Aerial Geology Book

For all my long-time readers out there who have been wondering what I’ve been up to these past few years, I can finally let you in on my big secret! I wrote a book! My first book entitled Aerial Geology: A High Altitude Tour of North America’s Spectacular Volcanoes, Canyons, Glaciers, Lakes, Craters and Peaks was published by Timber Press in October!

Land Lungs: A NASA satellite image of the Missisippi River Delta

Aerial Geology is a coffee-table style book that takes a bird’s eye view of 100 geologic features all over North America through NASA satellite photos, aerial photos from airplanes and my own shots and explains their geology on a grand scale. As many of you know, I’ve been making my living as a freelance science writer for the past ten years, while crisscrossing the continent by car and on foot. In many ways, this book is the culmination of a decade of studying the Earth, as a science journalist and an insatiable hiker, and I will never get over the feeling of holding a copy of it in my hands.

My favorite thing about my job as a science writer is that I get to learn something new everyday. I’ve hiked in all 50 states and have visited 89 out of 100 locations covered in Aerial Geology (the remaining 11 are still on my to do list, including the Bugaboos in British Columbia and the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico) and I learned A LOT about North America – the most geologically diverse continent on Earth – in writing this book.

Earth’s Ink Stain: Lava flows at Idaho’s Craters of the Moon

From the introduction of Aerial Geology:

Geology and mountaineering go hand in hand. The higher you go, the more you see and the more you see, the more you learn. If mountaintops are fantastic classrooms, airplane window seats are even better. In many ways, geology is best understood from the air. Altitude lends a greater perspective of the land and lets you begin to visualize the extraordinary forces have shaped our planet over the last 4.45 billion years.

Follow me from the edge of Alaska, down the West Coast, to the desert Southwest, over the high Rockies, across the patchwork Great Plains, and up the ancient fossil-rich mountains of my childhood, to the edge of the East. This book is for everybody who ever wondered how seashells end up on mountain tops and for the high flyers who gaze out that tiny oval on every flight. I hope this book changes the way you see the world and inspires you to get out and explore more of it.

Seashells from an ancient ocean make up the limestone ridge to the summit of Woodward Mountain in southwest Montana

Aerial Geology

One hardcover copy of Aerial Geology, signed by the author Mary Caperton Morton aka the Blonde Coyote. Price includes shipping.


40 Responses to Aerial Geology Book

  1. Ken Conley says:

    What a great blog, very well done andvery informative. I am glad Dio made it through July 4th, have a great time in Canada. I have decided not to do Alaska this year due to the weather, but I will be doing Canada to see Jasper, Banff, and will revisit Glacier.

  2. ala says:

    hi! i’m from Poland and i adore your blog. Photos are amazing and places that you visit are breathtaking! Why don’t you try to visit Poland?:) I wish you all the best!

  3. Rebecca Ann says:

    your blog is beautiful.

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  5. I love the layout and the colours of your blog. Also the name is really unique and original. I love your blog! How do you get such good photos?! Amazing…

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  11. Elke E. says:

    Great images! Would you be so kind as to email me regarding the possibility of online use? Thanks!

  12. Pat says:

    I’m about to turn sixty and will celebrate my 40th wedding anniversary in May of next year. We have been busy raising kids and care taking parents. We started doing some traveling almost 10 years ago when our two sons were on their own. After a few trips out west, we are now hooked and are planning a month long trip in May of next year to celebrate our anniversary. We are looking at a little Airstream and hoping to take it on the road. In my search for camping prices and sites, I ran across your awesome website! You are my hero, blondie! I want to be you in my next life or in the life I have left. If I could only get my husband to retire early, sell our belongings and hit the road. We will try it for a month and see if we get bitten by the nomad bug. We now have two beautiful grand babies so we can’t be gone for too long at a time but it sure sounds awesome what you do and how simple you live. We love photography and hiking and so appreciate all the beauty that’s within these United States of America! Good luck to you and thanks for the inspiration to these old folks! I can’t wait to show your site to my husband! Any advice for our month long trip will be appreciated!

  13. Joe Emery says:

    Dear BlondeCoyote, we are looking to retire from our carpentry business and travel with our Subaru throughout N. America. We’ve been checking out RV’s but decided they were too big to get to the places we want to camp at, and too expensive. Can you fill us in on your teardrop with it’s cool kitchen? That’s more our budget and to our liking. Thanks, Tina and Joe, Cleveland Hts., OH

  14. Lorraine Fioravanti says:

    I admire your lifestyle! What a BEAUTIFUL and FULFILLING way to live! I wish you many days of happiness in your journey! Thanks for sharing your stories and photos and inspiring my dreams!!!!

  15. Dallas Crow says:

    Just pre-ordered your geology book on Amazon. Looks like it’s going to be great. I’ve enjoyed your travel articles on this site!

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  19. TheBlandCommenter says:

    Saw your new book at Powell’s. Very colorful with beautiful vibrant photos of some fascinating landscapes. Nice to see that you found unique perspectives on so many locations.

    Lovely photo of Lake Chelan and the eastern peaks of the North Cascades, but it’s unclear what that has to do with the Columbia River Gorge. 🤔 Am curious to see the aerial image you meant to use for the Gorge. Weird that your editor at Timber Press missed that from their own backyard.

    Any plans for a book tour?

    • Thanks for letting me know my book is at Powell’s! I love that place and I’m honored to have my book on their shelves! Good eye on Lake Chelan as well. The photo is intended to show how large the drainage basin is for the Columbia watershed. The water in Lake Chelan runs into the Columbia all the way in the distance, between Hood and Rainier. The caption could do a better job of conveying that info… something to remember for the next edition! Or maybe we’ll do an entire book just on the Columbia! Oh the possibilities… 🙂

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  22. Our copy of Aerial Geology for the Washington Geological Survey Library just arrived! It’s beautiful and full of amazing info! Thanks for publishing it!

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  27. Emily Wein says:

    I just read your book cover to cover and loved, loved it. I’m always glued to the window on a flight, especially out west, and your text was like having a friendly geologist sitting right next to me. It’s my first visit to your blog but I’m sure it’ll become a regular.

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  31. E. Miya says:

    The color version of Shelton’s Geology Illustrated.

  32. Jeffrey Duplessis says:

    Picked up Aerial Geology at an independent book store in Bozeman, MT on a recent weekend trip. My wife, who is always looking out for me, located the book in the science section of the bookstore and immediately brought it to my attention. What a lucky guy I am when my partner understands my passion for Geology. At age 59, had I a chance at a do over, Geology would be my career. Thank you so much for the unique perspective you bring to this subject.

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