Artist Drive

image A Palette of Color

Heading back to the main highway we take a 9 mile detour through Artist Drive’s one-way scenic loop.

Somehow I catch a prism from the sun creating a colorful line in the picture, an appropriate preview of what’s ahead.

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The repeated volcanic eruptions from millions of years ago deposited a blanket of ash and minerals. Heat and water altered the minerals leaving behind the psychedelic swirls of color on these hills. (plaque at site)

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Time of day and clouds shift the intensity of color, as does the angle that captures the view. Since I only have my iPad to rely on, I am editing my pictures to a larger size, hoping that you can get a better sense of these colorful hues.

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There’s a trail leading up the hills in the foreground so we stop and take pictures on top. The salt flats are behind us.

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We head back down to the road.

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The drive itself offers beautiful views of a surreal landscape.

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Chemists have identified a paint pot of elements in these rocks, including iron, aluminum, magnesium, and titanium. (plaque at site)

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The green splashes above are deposits of green chlorite, not copper. The pink shades are red hematite. (plaque at site)

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My favorite color is the pop of green viewed from afar.

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Unfortunately it loses its luster close-up and appears more grayish.

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