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This is an interesting photo. Last weekend after
attending the first Uintah Basin GeoFest for the Utah Geographic Alliance, I took different route home. Rather than travelling HWY 40 back to Salt Lake City, I took a crazy, mountainous, switchback-filled, Scenic ByWay route through the Uinta Mountains north into Wyoming and returned to Salt Lake via I-80 west. Many miles up into the Uinta Mts. North from Vernal (hwy 189), on the edge of Ashley National Forest, was a huge open mining operation: Simplot Phosphate mining. Vast areas have been removed in the mining process, but most of the mined areas have also been replanted and apparently huge herds of elk winter here. It was an odd site...in the middle of a semi forested, steep, rocky, rough mountain area to see this "smooth, flattened" replanted mining zone. ...and then this strange rock with a US flag..all by itself way off in the distance right in the middle of this huge mining district added to the strangeness of this whole site. On the google map below, the mining area can be seen (white-ish patch) north west a bit from the Red Fleet State Park reservoir (near hwy 189 sign).
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