Salt Flats and Alkali Desert

Salt Flats and Alkali Desert

IMG_3770From the air, the salt flats around Salt Lake show clearly against the dry mountain range on one side and green farm lands at the top of this photo. In September August 2014, the lake level was 2-1/2 feet above the record low recorded in 1963. Because the lake sits on a plain, a small change in lake level makes dramatic change in lake area. In the photo below, the salt flats that remain when the lake contracts contrast with the dry mountains to the lower right and green farmlands at the top. I am amazed how close to the salt flats a productive farm may be. I would think salt might contaminate those nearby lands from previous high-lake-level eras with salt.

In Central Nevada, between mountain ranges, alkali desert shows as white alkali patches with jagged edges and reaching fingers. One can’t appreciate the extIMG_3776ent of these areas while driving.

These are the places where we sing about  Sweet Betsy from Pike—a tribute to the toughness and indomitable women of covered wagon days.

“The alkali desert was  burning and bare,

and Isaac’s soul shrank from the death that luked there.

He said, “Old Pike County, I’ll come back to you.”

Said Betsy, “You’ll go be yourself if you do.”

Been Here? Done That? Tell Me About It!