Saturday, February 26, 2011

Onward to Denio Junction!


As a special winter treat, we're going back to the Winnemucca-to-the-Sea Highway, the next-to-last leg of last summer's Oregon trip, from the Highway 8A turnoff to Cedarville, CA, to that long awaited medium-sized Nevada town of Winnemucca, making it to Denio Junction in this post. (No snow in these pictures!) There are plenty of things to see along this part of the road, including exposures of possible rhyolite, dark brown with swirled flow foliation (left photo), and white to buff lacustrine to alluvial sediments (right photo). The volcanic flow that's being observed from about this location in Street View is shown on an embedded Google Maps view below. There may be one or more small faults in the sedimentary section seen in the right photo, but the angle on Google Street View makes that assessment unsure. I recommend stopping if there is a good pullover. (Interesting to even consider evaluating possible faults in the roadcut using Street View.)

At long last we make it into the small town of...
...Denio Junction! I've never stopped here, so can't tell you much about the place, but it looks like a small oasis in the desert, and an oasis is almost always a good thing.
At the junction, Highway 140, AKA the Winnemucca-to-the-Sea Highway, turns south (despite the sign that says "straight ahead" to Winnemucca), and a short spur S.R. 292 goes north to Denio on the Nevada-Oregon border, crossing into Oregon as Highway 205. (MSRMaps location.)

We should make it into Winnemucca this coming Monday! (Stay tuned.)

5 comments:

Gaelyn said...

Have fun with new explorations. I'll hit the road Tuesday for S TX. There must be some interesting geology down there somewhere.

helena.heliotrope said...

That little store at Denio Junction really is an oasis! They make decent food, sell some decent beer, frequently play volleyball on that lovely patch of grass, and have a clientele consisting mainly of miners fresh off work, who're willing to shoot the breeze with you while you wait for a tow truck.

Lockwood said...

I have spent quite a bit of time in this area; it's definitely a favorite. There is indeed quite a bit of rhyolite along the road, mostly prior to (west of) the lacustrine seds in the photo. There is one outcrop in particular with wonderful lithophysae and secondary common opal. Virgin Valley is well-known as one of very few places in the US with gem-quality opal, mostly as a replacement of wood. Also, as you might remember from an old post, just south of Denio Jct. is an outcrop of graphic granite. Wonderful area!

Silver Fox said...

Gaelyn, surely there is some geology in TX! (or beaches)

Silver Fox said...

Helena & Lockwood, glad you guys have spent some time there, hopefully not in the middle of summer because it looks hot to me.

I haven't forgotten the graphic granite! :)