Monday, September 1, 2008

Bristlecones Are Cooler Than Most Things In Life

Holy hell. Zac and I have driven over 12,000 miles since June.


That's sort of gross. But at least we get reimbursed for gas, and it's fine with me because we get to go to kick ass places. But sweet little baby jesus, that's a lot of miles in 3 months. That's pushing crazy. But look how happy Zac is to be driving. Just look.
I'm temporarily done with the bat research, though I'm supposed to be going back down to the Mojave desert for another run. However, good old National Park Service, being the efficient (right) department that they are, it's going to take 2-3 weeks to get a permit I think. So in that case, I won't be down there until October, since i won't have time to go before my brother gets hitched in four tweeks.

If that's the case, I'm hanging out in Arcata, trying to get this photo stuff together and well, relax and play as much as possible. Obviously.
Zac and I have scoped out some climbing spots really close by, and on the beach too! Awesome! Once the crazy wind dies down, that is our destination. We went to Redwoods NP the other day - yay! I don't think there is much more inspiring or respectful than old trees. They are much more impressive than most things in life, I think.Oh yeah, so after leaving Northern Arizona last week, instead of doing the horribly boring and lame drive though southern CA up through the central valley, I had the brilliant idea of going through Nevada.

So that's what we did, and it was well worth it. We drove the Lonliest Road all the way though, first stopping at Great Basin NP. I love that park!I have been in love with bristlecone pines for probably ten years now, so that of course was one of the huge draws for me, but the place was so pretty, and the crowds were non-existent. We did a great day hike there, hiking up to the glacier (tiny glacier, but hey, it still counts) and admiring the kick ass trees. For those who don't know, Bristlecones are the oldest living organism in the world. They have been found up to almost 5,000 years old. To me, they are basically god-like.

Then it was back on the Lonelist Road. We could definitely live somewhere in Northern Nevada. Sure, there's no doubt there are some crazy una-bomber types out there somewhere, but damn, the landscape rocks it! I love it. I bet there are soooo many places to explore. Endless playing. Must spend more time there.

We camped out on some BLM land in the middle of nowhere with tons of elk and wild horse prints all over the place. It was so quiet, and the night sky was outrageously beautiful.

OH! This reminds me - we saw a freaking meteorite! This was in Utah, about an hour and a half from the Nevada border one night. We were looking for National Forest access and followed the signs into sketchy Creepy-ville , middle of nowhere and there was a freaking meteorite that came down right in front of us.

Totally cool.

So back to driving through Nevada - once we got past Austin, Nevada, it started to get sort of populated, and dare I say, a bit more 'civilized.' We stopped at the Shoe Tree (a few big cottonwoods in a land of no trees, with thousands of shoes on it). While there, a truck stopped with two guys attempting to go for the 'We're 21 look, but really, we're pushing 43 or so.' They were going to Burning Man, and i thought that was goofy. I mean, come on. They are in their early 40's. Really?

We stopped for gas soon after and got asked it we were going to Burning Man. Then we stopped to get some food and were asked if we were going to Burning Man.

Again, we stopped at a Safeway and got asked if we were going to Burning Man. In Reno, we also got asked if we were going to Burning Man.

After the third time, I vowed to shove someone's face into my knee, but i refrained. Because my willpower is just that strong.

We weren't going to Burning Man, nor do i have any desire to ever go to Burning Man.

We stopped at Sand Mountain, another chunk of BLM land. With my utter love of giant sand dunes, I thought it was pretty cool. Luckily, there were only two rednecks there, thank god. I can rant good and hard about ATV and ORV use. I will attempt not to do so here. But Sand Mountain draws those folks in. You can um, drive your ATV around on the sand. Whew. How exciting. How thrilling.

No. How utterly fucking lame. How utterly fucking pathetic. Seriously people? Are you serious. Sad, sad people.

But we stopped at a good time when no one was driving like a lame-ass on the dunes. I played in the sand for a little bit and frolicked like a crazy lady. Walking back to our car, the two other people there stopped us, asked if we were going to Burning Man. Ahem.But what was even better was when they were saying "Blah blah blah" and Zac said " Can that thing (meaning the redneck ATV) get to the top?

In repsonse and seemingly a bit offended, the leathery skinned 60 year old fool said "Oh yeah,it goes straight up. you can hop on the back and I can show you if you want."

Zac basically said hell no, to which creepy whitetrash man said "I'd rather take your wife instead."


Then we went to Reno and (the entire reason i wanted to go this route) then to the PATAGONIA outlet store. You like how i capitalized that? You like that? Mmm, me too. I like that a lot.

After getting my fix there, we got back in the car and hurled it on over to Arcata. And that is where we are now.

1 comment:

anw said...

12,000 is a large number. Significantly larger than 1,799.

What is Burning Man? And why do several large cottonwoods have shoes all over them?