Hallo. It’s me. Your friendly neighborhood grouch.

It’s springtime, which means the sun is shining, birds are in the air, flowers are blooming ... blech. You know what I want? Pollution! Chemicals! I want to go where the grass is orange and the water green!

Maybe I’ll just trip on down to my favorite industrial site. Seattle's got a nice one full of rusty old towers and old coal grime and beautiful chemical processing machines and ... what is this?

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The Grand Canyon. The Rocky Mountains. The Great Lakes. Many of the names of our American natural wonders are ... a little on the nose.

To be fair, back in the day when people were exploring 3.8 million square miles of largely uncharted territory, literally circling the wagons to brainstorm the name of a random mountain or lake probably got old fast. “Well, they’re pretty rocky, ain’t they? Rocky Mountains — boom. Done.”

But in this vast, amazingly diverse land we call the United States, there are still lots of pretty damn strange names of natural features that might make you say, “Hm, maybe I should go to that pretty place with the funny name.”

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