Monday, October 11, 2010

Just west of Guadalupe Mountains National Park, a unique sight and a historic place

Just west of Guadalupe Mountains National Park (you can see the profile of El Capitan and Guadalupe Peak in the photo above) is an impressive expanse of salt.  These salt deposits are the remnants of an ancient shallow lake that was part of the Pleistocene Epoch, 1.8 million years ago.  Salt was considered sacred and precious by the native peoples in the area, and was important to Anglo settlers because it was a preservative and it was used in the smelting of silver. 

These salt flats were the object of much controvery and conflict, including a multi-year conflict known as the El Paso Salt War.  You can read all about it here! 

This stretch of road, Hwys 62/180 is part of the original Texas Mountain Trail driving route, set up in the 1960s to encourage visitors to HemisFair '68 to explore Texas.  You can read more about it here!

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