Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My World Tuesday - Glass or Gloss?

In February 1873 the name Glass Mountains appeared on a map issued by the Federal General Land Office. Two years later, the same office issued a map calling them the Gloss Mountains. Thus precipitating a conflict that continues to this day.

The 1875 map resulted from a survey led by an engineer named T.H. Barrett. Historiographer James Cloud is of the opinion that a draughtsmen copied this map and mis-read the 'A' for an 'O'. A persistent legend persists that a member of that first exploring party was British or Bostonian.

This member awakened early one morning in the survey camp on the knoll located east of the area and saw the sun on the glistening clear crystals of Selenite. In his long eastern dialect he exclaimed "Why they look just like glaws".

The party's cartographer simply recorded what he thought he had heard, indeed a passing error. But to think a Brit' may have been responsible for all this confusion!

The Glass or Gloss Mountains are located 6 miles west of Orienta in NW Oklahoma, which is on highway US 412. We pass through them regularly whenever I am in need of our closest shopping mall in Enid, 110 miles away!

The mountains have a high selenite content, making them appear as if they were covered with pieces of glass. Ever since my first visit here in 2003, I have absolutely loved their beauty and contrast against the flat plains around them.

This beautiful scenic strip, currently defined as a conservation area, is almost another world with its rugged high topped mesas springing up from a relatively flat land area.

A "painted desert" effect can be seen in many locations due to the exposure of different rock strata, and the sparkle of gypsum and selenite gives many of the mesas a glittering effect.

A giant inland sea once covered the area, leaving behind extensive gypsum beds. Spanish explorers passed through the area and later, the first known American explorer around 1821 described what he called "The Shining Mountains".

Today, the Glass Mountains area is utilized for its vast oil and gas resources. This 640 acre expanse is undergoing development as a State Park and will eventually provide trails and facilities.

At present, visitors can pull off the highway to enjoy the rugged landscape at a small roadside picnic area with an information kiosk on the history and features of the locale.

Astronomy groups occasionally use the area for celestial observations, as dark really means dark out there! Visitors can enjoy the 24 mile scenic drive along U.S. Hwy 412 through this very distinctive area. Here's the Hubster doing his best 'hunky cowboy' impression (which is of course is what he is!), as he reads about the area on a perfect day.

To join in go to My World Tuesday


22 comments:

DJ Kirkby said...

Ooh more posts like this please, so interesting. Liked the hunky Hubby cowboy pic too, one of the sights I miss most from my time living in Calgary Alberta.

antigoni said...

Excellent post!

Luiz Ramos said...

Great geological World.
Beautiful shots.

JC said...

Love that area of the world and you've got some fabulous shots!

RuneE said...

Thank you for the interesting story of the Glossy Glass mountains - or was it the other way around?

Carver said...

What an interesting story about how the mountain was named or rather ended up with conflicting names. The whole post was so informative and well written and the photographs are great. I'd love to see that area some time.

Lapa37 said...

Beautiful pictures and a well written post very informative.Makes me want to go and have a visit.Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog and comment.

Mojo said...

They don't look glassy or glossy to me, but they're quite striking nonetheless!

SandyCarlson said...

I love the story and the pictures. That's pretty funny. The importance of typography!

dot said...

Interesting for sure! I've never seen mountains that look like this.

alicesg said...

Very beautiful scenery. Good information on the glass or gloss. Your part of the world looked very adventurous. Thanks for dropping by my blog. :)

TCKK said...

Beautiful mountains. Thanks for sharing the story too.

TSannie said...

OK, I've just found your blog(s) and am impressed! Commented on the other one - love the photos of this "painted desert/land". Thank you so very much for your visit - it's very appreciated!

chrome3d said...

That was a really excellent post! You are good. Your shopping mall is a bit far away but at least you have plenty of rocks and darkness there.

Rambling Woods said...

Beautiful scenery. Not so sure about wanting to worry about tornadoes. I think I will stick with the snow storms....

Lily Hydrangea said...

quite an interesting post you have here. quite a beautiful place as well!

2sweetnsaxy said...

I really, really enjoyed this post and the pics. Thanks for sharing them and the story as well.
:-)

Carletta said...

Beautiful images!

Pearl Maple said...

Glass or Gloss either way lots of nice photos, thanks for sharing this interesting corner of the globe.

Gattina said...

I don't care if it's glass or gloss, it is just beautiful ! It's my kind of landscapes, wild and rocky !
What a difference to the green green grass in the UK, lol !

A Blog In The Rough said...

Typo stories are quite funny. They look a bit like the mountains in Nevada (valley of fire) - red rocks basically but they don't sparkle, like yours, how neat!

John said...

Great photo series and what an interesting story.