In age, the blue stone approached five hundred million years. Captain Howard Stansbury, USA, whose name would rest upon the mountains of which the rock was a component, was dpproaching fifty when he came into the Great Basin in i849. He he’d been making lighthouses in Florida. The government preferred that he survey the salt lake. With sixteen mules, a water keg, and some India-rubber bags, he circumambulated the lake, and then some. People told him not to try it. He zakelijke energie ran out of water but not of luck. An8 he came back with a story of having seen-far out on the westward flats-scattered books, clothing, trunks, tools, chains, yokes, dead oxen, and abandoned wagons. The Donner party went around the nose of the Stansburys in late August, i846, rock on their left, lake marshes on their right. This huge blue roadcut, in its supranatural way, would have frightened them to death. They must have filed along just about where Deffeyes had parked the pickup, on the outside shoulder of the interstate. Deffeyes and I went back across the road, waiting first for a three-unit seven-axle tractor-trailer to pass. Deffeyes described it as “a freaking train.” Stansbury Mountains, Skull Valley …T he Donner party found good grass in Skull Valley, and good water, and a note by a post at a spring. It had been tom to shreds by birds. The emigrants pieced it together. “Two days-two nights-hard driving-cross desertreach water.” They went out of Skull Valley over the Cedar Mountains into Ripple Valley and over Grayback Mountain to the Great Salt Lake Desert. Grayback Mountain was basalt, like the Watchungs of New Jersey. The New Jersey basalt flowed about two hundred million zakelijke energie vergelijken years ago. The Grayback Mountain basalt flowed thirty-eight million years ago. Well into this century, it was possible to find among the dark-gray outcrops of Grayback Mountain pieces of wagons and of oxhom, discarded earthenware jugs. The snow suddenly gone now, and in cold sunshine, Deffeyes and I passed Grayback Mountain and then had the Great Salt Lake Desert before us-the dry bed of Bonneville-broader than the periphery of vision. The interstate runs close to but not parallel to the wagon trail, which trends a little more northwesterly.