Saturday, August 06, 2011
What exactly is the Great Basin? It's not a sink. But in a way, it kind of is.
Although a number of rivers flow into the Great Basin, none flow out to
the ocean. Hence, the name Basin.
It's also a very very large desert. In fact, it's the largest desert in the
United States, covering approximately 190,000 square miles. To give
you a comparison, England is only just over 50,000 square miles.
It's also a land of wide wide wide open spaces. If you're looking to
get away from it all, this is the place. My history teacher in high school
told us that the Native Americans in the Great Basin basically ate dirt.
I scoffed at the time, but now I almost believe it. Although we drove
through the Great Basin during the day, I can imagine what it looks
like at night, with a moonless sky. Imagine the sky that your
grandparents or great-grandparents saw. No light pollution. The
clearest sky you will ever see. That's what the night sky in the Great
Basin looks like.
Finally, this pretty much sums up the Great Basin. There are no services
available for a long long distance. We are lucky that we can cover this
distance in about an hour. The early pioneers would have taken almost
a week to cover 80+ miles. There is just nothing out there.
If I had to choose one word for the Great Basin? EMPTY