Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Wintry Trip North

Over the weekend, thinking that it wasn't really wintry enough already, we took off to the north...
...eventually heading directly into the fast-moving storm that was just clipping the northeast part of the state, not leaving a lot of snow in it's wake, but blowing like crazy.
Light and dark patches northeast of Highway 93: the storm moves across Clover Valley south of Wells, Nevada.
Sunlight comes through light snow showers on the west side of Spruce Mountain Ridge, a narrow basin-and-range ridge east of the East Humboldt Range.
Still south of Wells, somewhwere near the turnoff to Ruby Mountain Brewery, we drove by a small herd of elk grazing on the other side of the right-of-way fence.
Over the last couple years, NDOT has installed a couple wildlife overpasses between Wells and Jackpot. This is the one at HD Summit (MSRMaps location).

At this point, Highway 93 is still inside the Great Basin, within the watershed of miles-long Thousand Springs Creek, which eventually leaves Nevada for Utah and the Great Salt Lake Desert northeast of the small town of Montello.

About 10 miles north of HD Summit, Highway 93 enters the drainage of the Snake River after crossing an unimpressive drainage divide atop a small set of east-west hills, south of the "93" on the MSRMaps image below, and here looking north on Google Street View. I couldn't quite locate this major drainage divide while we were driving south, but instead probably thought it was in the small hills just north of the "93" on the MSRMaps view.
MSRMaps image courtesy of the USGS. One mile is shown by the black section line running east-west between the red, north-south township border to the left of Highway 93 and the black, north-south line to the right of Highway 93.

At this seemingly insignificant drainage divide, the internally draining Great Basin ends. The Basin and Range Province, which overlaps the smaller Great Basin, continues a ways to the north, merging gradually with the plateau country on the southern edge of the Snake River Plain.
Scenes like this always make me want to drive off road, but we didn't. Instead, the pavement continued north, and so did we...

1 comment:

Gaelyn said...

Nice little journey through those awesome forever views. That last shot certainly does call to off road a bit, but maybe not in snow.