Friday, May 18, 2012

Olympic Village and a Ancient Lake Bed

Interstate 80 goes high through the mountains above Salt Lake City Utah. Park City is near the site of Utah Olympic Park
We were treated with views of ski slopes once used during the 2002 Winter Olympics.
There were also plenty of views that included condos built then and since. Aspens, looking much like matchsticks in this season before true spring, separate the village from the mountain.
Starting gates and steep  slopes remind us that winter ended just a week ago for ski buffs.

To leave a mountain, we must go DOWN and down is where we went - quickly.

We continued down until a curve road took us to where we saw Salt Lake City sitting peaceful and large upon the floor of an ancient inland lake.  
Lake Bonneville was once the size of Lake Michigan. That is ten times the size of one of its current descendants, the Great Salt Lake.
Three other remnants of this humongous body of water are Utah Lake, Sevier Lake and Rush Lake.  Most of the water left Lake Bonneville  through Red Rock Pass between fourteen and seventeen thousand years ago when lava flow probably flooded Bonneville lake over Red Rock Pass in Idaho. The huge flood eroded the pass which lost 300 feet of altitude as water gushed into what is now the Snake River valley
The City of Salt Lake City now sits beside the Great Salt Lake, a lake with no exit other than straight up.  Evaporation is the only natural way out for water in the lake.  Three major rivers flow into the Great Salt Lake bringing deposits of minerals, including naturally occurring salts. As the water evaporated the minerals get denser and denser.
Flags were flying high in Salt Lake City.  Their warning did little to prepare us for what lay ahead as we crossed the Salt Flats then drove the width of Nevada.

1 comment:

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Nellie!
Wish I'd known you during your road trip. You're photographing the exit to my home. From my house, you can view the ski jump area so... you were almost in my backyard! Thanks for sharing. And, for visiting and commenting on my blog. :)