Cunningham Family's Adventures Thru the USA


Emerald Bay – Lake Tahoe, California

Emerald Bay State Park is a state park located around Emerald Bay, a National Natural Landmark, at Lake Tahoe, California.

The park is home to Eagle Falls and Vikingsholm, a 38-room mansion that is one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the western hemisphere. The park contains the only island in Lake Tahoe, Fannette Island and is accessible by State Route 89 near the southwest shore of the lake. Emerald Bay is one of Lake Tahoe’s most photographed and popular locations.

In 1969, Emerald Bay was recognized as a National Natural Landmark by the federal Department of the Interior. In 1994, California State Parks included the surrounding water of the bay as a part of the park, making Emerald Bay one of the first underwater parks of its type in the state, protecting the various wrecks and other items on the bay’s bottom.

Summer temperatures at the park range from the low 40 °F (4 °C) at night to mid-70 °F (25 °C) during the day, and during the winter visitors will usually experience temperatures between 20 and 40 °F (-7 and 4 °C). During harsh winters, the bay freezes over. The bay is about 1.7 miles (2.7 km) in length, and about two-thirds of a mile (1 km) wide at its widest point.

Death Valley, California

Death Valley is a desert located in California. It is the lowest, driest and hottest valley in the United States and the location of the lowest elevation in North America at 85.5 m (282 ft) below sea level.

Death Valley holds the record for the highest reliably reported temperature in the Western hemisphere (134 °F (56.7 °C) at Furnace Creek in 1913) – just short of the world’s highest, which was 136 F (58 C) in El Aziza, Libya on Sept. 13, 1922.

Located southeast of the Sierra Nevada range in the Great Basin and the Mojave Desert, it constitutes much of Death Valley National Park. It is mostly located in Inyo County, California. It has an area of about 3,000 square miles (7,800 square km).

Free Children’s Education

One of my Favorite site’s and my most used (at this point) is called Schoolexpress.comBetween the free worksheets, free weekly Units (if you sign up for their weekly news letter), to the ability to create your own Worksheets, this is a Great Site.

 A great site for Math is I like to use this site for the Pre-made Worksheets (which are grade appropriate). But I also love the great Teaching advice they provide in their weekly news letters.

and one must not forget to mention Dad’s where you will find over 7,400 free worksheets.

Another awesome site that we have come across is Here children can play educational games aimed mostly toward Math and Reading.

My kids & I love Science.

And what’s Not to Love?

Anatomy, Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science

We Love it all.

Grand Canyon, Arizona

You can hike to viewing points, or take a helicopter ride in order to view the Grand Canyon in all its glory. A powerful and inspiring landscape, the Grand Canyon overwhelms our senses through its immense size; 277 river miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a mile (1.6km) deep.

Summer temperatures on the South Rim are relatively pleasant.  North Rim temperatures are a few degrees cooler due to the higher elevation. Inner canyon temperatures are extreme.  Daytime highs at the river often exceed 105°F.  Thunderstorms frequently occur during July, August, and early September.

Winter conditions on the South Rim can be extreme.  The road into the North Rim is closed from the first heavy snow in November or early December to mid-May.  Spring and Fall come prepared for a variety of conditions. Pleasant weather can change to rain or cold.


Signs and symptoms of sunburn usually appear within a few hours of exposure, bringing pain, redness, swelling and occasional blistering. Because exposure often affects a large area of your skin, sunburn can cause headache, fever and fatigue.

If you have a sunburn:

  • Take a cool bath or shower. You can also apply a clean towel dampened with cool water.
  • Apply an aloe vera or moisturizing lotion several times a day.
  • Leave blisters intact to speed healing and avoid infection. If they burst on their own, apply an antibacterial ointment on the open areas.
  • If needed, take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Aleve) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others). Use caution when giving aspirin to children or teenagers. Though aspirin is approved for use in children older than age 2, children and teenagers recovering from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms should never take aspirin. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.

Don’t use petroleum jelly, butter or other home remedies on your sunburn. They can prevent or delay healing.

If your sunburn begins to blister or if you experience immediate complications, such as rash, itching or fever, see your doctor.


When your body is exposed to cold temperatures, especially with a high wind chill factor and high humidity, or to a cool, damp environment for prolonged periods, your body’s control mechanisms may fail to keep your body temperature normal.

