Tuesday, June 20, 2017

High Water Across the West: Rye Patch Dam and the Humboldt Sink

Rye Patch Dam on April 19th. The water in Rye Patch Reservoir is high, but not at the high water mark that can be seen just past the spillway.
I'm moving slowly on this mini-series about the Humboldt River while working essentially 12-hour days and while (hopefully) recovering from some long-lasting bug I caught on the road or out in Elko more than two months ago. Also, my current work schedule of  9 to 10 days in a row gives me 2 to 3 days off that don't involve driving, so my off days tend to be filled with chores and not that much writing. Anyhoo, there I was traveling south on I-80 past the big bend at Humboldt Station, where I had stopped to take a few photos of the water in the Pitt-Taylor Reservoirs, when I decided—rather spontaneously—to drive down to Rye Patch Dam. As you can see from the first photo, the reservoir is high, but not quite to the high water mark.
Rye Patch Reservoir and Majuba Hill.
Here we're looking just west of north across a shallows, and we can see Majuba Hill just right of center in the distance. The main, deeper part of the reservoir is long and linear where it follows a canyon cut by the river into Lake Lahontan sediments.
The same view in June, 2016, from Google Earth.
A few Western Grebes swim in the shallows.
A closer view of one grebe.
I couldn't resist this view of the Humboldt Range.
Snow-capped Star Peak hides behind clouds. The Cordex Pit of the Florida Canyon Mine operations might be barely visible below Star Peak.
After my brief sojourn at the Rye Patch Dam overlook, I proceeded back to the interstate, speeding ever southward and then southwestward as the road made another broad bend near Lovelock. I was shocked at what I saw when I drove past Granite Point.
The Humboldt Sink had water in it!
At first, I thought it might be a mirage, and although these photos don't really do justice to it, it was indeed water, a small lake that has persisted, at least through my last drive by the area a week ago on June 11th.
A closer view of the Humboldt Sink and the West Humboldt Range.
And that's all for now, time for work! I've got a few pictures of even more water from another trip, but I can't promise when I'll get to it!