This photo was taken where the West Side Roadcrosses the salt creek that flows (when it rains) from north to south along the valley.
The salt here is 95% NaCl (sodium chloride, or table salt) and forms a crust three to five feet thick. Whenever it rains, some of the white salt dissolves. As the water in the valley then evaporates the level of the water drops towards the lowest points in the valley which is why this view ends up showing a white stream of salt. The mud on either side is also part of the salt crust but the briny water has run off from these slightly higher elevations before evaporating completely.
This area is particularly rough, and after heavy rain, quite swampy so care is needed if hiking into it. Again, it’s a crust, so if you break the crust the muck underneath is quite goopy and foul.
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Lens: Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM AF Lens (B&H)
Processing: Lightroom 3.6
Processing: Photomatix 4.02
Processing: Photoshop CS5
Processing: Nik¬§Software Color Efex Pro 4 Complete Edition (B&H)