Art In Nature : Black Rock Desert Wanderings

Art In Nature : Black Rock Desert Wanderings


The professor and pandemic life has, unfortunately, limited Aubrey and my opportunities to explore over the past year. However, two weeks ago we finally got away for Nevada Day–a statewide celebration of Nevada’s admission to the union 8 days prior to Abraham Lincoln’s re-election in 1864, made possible by a $70,000 (today’s dollars) telegram of the entire state constitution.

We headed out to the Black Rock Desert and High Rock Canyon to explore some hot springs and rocky landscapes. Aubrey did the planning for this trip, which gave me a rare and wonderful opportunity to be surprised at every turn. I had absolutely no idea what we might expect to see, and I was astounded with how beautiful the canyons were. The landscape was reminiscent of eastern washington (but with a little less water). The similarity isn’t surprising given that the basalt layers were formed by the same volcanic activity that formed the Columbia River Plateau, and the canyons here were carved by sudden massive floods, not unlike those that occurred across the Columbia River Plateau.

Aubrey in some warm reflected light of an impressive slot canyon.

Me exploring the fascinating patterns of the High Rock Canyon area.

Cooking breakfast in our heated ice fishing hut (it was cold out!).

canyons, nevada, deserts, red rocks, slot canyons, black rock desert

An ancient flood sculpted this deep canyon in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, leaving beautifully rounded boulders in its wake.

nevada, rocks, canyons, deserts, black rock desert

Towering walls of lichen covered rock make for endless echoes in this colorful side canyon of Nevada’s High Rock Canyon in the Black Rock Desert.

Earlier over the summer we also made a trip to the White Mountains, but I never got around to sharing any of those images–after all, there was only one. A twisted old bristlecone root ball.

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Hidden among the graying weathered branches and roots of this old bristlecone pine is a heart of red. Perhaps it will provide a little shade for the next generation.

Tags: black rock desert, bristlecones, canyons, high rock canyon, nevada


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