Driving east from Shoshone, California to Pahrump, Nevada, it is hard to miss this volcanic glassy layer intruding into an existing ridge made of volcanic tuffs. These lighter colored rocks look like ash falls partially remelted into rock to various degrees.
The dark glassy layer looks like an intruding dike, above and below which lie piles of tuffs, softer ones below, harder ones (deposited at higher temperatures, remelted back into hard rock) above.
The regional explosive volcanic activity that produced copious tuff ranges ended about nine to ten million years ago. Basalt intrusions can be much more recent, some 'nearby' cinder cones are less than 100,000 years old. in fact the next basaltic eruption may occur just to the west in Death Valley.
Climbing up the ridge . . .
. . . you can see the continuation of the black intrusive layer if you get closer.
But there is more to life than mountain rocks. There is also sky and valley.
Turning away from this rock face allows one to look into the northern and central parts of the Greenwater Valley. One cannot but notice the nice little thunderstorm that seems to be developing to the west, probably over the Panamint Range on the western boundary of Death Valley, a range that hits 11,000 feet.
The low ridge in the mid-ground of the photo hides the town of Shoshone from view.
There is a telephone pole in the above photo with a car next to it. Here is another view of that car from above (note the badlands in the depth of the valley in the distance):
It is Audrey's new toy (she is standing beside it posing in the photo above): this is the four-wheel-drive toy that emboldened me to try for the Amargosa Canyon today.
The longer distance photo with the car in it has in its background the Greenwater Valley's badlands, formations of silica sand and gypsum and other salts that are very slick when wet:
Of course it is high time we got off our perch and into the valley. Here are two views of those same badlands from the highway:
The above photo looks to the north, the following photo looks to the west:
But, it is high time to get into that canyon!
GO TO NEXT AMARGOSA CANYON PAGE, Part 3: Entering the Canyon !
OR GO TO AMARGOSA CANYON Part 4: Halfway In and Southward
OR GO TO AMARGOSA CANYON Part 5: Return to Tecopa
OR GO TO AMARGOSA CANYON Part 6: The Afterglow !
OR GO BACK TO AMARGOSA RIVER INTRODUCTORY PAGE
OR GO BACK TO AMARGOSA CANYON Part 1: Leaving Las Vegas
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