When more heat is lost than your body can generate, hypothermia, defined as an internal body temperature less than 95 F (35 C), can result.

Wet or inadequate clothing, falling into cold water and even not covering your head during cold weather can increase your chances of hypothermia.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Shivering
  • Slurred speech
  • Abnormally slow breathing
  • Cold, pale skin
  • Loss of coordination
  • Fatigue, lethargy or apathy
  • Confusion or memory loss
  • Bright red, cold skin (infants)

Signs and symptoms usually develop slowly. People with hypothermia typically experience gradual loss of mental acuity and physical ability, so they may be unaware that they need emergency medical treatment.

Older adults, infants, young children and people who are very lean are at a higher risk. Other people at higher risk include those whose judgment may be impaired by mental illness or Alzheimer’s disease and people who are intoxicated, homeless or caught in cold weather because their vehicles have broken down. Other conditions that may predispose people to hypothermia are malnutrition, cardiovascular disease and a underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).

To care for someone with hypothermia:

  • Call 911 or emergency medical assistance. While waiting for help to arrive, monitor the person’s breathing. If breathing stops or seems dangerously slow or shallow, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately.
  • Move the person out of the cold. If going indoors isn’t possible, protect the person from the wind, cover his or her head, and insulate his or her body from the cold ground.
  • Remove wet clothing. Replace wet things with a warm, dry covering.
  • Don’t apply direct heat. Don’t use hot water, a heating pad or a heating lamp to warm the victim. Instead, apply warm compresses to the center of the body — head, neck, chest wall and groin. Don’t attempt to warm the arms and legs. Heat applied to the arms and legs forces cold blood back toward the heart, lungs and brain, causing the core body temperature to drop. This can be fatal.
  • Don’t give the person alcohol. Offer warm nonalcoholic drinks, unless the person is vomiting.
  • Don’t massage or rub the person. Handle people with hypothermia gently; their skin may be frostbitten, and rubbing frostbitten tissue can cause severe damage.

Heat stroke

Heat stroke is the most severe of the heat-related problems, often resulting from exercise, heavy activities or heavy work in hot environments combined with inadequate fluid intake.

Young children, older adults, people who are obese and people born with an impaired ability to sweat are also at high risk of heat stroke.

Other risk factors include dehydration, alcohol use, cardiovascular disease and certain medications.

What makes heat stroke severe and potentially life-threatening is that the body’s normal mechanisms for dealing with heat stress, such as sweating and temperature control, are inadequate.

The main sign of heat stroke is a markedly elevated body temperature — generally greater than 104 F (40 C) — with changes in mental status ranging from personality changes to confusion and coma. Skin may be hot and dry — although if heat stroke is caused by exertion, the skin may be moist.

Other signs and symptoms may include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid and shallow breathing
  • Elevated or lowered blood pressure
  • Cessation of sweating
  • Irritability, confusion or unconsciousness
  • Feeling dizzy or light-headed
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fainting, which may be the first sign in older adults

If you suspect heat stroke:

  • Move the person out of the sun and into a shady or air-conditioned space.
  • Call 911 or emergency medical help.
  • Cool the person by covering him or her with damp sheets or by spraying with cool water. Direct air onto the person with a fan or newspaper.
  • Have the person drink cool water or other nonalcoholic beverage without caffeine, if he or she is able.

Heat exhaustion

Heat exhaustion ranges in severity from mild heat cramps to heat exhaustion to potentially life-threatening heat stroke.

Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion often begin suddenly, sometimes after excessive exercise, heavy perspiration, and inadequate fluid or salt intake.

Signs and symptoms resemble those of shock and may include:

  • Feeling faint or dizzy
  • Nausea
  • Heavy sweating
  • Rapid, weak heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Cool, moist, pale skin
  • Low-grade fever
  • Heat cramps
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dark-colored urine

If you suspect heat exhaustion:

  • Get the person out of the sun and into a shady or air-conditioned location.
  • Lay the person down and elevate the legs and feet slightly.
  • Loosen or remove the person’s clothing.
  • Have the person drink cool water or other nonalcoholic beverage without caffeine.
  • Cool the person by spraying or sponging him or her with cool water and fanning.
  • Monitor the person carefully. Heat exhaustion can quickly become heat stroke.

