Navigating these scrambling rabbit paths leads my mind to my childhood when I’d get into one-kid adventures surveying the forest lands like a scout or mini white sherpa. Later I got motorized with a red and chrome Honda 50.
Here the dirt is dry and it’s not even dirt, it’s sand. It ain’t mud. Trails that haven’t been blown away are evident still, but the lack of human intervention out here is the freshest air. I’ve been trying to see as the animal sees. I’ve been trying to stop my mind from forming words. Writing essays and silent minded hiking don’t mix. Now I know.
My boots wind me down a couple slopes to a mass of low willows filling this low folded area wall to wall. It’s a low gulch here. The glut of life accumulates here and feeds the mouths of a whole panoply of species from the micro scale up to the species like bobcats that would have us for dinner if they had to. That’s extremely rare though, just so you know. The deer live here untouched, unbothered by human aggressions and passions and if we watch them closely we may even find evidence of frolicking.
Moisture runs the show. Vegetation is here in this crevice between mountains because the creek flows through with reservoirs. Water, my friend. Even the shape of the ground here was eroded by water in its various phases and amounts. Water, ice, snow and steam work to mold the ground of our lands.
Quiet wind cools my writing on this modern papyrus with fine point gel pen at this poetic moment. These winds have carried away souls for centuries and probably poems too. People have lived here where I write for a long time. A few have died here I’m sure. It’s a natural cleansing cycle. The rhythm rings echoes of death. Layers of the dead bring more layers of life and the desert doesn’t try to hide much in its dried mulch.
There are remnants of historic encampments around here just like I’d see in Goldfield, pots and pans and the various exciting trinkits decomposing gracefully. I wonder if they were mining for gold too. Maybe hunting, I really don’t know but the ‘leave no trace’ ethic didn’t take with these guys. I don’t mind because it all rusts away to make for astoundingly glamorous photos.
They should call this the front 40. Maybe they do. Hiway 34 is gravel and runs through here from Gerlach, twenty some miles away. This area of the property butts up to that.
It’s an unexpected wilderness serving as the dumping point for ancient rivers and shoreline of an ancient high elevation sea. The desert leaves traces apparent for generations. The depth cut in is dramatic here with sharp erosion edges at 45° angles and it becomes wholly apparent that it’s only mounds of sand waiting to change. I’m standing along the border between flattened and ridged. The Granites father this family of hills along the Haulapai flats. Fly geyser bubbles a few miles away and past that the might Black Rock desert. A passionate land.
Horse stables surround the houses of this ranch and beyond the fences are low ridges that sweep into winding formations, gracefully photogenic but unapologetically woeful toward any rubber wheels. Like the rest of the western half of this continent, It’s all volcanic here. Yesterday a kid broke his collarbone riding motocross. It’s dude ranch 2016 style.
Two stunning horses were here on visit, belonging to a wife of a biker is what I’m guessing. Both were a deep smooth brown. One horse was statuesque. A giant. Art car people come and go too. There’s also a family reunion gathered here now so it’s alot of people on the grounds. They’ve all brought enjoyable energy.
Mountain bikers pass slowly down a path as I write this. At a distance they remind me of the Mormons in the suburbs. This is kinda’ funny. I was lost in a Calvin and Hobbes fantasy wearing bobcat skinned sarong brought abruptly back to 12 geared reality in the last frame. I’m not sure they’re wearing the ties but their shorts and shoes look uniform. They are of the dirt biker clan who meets here yearly but today seen roaming more silently. A quick ride before they leave have to leave.