Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Great Divide Basin

It is not long after leaving the Snowys that you enter the sagebrush country which covers much of central Wyoming.  North of Rawlins you enter a unique geological area-the Great Divide Basin.

Most people are familiar with the Continental Divide, a line where water flows to the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Atlantic on the other.  At the Great Divide Basin however, the water flows in and reaches no ocean.  Think of it where the line suddenly has a circle.  Or for those familiar with I-35 in DFW or the Twin Cities, how I-35 splits into I-35E and I-35W for those cities and rejoins itself on the other side.

Of course, this being sparse, dry country there is not much water to divide here anyway.

I am sure most folks just kick up their speed in hopes of reaching someplace else, but I found it to be fascinating.  I kept looking and seeing sights that made me stop.  Dry salt pan, distant mountains, the slight green of a wash.  For me it was one of those drives I kept stopping at taking images.  I was there in mid-day, so the light was not great but if I could be here around sunset, I think it might be a neat spot.  Note to self, remember this place.

I found this salt pan a great representation of the basin.  What little rain falls here runs into the basin to form an ephemeral lake that then drys out leaving some salt.  Over countless years, it has left a dry salt lake bed.  With the distant mountains that mark the edge of the basin and harsh light it really captures the desolate harsh beauty of the area.

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