to Ralph for putting together a spectacular trip!

Here are my favorites:


On the road Ralph cresting Glen Coe sisters
U in Glen Etive Our swimming hole Arthur's Seat
Edinburgh skyline Sea ice!

Kitecam pic of our swimming hole

"Group" photo from Ralph

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Please credit Jani Radebaugh for all pictures, thank you!