Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pretty Part 2 of Cowboys, Mermaids and Monsters on the Goodnight Loving Trail

If you're used to camping in Utah's Cache Valley where it's green and A River Runs Through It (you know, the campground,) you might not be very drawn to this camp site. But see that place in the back where it's kind of red and rocky? Yea, behind all those scraggly bushes.

Can you see it better now?

How about now?

Now that's a camp site!
Or a fishing hole. You choose.

Do you suppose odd geology and water chemistry provide a home for mysterious and threatening big-eyed Roswellian creatures? Growing up, I heard a few stories. There are tales of ghost horses and Nessi-cousins and vanishing cars. The ranger at the information building told us that a few years ago, they put some orange dye one of the cenotes and several months later, orange water bubbled up in a lake in China.

The only creature I ever saw myself, though, was the little cotton-mouth that appeard suddenly from the swirling depths as my daughter and I swam in the lake a few years ago. Swimming with venomous snakes is my limit.

There are several of these small lakes bordered by high red bluffs, over which silvery-winged Turkey Vultures soar and catch up-drafts to hang like kites in the blue-oh-so-blue, blue sky.

Bottomless Lakes State Park offers a variety of activities including hiking, swimming, fishing and scuba diving.
I guess that's why it's called a recreation area. But you can actually swim and boat in only one lake. The one I showed you in my previous post.

The lakes are water-filled sinkholes or cenotes (sort of pronounced seh-note-tays, not "C" notes; however this place fairly sings to me like a siren song,) formed when circulating water dissolved salt and gypsum deposits to form subterranean caverns. Eventually, the roofs of the caverns collapsed from their own weight resulting in sinkholes which soon filled with water.

Underground springs feed the sinkholes and water loss is through evaporation.
The lakes' greenish-blue color creates the illusion that the lakes are bottomless. Cowboys on the Goodnight Loving Trail added to the lake's mystique when they failed to find the bottom of the lakes by tying rocks to their lariats and their lariats together and dropping them into the lakes. The saddle ropes never touched bottom. The cowboys didn't have much of an understanding of under-currents, I suppose.
I probably wouldn't be thinking a lot about undercurrents, myself, if I happened upon this site after a long hard ride on the dusty trail.
Would you?

No comments: