National Geographic : 1936 May
UTAH, CARVED BY WINDS AND WATERS Photograph by Branson De Cou from Galloway IT'S EASY TO FLOAT BUT DANGEROUS TO DIVE IN THE GREAT SALT LAKE Laden with 28 per cent salt, the water is so heavy that an inexperienced diver might break his neck when striking the surface. It is impossible to sink, but the saline solution is so strong that the unwary person who gets it into his throat may meet death by strangulation. Recent investigation reveals that salt crystals are now precipitated over the entire lake bottom and even the tiny shrimps which formerly were the only animal life in the water are disappearing. will point out "Queen Victoria" and, not far away from this dignified personage, "Gloomy Gus." My personal preference is for Indian names, which have an orotund ring and mean whatever one wishes to make of them. Horse and foot trails, leading down into the bottom of the bowl, permit the visi tor to obtain many different perspectives. Everywhere the soft pastels of the limy sandstone charm the eye. There are red, orange, pink, yellow, mauve, and purple, all produced by the action of water on mineral deposits. Because parts of the formation are much softer rock than others, these have been cut away, leaving the harder portions standing like strange bits from an oriental fantasy. There are no constant streams in Bryce Canyon, but occasionally floods from torren tial rains sweep the floor clean of debris. Erosion is going on without interruption, trees at the rim sometimes toppling over and crashing to the bottom. The edge of the cup is the dividing line between the Great Basin and the Colorado River watersheds; and, when two raindrops fall on it an inch apart, one may find its way to inland plains, the other to the Gulf of California. It has been my good fortune to see Bryce Canyon many times-at sunset, at dawn, under a midday sun, in moonlight, and before, during, and after rains. Always its colors have been different. Heavy rain makes it particularly lovely, sending slender cataracts tumbling from every promontory.