Friday, March 29, 2013

Late Winter Trail - East Bench

Late Winter Trail - East Bench, 6" x 8" Oil on Board
The town I live in sits in a wide valley which once was the bottom of a huge prehistoric lake. Lake Bonneville once covered much of what is now Utah and parts of Idaho and Nevada. Today what is left of the lake is mere puddles, comparatively speaking. The Great Salt Lake, Utah Lake, and Sevier Lake are what remain of the once great Pleistocene Lake Bonneville, and Sevier Lake isn't even there all of the time! Besides these present-day lakes, other evidences of the prehistoric lake are imprinted into the landscape. The waves of  Lake Bonneville washed shorelines into the bases of the Wasatch Front and many of the Basin and Range Mountains. Many of these old shorelines still show where the boundaries of Lake Bonneville were tens of thousands of years ago. Looking up from the town, you can see these prehistoric shorelines a couple hundred feet or so up the mountain slope. 

The old shorelines make natural pathways around parts of the valley. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail (what I call the East Bench Trail) follows large parts of the old shore. It's a popular place for hikers, mountain bikers and joggers, and provides a place in nature with spectacular views of the valley and surrounding mountains. It's also a place I go to paint from time to time. The painting above was made a couple weeks ago just above town looking south along the trail toward Mt. Nebo, many miles away.

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