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Visions of Dry Country (from a work in progress)

An arid red and white landsape

By the time they reached the Humboldt Sink, the cattle were nearly dead.

The Sink, the western edge of what was called the ‘40-mile desert,’ was a sandy stretch of heat and blinding light on the westernmost edge of the Great Basin. The land in the region, which extends from the Wasatch Mountain range in eastern Utah to the foothills of the northernmost Sierra Nevada mountains of California, is being slowing stretched by tectonic forces. The result of this extending of the Earth’s crust is a topography characterized by long, squat ranges and flat-bottomed valleys trending north-south, against the direction pull. The effect from an aerial view is one of stretch marks. To someone travelling such a landscape by foot, it might appear that one has crossed the same ridge over and over again, always to find another sandy basin reaching out to the north and south, always another ridge ahead to the west. Ridges and valleys, ridges and valleys.


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