The detritus of the mountains

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The detritus of the mountains rolled into the basin. The basin filled with water-at first, it was fresh blue water-and accepted layer upon layer of sediment from the mountains, accumulating weight, and thus unbalancing the block even further. Its tilt became more pronounced. In the manner of a seesaw, the high, mountain side of the block went higher and the low, basin side went lower until the block as a whole reached a state of precarious and temporary truce with God, physics, and mechanical and chemical erosion, not to mention, far below, the agitated mantle, which was running a temperature hotter zakelijke energie vergelijken than normal, and was, almost surely, controlling the action. Basin and range. Integral fault blocks: low side the basin, high side the range. For five hundred miles they nudged one another across the province of the Basin and Range. With extra faulting, and whatnot, they took care of their own irregularities. Some had their high sides on the west, some on the east. The escarpment of the Wasatch Mountains-easternmost expression of this immense suite of mountains-faced west. The Sierra-the westernmost, the highest, the predominant range, with Donner Pass only halfway up it-presented its escarpment to [the east. As the developing Sierra made its skyward climb-as it went on up past ten and twelve and fourteen thousand feet-it became so predominant that it cut off the incoming Pacific rain, cast a rain shadow (as the phenomenon is zakelijke energie called) over lush, warm, Floridian and verdant Nevada. Cut it off and kept it dry. We move on (we’re in a pickup) into dusk-north up Pleasant Valley, with its single telephone line on sticks too !skinny to qualify as poles. The big flanking ranges are in alpenglow. Into the cold clear sky come the ranking stars. Jackrabbits appear, and crisscross the road. We pass the darkening shapes of cattle. An eerie trail of vapor traverses the basin, sent up by a clear, hot stream. It is only a couple of feet wide, but it is running swiftly and !has multiple sets of hot white rapids. In the source springs, there is a thumping sound of boiling and rage. Beside the springs are lucid green pools, rimmed with accumulated travertine, like the travertine walls of Lincoln Center, the travertine pools of Havasu Canyon, but these pools are too hot to touch. Fall in there and you are Brunswick stew.

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