Salty season

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Only my heels, rump, and shoulder blades seemed to be wet. I rolled over and crawled. I could all but crawl on my hands and knees. And this was June, at the south end-the least salty season, the least salty place in the whole of the Great Salt Lake. Rolling up on one side, and propped on an elbow, I could see the Promontory Mountains across the water to the north, an apparent island but actually a peninsula, reaching southward into the lake. In i86g, a golden spike was carried into the Promontories and driven into a tie there to symbolize the completion of the first railroad to cross the North American continent-exactly one century before the first footprint on the moon, a span of time during which Salt Lake City and Reno would move zakelijke energie apart by one human stride. In that time, also, the railroad twice became dissatisfied with the local arrange
Book 1: Basin and Range ments of its roadbed-losing affection for the way of the golden I spike (over the mountains) and building a causeway and wooden trestle across the lake itself, barely touching the Promontory peninsula at its southern tip. In the late nineteen-fifties, the trestle section was replaced by rock. The causeway traverses the lake like a solid breakwater, dividing it into halves. The principal rivers that flow into the Great Salt Lake all feed the southern half. The water on the north side of the causeway is generally a foot dr two lower and considerably saltier than the water on the other side. Evaporate one cupful of Great Salt Lake North and you have upward of a third of a cup of salt. Evaporate a cupful of Great Salt Lake South and you have about a quarter of a cup of salt, or-nonethelJss-eight times as much as from a cup of the ocean. As the lake drew at our bodies, trying to pull fresh water through our skins, it closeq our pores tight and our lips swelled and became slightly numb. The water stung zakelijke energie vergelijken savagely at the slightest scratch and felt bitter as strep in the back of the throat. We filled a bag with eggstones from the bottom, with oolites, the Salt Lake sand. It was by no means ordinary sand-not the small, smoothed-off ruins of mountains, carried down and dumped by rivers. It was sand that had formed in the lake. Just as raindrops are created around motes of dust, oolites form around 1 bits of rock so tiny that in wave-tossed water they will stir up and move. They move, and settle, move, and settle. And while they are Jp in the water calcium carbonate forms around them in layer after layer, building something like a pearl. Slice one in half with a diamond saw and you reveal a perfect bull’s-eye, or, as its namer obviously imagined it, a stone egg, white and yolk-an oolite. Underwater on the Bahama Banks are sweeping oolitic dunes.

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