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[翻译]This Is America - Wild Surroundings at Black Canyon of the Gunnison

更新时间:2016/10/8 8:55:52 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

Our national parks journey this week takes us to the western state of Colorado. There, you will find a 77-kilometer-long canyon. Its exposed rocks are among the oldest you will find on Earth.

本周的国家公园之旅带我们走进西部的科罗拉多州。在这里,你会发现一条77公里长的峡谷,该峡谷裸露在外的岩石是地球上可以找到的最古老的岩石之一。

The canyon is so narrow and so deep that sunlight shines only briefly at the bottom at midday. That frequent darkness is what has given this canyon its name.

该峡谷是如此狭长幽深,阳光只有在中午才能照到底部。这频繁的黑暗给了这条峡谷名字。

Welcome to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park!

欢迎来到甘尼逊黑峡谷国家公园。

Black Canyon seems impossibly steep and narrow. The fast moving Gunnison River formed the canyon over millions of years. As the river flows through the canyon, it drops an average of 18 meters per kilometer. The Gunnison River loses more elevation in its 77 kilometer canyon stretch than the Mississippi River does in 2,400 kilometers from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.

黑峡谷国家公园看上去的陡峭和狭窄得难以想象。快速流动的甘尼逊河历经数百万年形成了这条大峡谷。随着这条河流流经峡谷,河面平均每公里下降了18米。甘尼逊河在这条77公里长峡谷中的海拔落差超过了密西西比河从明尼苏达州到墨西哥湾这2400公里长度的海拔落差。

This loss in elevation causes the river to gain speed and force. Over time, that force has carved and cut the hard rock, and created the wild and jagged rock formations found at Black Canyon. That process is known as erosion.

这种海拔落差导致甘尼逊河聚集了速度和力量。随着时间的推移,这种力量雕塑了坚硬的岩石,并创造了黑峡谷国家公园中天然锯齿状的岩层。该过程被称之为侵蚀。

At its widest, Black Canyon is 14 kilometers. At its deepest point, it is 829 kilometers from the canyon edge to the floor.

黑峡谷国家公园最宽处有14公里,在峡谷最深处,从峡谷边缘到谷底地面有829米。

Black Canyon attracted little attention from early Western explorers. In fact, no early Spanish explorers to the southwestern United States reported seeing Black Canyon. The first written record about the canyon came in 1873.

黑峡谷很少吸引到早期西方探险家的关注。事实上,早期到达美国西南部的西班牙探险家无人报告说看到了黑峡谷。1873年第一次出现关于该峡谷的书面记录。

The Ute Indians certainly knew of Black Canyon. But only its rim, never the gorge, shows evidence of past human occupation. Even today, the depth and steepness of Black Canyon make it extremely difficult for humans to access.

尤特印第安人当然知道黑峡谷。但是只有峡谷边缘显示了过去人类居住的证据,峡谷内并未发现这类证据。即使在今天,黑峡谷的深度和陡度也使得人类难以企及。

Birds, however, have no problem surviving in the canyon environment. Black Canyon is home to many kinds of birds. They live at the canyon rim, along its walls, and by the river. Mountain bluebirds and great horned owls live in the rim area. The owls eat seeds and berries from the pinyon, juniper and oak trees found there.

然而鸟类在峡谷环境中生存无虞。黑峡谷是多种鸟类的栖息地。它们沿着河流和峭壁生活在峡谷边缘。山地蓝知更鸟和大角猫头鹰生活在峡谷边缘地区。这种猫头鹰食用那里发现的矮松、刺柏以及橡树的种子和浆果。

Canyon wrens sing loudly within Black Canyon. Visitors are more likely to hear the birds than seen them. They build their nests on flat surfaces of the canyon walls. So do peregrine falcons. They prey on other birds. They dive at speeds up to 300 kilometers per hour to catch them.

峡谷鹪鹩在黑峡谷内唱响。游客们更容易听到这种鸟儿,而不容易看到它。它们在峡谷壁的平坦表面筑巢,游隼也是这样。它们以300公里的俯冲速度捕食其它鸟类。

American dippers build their nests in the gorge, next to the Gunnison River. A gorge is a narrow valley between hills or mountains. These dippers feed on insects and small fish.

美国河乌在毗邻甘尼逊河的峡谷里筑巢。峡谷是指丘陵或山脉之间的狭长山谷。这些河乌以昆虫和小鱼为食。

Some people come to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park for world-class birdwatching.

有人到甘尼逊黑峡谷国家公园来是为了世界级的鸟类观赏。

But, it is the canyon itself that appeals to most visitors. Walking along the rim, seeing the canyon’s towering cliffs, and hearing the powerful flow of the Gunnison River far below is an overwhelming experience.

但是,是峡谷本身吸引了大多数游客。沿着边缘行走,看着峡谷的万丈悬崖,听着脚下甘尼逊河的滚滚长流是一种荡气回肠的体验。

At Black Canyon, visitors can view some of the planet’s oldest exposed rocks. They are Precambrian rocks. Precambrian accounts for the Earth’s history from its very beginning up until about 540 million years ago.

