Wyoming '99: Friday
So. This is Bolivia.
The Big Hollow is the second largest wind-eroded depression in the world. The largest is in Russia.
Years ago, when W.H. Holliday was amassing property in various parts of Wyoming, he picked up a chunk of this Big Hollow, perhaps speculating that it had soda deposits that would be useful if he went into glass making.
He died, and the Holliday property in the Big Hollow remained with the Holliday company.
When the Holliday department store burned down in '48, my grandmother, who had moved to California, asked if she could have title to the property, so she'd be able to say she still had a slice of Wyoming. Nobody else had any use for the land, so she got it.
You see the two salt flats in the valley out there? The smaller one, in the center of the picture, is on Holliday property.
If you look at a map of the Big Hollow, you'll see it has to be wind-eroded: Water flows into it, but not out.
Where the water pools up in the bottom, it turns into salt deposits when it dries up. So we own a salt lick in the bottom of the largest wind-eroded depression in the world outside Russia.
The Federal Government wants to declare it an official geological curiosity.
You can't make this stuff up.
After stopping by our Big Hollow land holdings, we moved on toward Centennial, where we had an appointment to meet some relatives we'd never met before. On the way, we swung by this marker where the old Overland Trail ran. We were not on I-80, but a smaller state road. The trail actually ran through the field out behind this fence; there's another marker standing out in the field (it's in this picture too, but it's so small you won't notice it).
After meeting folks in Centennial and stopping for some chow, we pushed on over the Medicine Bow range to reach our final objective. My brother Franklin works with the Forest Service in Colorado. His "forest" is the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, which extends all the way up here. He's hiked around in this area quite a bit, and he had maps and all kinds of invaluable knowledge of the area, which made it considerably more interesting to go stomping around up there.
It's pretty beautiful all by itself, though. We were driving through various weather, which kept highlighting the landscape in different ways. This is looking east from right below Medicine Bow peak, back toward the Big Hollow.