Intermountain West

Have you ever heard of a cold desert? Do you know what kind of landscape lies east of Bend? Read on to learn about Dave's recent exploration.

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Fall in the region known as the “Intermountain West” is completely enriching. This area is defined by geographic boundaries surrounding the Great Basin Desert. It is a vast landscape characterized by volcanic mountain ranges separated by deep basins which hold desert overtures. This desert is, however, a cold desert which means if it precipitates it falls in the form of snow rather than rain. It is the United State’s only cold desert. So, the mountain ranges collect wonderful snow in the winter which come spring naturally melts and tumbles down canyons in the mountainside dug over millennia. These canyons deposit the water into the basins, which by definition and practicality, does not dispense into the ocean. It evaporates or seeps into the porous earth below. Those canyons, in the riparian zone- that is where the creek or river flows, are, in the fall, lined with breathtaking beauty in the form of willow, red osier dogwood, aspen, larch and other wonderful deciduous plants and trees. The Intermountain West becomes a palette of stunning colors. This beauty lies just east of Bend. We are fortunate for such wonder in Oregon!

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