If fever greater than 102 F (38.9 C), fainting, confusion or seizures occur, call 911 or emergency medical help.

How heat affects your body

Hot weather and outdoor activities puts your body through extra stress.  Both the activity and the outside temperature increases your core body temperature.

To help cool itself, your body sends more blood to circulate through your skin. This leaves less blood for your muscles, which in turn increases your heart rate. If the humidity also is high, your body faces added stress because sweat doesn’t readily evaporate from your skin. That pushes your body temperature even higher.

Pay attention to warning signs

During hot-weather, watch for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness. If you ignore these symptoms, your condition can worsen, resulting in a medical emergency.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion

If you develop any of these symptoms, you must lower your body temperature and get hydrated. Stop what your doing immediately and get out of the heat. If possible, have someone stay with you who can help monitor your condition. Remove extra clothing or sports equipment.

Drink fluids — water or a sports drink.

If possible, fan your body or wet down your body with cool water. If you don’t feel better within 30 minutes, contact your doctor.

If you have signs of heat stroke, seek immediate medical help.

Once you’ve had heat stroke, you’re at a higher risk of getting a heat illness again. Get cleared by your doctor before you return to exercise if you’ve had heat stroke.

How to avoid heat-related illnesses

When you’re in hot weather, keep these precautions in mind:

  • Watch the temperature. Pay attention to weather forecasts and heat alerts. Know what the temperature is expected to be for the duration of your planned outdoor activity.
  • Get acclimated. If you’re used to being indoors or in cooler weather, take it easy at first when you are in the heat. As your body adapts to the heat over the course of one to two weeks, gradually increase the length and intensity of your activities.
  • Know your fitness level. If you’re unfit or new to outdoor activities, be extra cautious when in the heat. Your body may have a lower tolerance to the heat. Reduce your activities’ intensity and take frequent breaks.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration is a key factor in heat illness. Help your body sweat and cool down by staying well hydrated with water. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. If you plan to be outdoors for longer than one hour, consider a sports drink instead of water. Sports drinks can replace the sodium, chloride and potassium you lose through sweating. Avoid  alcoholic drinks because they can actually promote fluid loss.
  • Dress appropriately. Lightweight, loose fitting clothing helps sweat evaporate and keeps you cooler. Avoid dark colors, which can absorb heat. If possible, wear a light-colored, wide-brimmed hat.
  • Avoid midday sun. Try your outdoor activity in the morning or evening, when it’s likely to be cooler outdoors. If possible, hangout in shady areas.
  • Wear sunscreen. A sunburn decreases your body’s ability to cool itself.
  • Have a backup plan. If you’re concerned about the heat or humidity, stay indoors.
  • Understand your medical risks. Certain medical conditions or medications can increase your risk of a heat-related illness. If you plan to be in the heat, talk to your doctor about precautions.

Heat-related illnesses are largely preventable. By taking some basic precautions, your outdoor activity doesn’t have to be sidelined when the heat is on.

Heat cramps

Heat cramps are involuntary and sometimes painful, muscle spasms that usually occur during heavy exercise in hot environments. Inadequate fluid intake often contributes to heat cramps. Muscles most often affected include those of your calves, arms, abdominal wall and back, although heat cramps may involve any muscle group involved in the exercise.

If you suspect heat cramps:

  • Rest briefly and cool down
  • Drink clear juice or an electrolyte-containing sports drink
  • Practice gentle, range-of-motion stretching and gentle massage of the affected muscle group
  • Don’t resume strenuous activity for several hours or longer after heat cramps go away
  • Call your doctor if your cramps don’t go away within one hour or so


Frostbite occurs when skin and underlying tissues are exposed to very cold temperatures. The most likely areas to be affected are your hands, nose, ears and feet.

If your skin looks white or grayish-yellow, is very cold and has a hard or waxy feel, you may have frostbite. Your skin may also itch, burn or feel numb. Severe or deep frostbite can cause blistering and hardening. As the area thaws, the flesh will become red and painful.

Gradually warming the affected skin is key to treating frostbite.

