by Daniel Montero
It's a little hard to believe that it is almost Labor Day weekend and summertime explorations are going to turn into fall explorations! It has been a wonderful, busy, hectic, nonstop, marvelous, and, well, in the words of Sublime, "it's summertime and the livin's easy."
The biggest, most hectic, and most marvelous event of the summer was that there was a RaD wedding! Renee and I tied the knot, with Larry as our ring bearer and at Chicken Creek, a camp on the family ranch, and the place where Renee and I first kissed! We'll post more about the wedding, but it was such a fun time and I'm so proud to wear Renee's ring (she made me my wedding ring, it's made out of wood!
I hope your summer was full of fun explorations as well and here's to another full fall, winter, spring, and beyond!
By Dan Montero
We’ve been going back and forth between Reno and my family’s place outside of Winnemucca a lot lately, and so I-80 to Winnemucca, an already well-traveled route in the stories of our lives, has become even more worn.
But we still like to break it up when we can, and so, getting a fairly early start from Reno a couple of week’s ago we looked about for new explorations along the way and sort of by happenstance decided to try the Trinity Peak area of the Trinity Range, west of Lovelock.
We have explored in the southern part of the range a bit on these road trip breaks, around Ragged Top, a cool little desert peak, but this was
our first time going into the heart of the mountains and we weren’t really sure how far we’d make it, but the road, while narrow and somewhat rocky, didn’t present too many challenges for our Subaru Forester. The were some splits, but we just kept heading toward the mountain and then we were in then, climbing up a saddle under the shadow of a tremendous cliff face. We kept expecting the road to get worse, but it stayed fine, probably due to the communications (and other, who knows) towers on the summit. So we were able to drive all the way up, stopping a couple of times to explore among the rock towers and golden lit canyon.
We didn’t have the time for a hike, but I really want to give this area a good hike some winter afternoon, especially intriguing is climbing up along the ridge to the northwest of the main peak with its giant cliffs. But either way, it is no wonder it has been chosen for communications towers because their were grand views in every direction.
Soon enough, time to head down and rejoin the flow of humanity, but with the warmth of a Trinity afternoon to carry us along the miles.
I was just chilling, hanging out on my sofa between my work shifts. It was a dreary spring afternoon. The sky was gray and threatening, then it started rumbling and thundering overhead. I opened the backdoor so I could have a better listen. I sat back on the couch, closed my eyes and listened to the rolling booms.
Slowly at first, the rain moved in though it quickly gained intensity and turned into an outright downpour. I got so excited, jumped up off the couch, grabbed my camera and ran to the front door to get a bit of video of the awesome rain storm. I opened the door wide, stepped out and started filming.
I filmed for a few moments then heard a large bang behind me. My first thought was “whoa that was loud thunder,” then quickly realized not thunder, but door. Next thought, “oh shit I didn’t unlock the door when I opened it,” I had planned to leave it open. But, as I forgot, the backdoor being open, will blow the front door shut. Oops!
Yes, I locked myself out of the house, in my socks, in the pouring rain, and I caught it all on film.
Thankfully awesome Dan came to my rescue.
It has been a while since I have done a sky observation and description. The ones I'm posting today I wrote before life became a bit hectic and we put our writing on the back burner. Both of these observations were done while I was visiting Las Vegas back in early April.
Sitting under a Vegas sky it's pretty cloudy, no shadows playing upon the ground. There's a bit of an opening, showing blue behind the intermingling clouds that are laced throughout the break. A plane flys towards the opening, I wonder if any of the passengers take notice of the sky. The clouds are mostly light in color, not looking terribly threatening. However, there are small patches of darker gray within. The clouds being light, I feel the promise of spring in the air. It's a warm and inviting sky. It's a beautiful day here in Vegas.
A breeze is in the air, a strong breeze maybe even windy. A gentle blue sky lingers above the gusts, it looks so calm up there. Billowy white clouds hang puffy all around. Not threatening at all, but towering and bright. Palm trees sway adding motion to a still skyscape. Despite the breeze the clouds appear motionless. They haven't moved much since I sat down to write. Here where I am airplanes seem to be an ever present fixture in the sky. coming, going I don't know, but it doesn't take long for one to be overhead.
by Dan Montero
Bring May flowers! Happy May Day everyone! We've been a little off rhythm with sharing our explorations due to the April showers of my mom having (very successful so far!) heart surgery and the attendant care of a woman who has spent the last 50 years living and working on a cattle ranch 90 miles from town. She has been a great patient and we have learned well the routes and ways of Renown. And we have been exploring afield as much as we can. So there is much to share and we’ll be posting weekly (and when the mood strikes us) again now. Thanks so much for reading!
