Images of the World
Volcanoes of the World
slide program

Our most science-based program includes erupting volcanoes, extinct volcanoes, volcanic craters, and volcanic islands, along with rock climbing unusual igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rock formations.

Program Synopsis

Learn how volcanic activity
shapes the earth

Photos and stories from 12 journeys over the last 34 years in Africa, Asia, North America, Central America, South America, and various Pacific Islands.

Nyiragongo Volcano

The photos above and left are Nyiragongo Volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa.

Civil war presently makes this area difficult to visit. Bruce made the photos on his first trip to Africa in 1974. For more photos and stories from that journey click on Great Rift Valley of Africa.

After Bruce's first Africa trip, and Tass's first trip to South America, we meet as ski bums in Jackson, Wyoming in 1976. To see photos of our tipi in Jackson click on About Bruce and Tass.
Our first adventure together is a six-month journey through Mexico and Guatemala in 1977. We start our trip in the rainforests of southern Mexico in the states of Yucatan and Chiapas.

scarlet macaw
The scarlet macaw is one of the world's largest parrots, over three feet long. Macaws are loud, raucous birds who love to squawk at one another. Like most parrots, macaws usually mate for life.
Besides birding and learning about rainforest, we are excited to learn about the Maya Indians.

The Maya built huge cities and pyramids throughout Mexico and Central America. The pyramid of Kukulcan at the right is in Chichen Itza, Mexico, on the Yucatan peninsula.

The classic period of the Mayan civilization was from 250 AD to 900 AD.

Most of the ancient Maya cities were abandoned over a thousand years ago.

pyramid of Kukulcan, Chichen Itza, Mexico
For more information about the Maya see our Rainforests and Maya Ruins program.
We travel into the highlands of Guatemala and stay for six weeks on the shores of Lake Atitlan, which is surrounded by volcanoes.

As the sun sets we plan which of the volcanoes we will climb first.

Lake Atitlan sunset, Guatemala

The base of the Atitlan volcano is covered with thick tropical rainforest. During most of the climb we are in mist and rain.

As we climb we ascend through the tropical rainforest into cooler temperatures and a band of pine forest.

Hiking higher we go above tree line onto a huge scree field of lapilli, marble sized rocks formed when lava was blown into the air and then separated into droplets, which cooled off into rocks as they fell back to earth.


How we make a "sauna" and find a warm place to sleep on top of Atitlan volcano.

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As we reach the summit the clouds clear. We find ourselves surrounded by volcanoes.
What a great place to spend the night!
The next morning as we watch the sunrise we decide we want a closer view of Fuego, the active volcano above on the right.

We don't know if Fuego is safe to climb, so we decide to climb Acatenango, the volcano above on the left with two cones.

After two days of climbing we arrive on top of Acatenango.

The view of Fuego is even better than we had hoped.

We take off our backpacks and sit down to watch. About every twenty minutes the ground shakes and we see a huge puff of smoke rise out of the volcano. Only as the plume of ash begins to billow does the sound of the explosion reach us.

As the sun goes down we realize that each explosion is accompanied by a large shower of lava and hot rock that we could not see in the bright daylight.

We know we are in for a beautiful show during the night!

Fuego, which means fire in Spanish, continues to put on a dramatic show, erupting every twenty or thirty minutes all through the night.

We wrap our sleeping bags around us to stay warm, and sit up all night long, watching the volcano.

We climbed Acatenango with enough food for three days.

We are so excited watching Fuego that we stay on the volcano four days. The last day all we have to eat is one banana and one avocado. We are also running out of water.

As we sit watching Fuego on our last night we wonder, where will we go next to see more of the worlds volcanoes?

One of our favorite volcano sighting is during our World Bicycle Tour when we visit the island of Hawaii.

From the moment we see this eruption, we are determined to get a closer look!

If you want to join us, click on Kilauea in Volcanoes National Park on the big island of Hawaii.

Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii
We rock climb on a variety of igneous and sedimentary rock formations, including Devil's Tower in Wyoming, our nations first National Monument.
Go to Devil's Tower to see more photos.
Bruce climbs Picture Window, Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
Bruce climbs Picture Window, a beautiful granite rock formation in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Granite is an igneous rock crystallized from magma. Black Hills granite features huge crystals of quartz, feldspar and tourmaline, along with sheets of mica.

tourmaline crystal
A near fist-sized ball of tourmaline and quartz crystals makes a great climbing hold.
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