To do so:

  • Protect your skin from further exposure. If you’re outside, warm frostbitten hands by tucking them into your armpits. Protect your face, nose or ears by covering the area with dry, gloved hands. Don’t rub the affected area and never rub snow on frostbitten skin.
  • Get out of the cold. Once you’re indoors, remove wet clothes.
  • Gradually warm frostbitten areas. Put frostbitten hands or feet in warm water — 104 to 107.6 F (40 to 42 C). Wrap or cover other areas in a warm blanket. Don’t use direct heat, such as a stove, heat lamp, fireplace or heating pad, because these can cause burns before you feel them on your numb skin.
  • Don’t walk on frostbitten feet or toes if possible. This further damages the tissue.
  • If there’s any chance the affected areas will freeze again, don’t thaw them. If they’re already thawed, wrap them up so that they don’t become frozen again.
  • Get emergency medical help. If numbness or sustained pain remains during warming or if blisters develop, seek medical attention.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Well here is an update with Alaska’s Super Storm

“The massive storm currently bearing down on Alaska is bringing hurricane-force winds, blizzard conditions, damaging storm surges and battering waves to the highly vulnerable western Alaska coastline. The National Weather Service has referred to the storm as “epic”, and so far, the dire forecasts are proving correct. This super storm has the potential to do severe damage to Alaskan communities that are less resilient to such events than they once were, due to ongoing impacts from global climate change and other factors.

The storm’s center has a minimum air pressure reading comparable to Hurricane Irene that struck the East Coast in August, (which if you read my earlier posts, knocked out power in parts of Connecticut for WEEKS!) and the broad fetch of strong winds is causing coastal flooding in Nome, Kivalina, and other villages.

According to The Weather Channel, a wind gust of 89 miles per hour at Wales, Alaska, and a storm surge exceeding six feet in Nome have already been observed.

 This storm could be historic for Alaska and is comparable to the November 11-12, 1974, Bering Sea storm that remains the most severe in Nome in 113 years of record keeping.  Major differences between the 1974 storm and this upcoming storm include the fact that tides were much greater in the 1974 storm.

However, sea ice extent is currently much lower than it was in 1974, thus providing no protection along the coast and greater fetch.”

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I have caught the flu. Lucky me.

So anyways, my family pointed out that there’s a HUGE hurricane hitting Alaska.

One to 3 inches of additional snow, near-zero visibility and sustained winds of 30 to 50 mph – with gusts of up to 60 mph – were expected in and around Kotzebue on Wednesday evening, the National Weather Service said.

The wind chill at Red Dog Dock south of Kivalina, Alaska, was -14.1 degrees Fahrenheit at 8 a.m. local time, according to measurements from the NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center. Winds were gusting to 70 mph and the temperature was 12.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The rate of ice accertion, the process of ice building up on solid objects, was more than 15.6 inches an hour, according to the NDBC data.

Again with the strange weather.

They had also mentioned something about an asteroid in the news. That struck my interest. So I did some digging and sure enough.

It was right there:

Asteroid YU55

“If the asteroid were on a collision course, Tuesday would have been a very bad day, marked by a cosmic blast equivalent to a 4,000-megaton super-duper nuclear bomb. Instead, it was a very good day for astronomers. They can use the insights gained during this flyby to figure out how near-Earth objects might behave during closer, potentially more dangerous encounters to come.

The closest approach to Earth came at 6:28 p.m. ET Tuesday, when the quarter-mile-wide (400-meter-wide) asteroid slipped just barely within the orbit of the moon at a distance of 198,000 miles (319,000 kilometers). YU55 is due to come closest to the moon at 2:14 a.m. ET Wednesday, NASA said.

In a Twitter update, NASA said that YU55 will make its next Earth flyby in 2015, “but at a greater distance than today.” Today’s encounter wasn’t close enough to perturb the near-Earth asteroid’s orbit, but experts are wondering whether a close flyby of Venus in 2029 will change its orbital path slightly.

Even if that Venus encounter does cause a change, Earth is in no danger from this particular space rock, at least for the next 100 years or so. Which is a good thing. If an object the size of YU55 were to hit land, experts say it would blast a 4-mile-wide, 1,700-foot-deep crater and set off a 7.0 earthquake. If it hit at sea, it would create a catastrophic tsunami with 70-foot-high waves. The last time an asteroid as big as YU55 came this close was in 1976, and the next time will be in 2028.”