Thursday, August 24, 2006

Off-road dreaming

Today Mr. Lee is working on the off-road trailer he picked up a couple of months ago in Idaho. He's going to take the tent off the top of the jeep and put it on the trailer. That way we can make a base camp and explore further with the jeep without having to break camp to do it. All the birds are pissed. The little ones keep darting in and grabbing a few sunflower seeds but even they can't take the noise and comotion for long. It's causing me a bit anxiety as well, but not because of the noise. Fixing up this trailer means that now we will be able to get deeper and stay longer in the Great Basin than ever, a prospect over which I have mixed feelings.

I love and hate disappearing into Nevada's outback and disappear we do. I love it because it's fun, breathtakingly beautiful and it's a great cleansing for body, mind and spirit. A few days out and I finally get out my head and to my heart. Even Bush, if I think of him at all, resumes his true form, a mere bloodsucking tick painfully embedded in world's collective ass.

And I love seeing, being, knowing that I am walking on the living planet, not property. People who don't understand the desert think ugh ... brown dead wasteland. All the better. They must stay away. Go to the lovely beach resort. The clean, fun campground. Go visit relatives. Even those that do understand the glory of this wild solitude should go somewhere else. I want it all for us. It's fun pretending to be the only people on the planet ... explorers of a lost, living world in a universe far, far away. It's a great fantasy and finding thousands of years old human artifacts coughed up by spring flooding only adds a post-apocalyptic thrill of it all.

The problem is that we really are out there and, if we get hurt, break an ankle, wrench a knee, run out of gas, food and/or water it might as well be true.I think about these things. Of course Mr. Lee is a savvy outdoorsman. We are fucking prepared, I'll tell you that. And he reminds me of that when, after a day or two, I stop writing and snapping photos and begin silently staring at the horizon ringing us fifty miles out and start talking about how we are bugs cupped under a foreign sky and locked in a vanishing point were, if the slightest thing goes wrong, we will surely die. He reminds me we have food and water for a month but I'm never convince that's enough, that probably we'd die long before some desert rat or drunken hunter happens by. Which is to say I'm a chickenshit but it's been so long since we've camping that these days I catch myself visually following a dirt road up into the nearby hills. I don't talk about it much. Don't want to appear too eager. We'll be there soon enough but the truth is I miss it. Where else will I meet a team of noble Great While Pyrenees caring for their flock? They were so cool, I just wish I'd had some food handy. They seemed hungry.

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