UPDATE, 22 October 2008

David and Chiva are taking a break from the Tour de Dog but are sure to plan another ride in the near future. A sincere thank you to all of you who helped David and Chiva in countless ways. The Tour de Dog would not be possible without your support. THANK YOU!

View a Photo Documentary of Tour de Dog by Jason Houge

Tour de Dog is past states: Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario, and New York.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Discovering the Great Basin

Chiva and I have spent the last several weeks biking and exploring the Great Basin and continue to do so! I wanted to take a minute to describe this truly remarkable landscape.

The Great Basin region covers a vast area of the west (see map below) and was at one time mostly covered by water and thus an enormous lake. Geologists have theorized that most of the lake evaporated over millions and millions of years and/or drained to sea by way of the Columbia River. The Great Salt Lake is the largest remaining body of water in the Great Basin.

The area is known for housing rivers and streams that have no outlet to the ocean. Rain that precipitates faces one of two fates: sink into underground rivers (and sometimes reappear to the surface in the form of springs) or evaporate into the atmosphere.

The massive evaporation exposed ancient lake beds and endless mountain ranges that now make for premier fossil and rock collecting grounds. In addition, countless dirt roads and trails lead into the backcountry and its remote canyons.

Nevada's famed and picturesque Wheeler Peak from the west

Biking and exploring the seemingly never-ending mountain passes and valleys of the Great Basin have been at many times downright grueling. Hot and dry conditions have me in constant sun and water management mode. Although extremely challenging, our efforts have been compensated with fascinating ecosystems, landscapes, people and history dotted throughout the region. Below are a few pictures from the Tour de Dog in the Great Basin:

A long stretch of road across a desert valley to the next mountain range.

One of the numerous anthills found in the Great Basin area.

I enjoyed photographing this manmade structure as we rested at midday below it.

It was a huge relief to reach the shade of this electrical tower. My eyes are always on the lookout for structures that can provide good resting spots.

Water tunnels beneath the road supply the darkest and coolest shade in the area. The only problem is other critters such as lizards and snakes have the same idea.

1 comment:

tracy in dallas said...

Wow. Lots of wide open space! The pictures are great. I hope you and Chiva are staying cool (as much as you possibly can) and drinking lots of water.