The wildflowers have been slow to show their pretty faces this year. I believe it's because we've had a lot of snow this March and thank goodness for it, because we had a super dry winter, but Miracle March came through and dumped a bunch of snow on us.
Finally, last week, I started to see some of the showy early bloomers such as violets, phlox, yellow bells and buttercups. I had seen Lomatium before the snows came, but they disappeared while the winter weather was upon us, but they are back now too.
Can't wait to see the kaleidoscope of wildflowers the season will bring!
As I drive home from work this bright evening I'm a bit stressed as it is 7:00 pm and we are driving 5 hours to the ranch. I look up and low in the eastern sky there is a bright white marble floating peacefully against an electric blue blue backdrop.
To the south there are airy feathered clouds, which are just now turning a slight peach from the setting sun. Most of the clouds have two long arms that reach out in a half circle. They look like they are trying hug the world. If they stretched out and curled around a bit more they would turn into hearts. I would love to see a sky full of floating, wispy hearts. The sky is starting to turn all shades of pastel; peach, pink, lavender, teal. All soft and light, not the neon colors of some of our more brilliant sunsets, but soothing colors that so gently kiss the world goodnight.
I turn back to the white marble slowly rising above the skyline. Is it full tonight, it looks like it could be?
Damn! Look at those stars!
It is such a dark, black night. However, it is tempered slightly by the blue moon rising from the east. The moon is just starting to creep over the horizon, it feels a bit blinding against this charcoal colored backdrop.
Dan and I are out for an evening walk to enjoy this blue moon (second full moon in a month), rumor has it that it's going to be the last one for awhile. As I walk out of the yard I notice Orion, big and bright, hanging high in the sky. Other than Orion I don't take the time to make out other constellations. I just take in the expansive sky glittered with millions of tiny stars.
We walk, the blue moon rises higher and higher in the sky. We stop for a moment and play with our moon shadows. We dance and twist our arms and legs, letting our shadows warp and spin in the night. The moon lights up the sky, becoming more luminous, making it more difficult to see the numerous stars.
For folks who just started following us, click the link below to learn more about the observation and description project:
Dan and I have been to this area several times looking for petroglyphs and have found some here and there, but mostly few and far between. We went back last weekend and found a bunch. We were so giddy to find them. If you go exploring for and find petroglyphs please, please, please treat them with respect. Here is a link for some types on how to be responsible in these areas: https://www.basinandrange.org/archeological-sites.html
by Daniel Montero
Going through some old things tonight I came across the phone pictured above and was reminded of how it wandered into our lives.
Bicycling along an apparently endless Arizona highway with just a bit of an uncomfortably narrow shoulder and way too much heavy traffic through a cacti-forested rolling countryside did not make for a day of idle landscape appreciation. But one of my favorite things about riding a bike is that it speeds us beyond the limits of our body, but slows us to a manageable speed. Fast enough to feel movement; slow enough to be in the world. One of my ways of being in the world on a bike, especially on a busy highway, is to look at what is discarded or lost in the reckless pursuit of the future and headlong flight from the past that is such a great part of modern human existence. Odd things, banal things, disgusting things, precious things, they all find themselves lost along the concrete ribbons that tie, some might say bind, most lives into intricate bows and byzantine knots. Roads crash lives of strangers violently into one another on occasion and carry some people away from all they have loved. And a zillion things in between. So it was with some triumph that I spotted the little leather lump that became, once I'd recognized it as something worth a second look, the phone pictured above. Its power was nearly dead and service gone, but there was a message open, in Spanish, something to the effect of, “she knows!” And then the phone ended up here, alongside the road, I imagine as the revenge of the one who learned, or an act of the contrition of one of those who did the thing of which knowledge was news. Or something else. But it ended up here, along a highway, in the company of the fringes. Rubbish. Litter. Or the things we find.
Related somehow to this post if you’d like to read more.
This blog is dedicated to stories and ideas from our explorations. We hope you enjoy!
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.