Elko, Nevada

Well, I said I would write if I saw something interesting to write about. The hydrologists among you should be very interested in the areas we passed by yesterday, so here goes:

We headed back up I-15 through Salt Lake City, which is the way we came to Moab. From there, we met up with I-80 westbound. Just as we were rounding the corner at the junction, I was able to get one last shot of the State Capitol. For those of you who took issue with my "sucky air quality" comment, I want to assure you that I've been set straight. As you can see from the image below, the air quality was significantly improved yesterday. The haze is mostly gone, and the sky is blue.

From there, we drove on to Great Salt Lake State Park where we had some lunch and got a shot looking out over the blue waters of the Great Salt Lake. 

Here was the accompanying sign. I figure you can read it as well as I can regurgitate it to you.

And after reading that, the next thing we saw should come as no surprise:

To my international readers, I'm not sure if you are familiar with the iconic Morton Salt Girl, and so I'll just tell you that in America, Morton salt is practically an institution on the same level with Mom and apple pie.

Beyond that, this is the road we traveled yesterday: straight, long, and desolate.

Despite the desolation, our AAA map had the highway marked as a scenic byway, and as it turns out, more interesting pastures were about to reveal themselves. In a short while, we noticed we were traveling on salt beds known (according to the map) as the Newfoundland Evaporation Basin.

The interstate grade had been raised above the basin, but it could be seen on both sides of the road and in the median strip.

Eventually, we came to a rest area where we read information about the Bonneville Salt Flats. Again, you can read the sign as well as I can. Just be sure to notice who erected the sign, indicated with a yellow arrow at the bottom of the image.

I've enlarged the smaller print toward the bottom of the sign so that you can read it a little easier.

The history of Lake Bonneville is pretty interesting. Here's just a smidge of what Wikipedia had to say about it:

At more than 1,000 ft (300 m) deep and more than 19,691 square miles (51,000 km2) in area, the lake was nearly as large as Lake Michigan and significantly deeper. With the change in climate, the lake began drying up, leaving Great Salt Lake, Utah Lake, Sevier Lake, Rush Lake, and Little Salt Lake as remnants.

If you're someone who is as naturally curious about these sorts of things as I am, I recommend clicking on the link I've given you. It's quite interesting.

There happens to be water here right now, and it was very pretty with the reflections of the surrounding mountains. You can see that the water is quite shallow, and folks were taking off their shoes and wading out into it.

In fact, the good folks who built the rest area have provided a foot wash for those adventurous enough to partake.

Here's a panorama of the area. Remember that you can click on the image to make it larger.

A few large objects littered the basin floor, and you can see that they are encrusted with salt.

As we drove on, we saw areas where the water had evaporated, leaving a thick crust of salt. This reminded us of the area known as the "Devil's Golf Course" in Death Valley.

Shortly after that, we crossed the border into Nevada and back into the Pacific Time Zone.

Since we gained an hour here, we drove on for longer than we had originally planned, eventually stopping for the night in Elko, Nevada. At the RV park, we were mobbed by two kittens, this little Siamese, who was sweet as could be.

He was much too busy playing and exploring for this restrictive holding business, and mewed when I picked him up, wanting to be put down. Okay, okay, okay. Eventually, his buddy, Mr. Tuxedo cat showed up. 

These two hung around our rig the entire evening, and even after we went inside for the night. Heck, we're practically family now that we've shared a table.

Today, we'll be heading for John Day, Oregon, and the Grant County Fairgrounds where we've stayed before. We're hoping there will be room for us, as there was the last time we passed this way a couple of years ago. It's a great place for RVers with nice sites, full hook-ups and cheap fees. Tomorrow afternoon, we'll be home.

7 comments from clever and witty friends:

Dana Gaffney said...

So Morton's gets the salt from the lake? Very interesting.

Kate said...

We visited the Great Salt Lake a couple of years ago on vacation. It's much better to look at then it is to swim in. Safe travels this weekend.

Cath said...

wow! that panoramic shot is spectacular! I can't say Utah would make it onto my travel wish list...looks way too desolate for my tastes...which is also why I really am not interested in visiting our own outback and Lake Eyre (salt lake 700km north of Adelaide) either but I am so glad you did Utah for me!! and you took that amazing shot.

Heidi said...

As always, I am enjoyed your vacation :-) Amazing how you meet new cats in your travels..

If you have not seen the movie, The World's Fastest Indian., you MUST give it a go soon - it is one of our faves!

liniecat said...

Fascinating again, thanks for the pics and info.
I really do think your have magical cat attraction abilities lol

Betty said...

You must be a cat whisperer! I hope Smitty and Gracie are so happy to see you that they forgive the "stranger cat" smells.
Thanks for taking your readers on the journey with you. I sure do enjoy the photos and excellent information you provide!

quiltzyx said...

I didn't know that Morton's Salt was out there. Very interesting. More awesome pics too. Once again, thanks for taking me along!!