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Stanton Repeat Photography

Mile 114.2, Garnet Camp, Upstream View from River Right (Stake 2544)

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Stake 2544, 19 February 1890 View Larger Image
19 February 1890
February 19, 1890, began hard and ended easily for the Stanton expedition. At the start of the day, the crew portaged their gear around Waltenburg Rapid (mile 112.2); then they lined and portaged their boats. Afterwards, they lined 112 1/2-Mile Rapid, finishing just in time for lunch. In the afternoon, the cloudy sky of morning turned to sunshine, and the rough whitewater turned into a mostly quiet reach between cliffs of schist and granite. At mile 114.2, the expedition stopped and Stanton climbed up the right bank to capture this upstream view at 3:08 PM.
Photo credit: Robert B. Stanton, 57-RS-539, courtesy of The National Archives

Stake 2544, 1 March 1993 View Larger Image
1 March 1993
Stanton’s view is not totally clear in the center foreground; few desert plants can be identified beyond a pygmy cedar at lower left, now dead. But at the lower left, the dark black soil surface is a cryptobiotic crust that is still in the same position and approximately the same size a century later. Careful examination of the edge nearest the camera indicates the crust has retreated a maximum of about 15 cm; the edge farthest from the camera is nearly unchanged. Cursory examination of its surface indicated the crust contains mosses and lichens, which is suggestive of an old, complex assemblage of organisms.
Photo credit: Steve Tharnstrom

Stake 2544, 23 September 2010 View Larger Image
23 September 2010
The new camera position is slightly to the right, but the various geologic and botanical features are still readily identifiable. Many of the foreground plants have grown considerably in the intervening 17 years between photographs, including Mormon tea, sweetbush, wirelettuce, and grizzlybear pricklypear. The cryptobiotic crust, on the other hand, has suffered from trampling, likely by bighorn sheep, although its outline is approximately the same after 17 years.
Photo credit: Bill Lemke

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