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It’s fall, so bring on the desert!

28 Sep

Temperatures here in Utah have been nice so far, but they’ll be dropping soon.  Summer’s officially over, and with snow soon to fall in the higher elevations (could happen as soon as Wednesday), my outdoors focus shifts from the mountains to the deserts.

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Floating Island-- photograph's don't do the mirage justice. (photo by Clint Thomsen)

I took this picture on Saturday.  It’s a mountain appropriately called Floating Island, and it’s one of the coolest optical illusions I’ve ever seen.  Floating Island is part of the Silver Island Range.  While driving either direction on I-80 near mile marker 20, the range appears to part like Moses’ Red Sea, with Floating Island drifting eastward until it seems to hover a good distance from the rest of the solid range.

The “floating” effect is created by a combination of empty distance and flat land nearly perfectly aligned with the curvature of the planet. From the vantage point of highway, Floating Island’s base is behind the curve and thus is not visible.

I visited this island once a couple years ago and wrote about it here.

The desert is a strange, wonderful place.  Here’s to a new season of exploring it!

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1 Comment

Posted by on September 28, 2009 in Outdoor Adventure, Wendover, West Desert

 

One response to “It’s fall, so bring on the desert!

  1. Wendover

    February 6, 2010 at 2:08 am

    The desert outside of Wendover does have it’s own beauty to it. The “floating islands” like you talk about and the rest of the salty range do give the area it’s own unique charm. I drive by it everytime I visit Wendover.

     

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