I have always been interested by the Continental Divide, sometimes referred to as the "Great Divide" of North America.The idea of a high point that seperates major watersheds and river systems isintriguing. At Monarch Pass in Colorado, for example, I could spit on the eastern side of the divide knowing that glob would theoretically flow down to theArkansas River, then the Mississippi River and eventually to the Atlantic Ocean. A spit on the west side would lead to the Gunnison River and then the Colorado River before flowing into the Pacific Ocean.The Continetal Divide kind of serves as the opposite point of the ocean; it is the backbone of a continent.
Now let me clarify definitions. As noted in the right photo,various continental divides exist in North America. The "Eastern Divide" seperates watersheds that flow to the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico respectively. The Northern Divide seperates the continent from north to south and the St. Lawrence Seaway Divide in the northeast USA and eastern Canada is sometimes noted on more sophisticated maps. For this website, I define the "Great Divide" as the Continental Divide.
Ah and let's not forget closed basins - areas in which water drains into the ground instead of flowing down a river. The Great Basin in Nevada is the most noteable example. Also, ina section of land in southwest Wyoming, the Continental Divide splits, creating a basin between it.
During the settlement days, mountains were frequently viewed as pesky obstacles to pass en route to destinations. Hence, the term "pass" was used as thethe most passable point (usually the lowest point) on a ridgeto cross a mountain range. Today our scenic Rocky Mountains are viewed much differently, but the need to get over mountain ranges to various points will always exist!
I created this website to give me an excuse to intentionally visit as many spots as possible along the Continental Divide. Definitely enjoy my photo collections below!Since I live in Colorado, many photos were taken right here in the Centennial State, but I look forward to visiting New Mexico,Wyoming, Montana, Canada and elsewhere. Thank you for visiting!
Buena Vista, Colorado
Personal Website: www.coloradoguy.com
Pinterest: Steve Garufi
(photo: A view of the various divides in North America. The photo is placedon Wikipedia and can be viewed here.)