The Twin Lakes Problem

Various authorities have puzzled over and disagreed about which way Twin Lakes drain. The 1986 U.S.G.S. topographical map shows no inlet or outlet for North Twin Lake and only a south-flowing outlet for South Twin Lake. One fact about drainage here has been established, however. This general area marks the drainage divide, where waters flow to different basins or river drainages. North Twin Lake may have an underground outlet, which probably flows into the Gardner and Yellowstone rivers. South Twin Lake and the creeks that rise to its south and east flow to the Gibbon and Madison rivers.

The Twin Lakes Problem Photo Gallery

After all that has been taken out, it is only the sludge that is left behind: the bitumen and tar and plastics. You can get a lot out of a barrel of crude oil. I learnt all this as time went by, although when we arrived at the dock and the Valvata came into view, all I knew was that I was about to board an old, rusty, dirty ship. A thick industrial smell hung in the air, a smell that punched you in the throat. My heart and hopes sank like stones thrown into a dark pool as I climbed the gangway. She was a hulk, rusting and aged. All my dreams of a smart sleek ship peopled by smart sleek people fled; the brochures had lied to me. The hull plating was scarred by dents and scrapes, curdled with rust and grime; the lower sections were encrusted with slime and barnacles. As I stepped onto the deck, the plating crunched underfoot; sections were hunched with rust – great slabs of it were flaking off, as if riven by some terrible disease. The white paintwork had long weeping tears of brown rust stains running down to the deck.

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