在黑峡谷国家公园,游客们可以看到地球上最古老的一些裸露岩石。它们是前寒武纪岩石。前寒武纪是指史前到大约5.4亿年前。

Precambrian rocks are described as “basement rocks” because they are usually buried deep under the surface. The only become exposed when younger rocks have been cut away by erosion or other forces. At Black Canyon, the Gunnison has eroded the canyon walls so greatly that Precambrian rocks have become visible.

前寒武纪岩石被称为基岩,因为它们通常深埋于地表之下。只有年代更短的岩石被侵蚀或其它力量刨除后,基岩才会裸露出来。在黑峡谷国家公园,甘尼逊河深度侵蚀了峡谷岩壁,前寒武纪岩石便显现出来。

Often, the canyon’s rock walls look like works of art. Different kinds of rocks fold together and form colorful patterns. The patterns change as the sun hits different parts of the walls.

峡谷岩壁往往看上去像是艺术作品。不同种类的岩石挤在一块,形成了多彩的图案。阳光照射到岩壁不同部分,图案便发生变化。

One area of the canyon is known as Painted Wall. It is the highest cliff in Colorado. Long pink bands of rock cover this section of the canyon, as if a person took a paintbrush to the wall.

峡谷某个地区被称之为手绘墙。这是科罗拉多州最高的悬崖。粉红色长条纹岩石覆盖了这部分峡谷,就好像有人在岩壁上作画。

This pattern formed as hot liquid from below the Earth’s surface forced its way into rock cracks. As it slowly cooled, large crystals formed. The bands get their pink color from a crystallized mineral called potassium feldspar.

这种图案是地表以下的炽热岩浆强行侵入岩石裂缝而形成的,随着它逐渐冷却便形成了大的结晶体。这种条纹的粉色源自于一种名为钾长石的结晶矿物质。

Protecting the canyon

保护峡谷

Local people knew how just special Black Canyon was. They began urging Congress to protect the canyon in the 1930s. It became a national monument in 1933. And in 1999 it became a national park.

当地人懂得黑峡谷有多特殊。上世纪30年代他们便开始督促国会保护峡谷。1933年这里成为了国家纪念地。1999年,这里成为了国家公园。

The park protects more than 22 kilometers of the canyon. Most visitors spend their time exploring the canyon rim by foot or by car. Several kilometers of trails lead to many overlook points. A road also leads to several breathtaking views.

该公园保护了超过22公里长的峡谷。大多数游客通过步行或驾车探索峡谷边缘。几公里长的小径通往许多观景台。还有一条路通往一些壮丽景色。

The U.S. Congress named the lands below the canyon rim a Wilderness Preservation System. This is meant to “protect forever the land’s natural conditions.”

美国国会认定该峡谷边缘以下的陆地为一处荒野保护体系。这是为了永久保护这片土地的自然条件。

Some adventurous travelers choose to explore this wilderness by hiking down to the inner canyon. There are no marked trails to guide them. Hikers must first get a wilderness use permit. These permits are free, but only a limited number are available each day.

一些冒险的旅客选择徒步下到峡谷内探索这片荒野,那里没有明显的小路引导他们。徒步者首先必须获得荒野进入许可证。这些许可证是免费的,但是每天只限量提供。

Many of the paths are difficult to follow. Some are also dangerous. The Warner Point trail, for example, drops more than 820 meters. Walking down takes more than two hours. Walking back up can take up to four hours.

这些路线大多都难以行走,其中一些还很危险。例如,华纳观景台的路线下降超过了820米,走下去需要2个多小时,走上来需要花费长达4个小时。

The park service warns that poison ivy grows wildly in the inner canyon. There is also the risk of falling rocks.

公园管理处提醒人们,毒藤在峡谷内疯狂生长,同时还有落石风险。

But, to reach a place where no humans ever tried to live is the reward. In the words of a 1901 explorer to Black Canyon’s river area, “Our surroundings were of the wildest possible description. The roar of the water...was constantly in our ears...Occasionally a rock would fall from one side or the other, with a roar and crash, exploding like a ton of dynamite when it struck bottom, making us think our last day had come.”

但是,抵达人类从未试图生存的地方就是一种奖赏。用1901年进入黑峡谷河流区域的一位探险者的话来说,“我们周边的环境非常荒凉,水的轰鸣声回荡在我们耳边。偶尔会伴随着轰隆声或崩塌,有岩石从这边或那边掉落下来,当它击中峡谷底部时,就像是一吨炸药爆炸,让我们觉得我们的末日已经到来。”

I’m Ashley Thompson.

And I’m Caty Weaver.

Words in This Story

steep – adj. almost straight up and down : rising or falling very sharply

elevation – n. the height of a place

jagged – adj. having a sharp, uneven edge or surface

erosion – n. the process by which something is worn away

rim – n. the outer edge of a usually round object

access – n. a way of getting near, at, or to something or someone

cliff – n. a high, steep surface of rock, earth, or ice

overwhelming – adj. very great in effect

basement – n. the part of a building that is entirely or partly below the ground

adventurous – adj. not afraid to do new and dangerous or exciting things

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