Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Hail and Brimstone Roadtrip

I'm joking for the most part, but this year's rockhounding excursion west had more than it's share of rainy, windy, cold and even freezing weather.
When you start out with steady rain in the Arizona desert, you can anticipate that the woolen hats and winter jackets are going to definitely be pulled out from under the suitcases. It rained at Ft. Sumner, New Mexico, where we visited the stone mound for the Dineh who perished there at the hands of the U.S. Army in the 1860's; it rained at the Gallup flea market for the big Memorial Day turnout; it rained the day we discovered septarian nodules in a hidden canyon in New Mexico;it poured for our trip to Glass Butte in Oregon, and the lightning and hail descended on us as we made it around 50 miles of scary, slippery twisty mountain road one evening back to Lakeview.

The Black Rock Desert area was damp, with constant storms following us and at Ely, Nevada it was downright freezing at 38 degrees, setting a record for the lowest temperature in the U.S.

In order to get warmer, we drove north to Wyoming, which is kind of ironic. Not to complain, of course, because rockhounding under any conditions is always worth it! Besides, seeing all our western friends so happy to see us took away all the cold in an instant.

Thank you, Bruno for your incredible hospitality in Gerlach. The apartment you had for us back of Bruno's Country Club was as cool as your complimentary wines and big smile. You are the Black Rock Desert to us and everything special about the wilderness there; thank you, Blue Star, for taking us on the beauty trip into the canyons up in the Wind River Reservation, for your special ceremony, and for taking us into your family-Grey Wolf, June, Pat, Alan, Virgene. Thank you, Jeannie for your love, heartfelt laughs and great talks at All Booked Up and at Bongo Billy's Salida Cafe; thank you great folks of Kemmerer, Bobby and George for great conversations about the Blue Forest, fish fossils and "the Universe"; thank you, Mark, for showing us at Gallup's Golden Corral how to eat fried clams correctly in a hot dog roll.Thank you, Charlie, for taking the time to come up to Santa Fe for lunch and for roaming the thrift stores with me like two scavengers. There are many other great people whose faces bring a warm smile upon reviewing the photos.

Photos are from top to bottom: Enjoying Pyramid Lake, NV; Mesa scenery at Wind River; Blue Star walking land at Wind River Reservation, Wyoming; Brian at Blue Forest, Wy; Hugging a yucca tree in Goldfield, NV; Mountain town of Ouray, Colorado; Brian's vision of the northwest Nevada wilderness, Monarch Pass, Colorado, the Continental Divide.