Tuesday, September 23, 2014

El Malpais & Chain of Craters Byway

The monsoons are still in full swing and prompted me to move off Forest Road 400. It's about 20 miles west of Grants on highway 53 and has a plethora of campspots, but it turns to gumbo when wet. I'm carrying less water these days to aid in Eggbert's agility but it means more tho't to running out.  

So I moved about 10 miles to a jeep trail off the Chain of Craters Backcountry Byway. It's west of The Divide and a tad drier. The Malpais is an irresistible hiking draw, but even a brief swarai (neon colors!) begs the idea of suiting up (note motorcycle sounds) in football gear. You'd think after 10,000 years the rocks 'd've settled into tight niches. No way! Every other step tips just enough to inspire the wire-walker armspread. I tried pretending I was drunk, but sans alcohol the challenge of continuously falling (mostly) forward while watching the scenery reel was just plain tedious. After a couple of slugs of gin I was able to discard my compulsion and settled in to an ennobled (and seated) state of admiration. I had this venerable alligator juniper for company.





The 'soons made rainbows every few miles. I trundled down Historic Route 66 at a leisurely 35 mph taking it all in before being forced onto the freeway at Mesita.



Maybe when we have brain implants we'll be able to "share" the experience. Something to look fwd to, eh?  
   

First day of Fall at 2,134m (7,000ft). 






Friday, September 12, 2014

The 2 inch Pine Resin Ball

I found this the other day while hiking near Pecos, New Mexico.





It's the largest I've ever seen.












While Waiting

There's a command performance Saturday, but the plan, at least as of today, is to head north, and maybe west, on Sunday. In the interim, here's one I dredged from a 2011 backup...

AN IRISH BLONDE IN A CASINO

    A blonde from Cork arrived at the casino.  

Stepping up to the table she said, 'I hope you don't mind, but I feel much luckier when I'm nude'. And with that, she stripped from the neck down.

She seemed a little intoxicated (this should clue you that this isn't a real Irish joke) and bet twenty-thousand Euros on a single roll. Then, giving forth in a fine, heathen brogue she yelled, 'Come on, baby, Mama needs new clothes!'

The dice had barely stopped when she began jumping up and down squealing, 'YES! YES! I WON, I WON!'

As she hugged each of the dealers she collected her winnings, her clothes and quickly
departed.

    Dumbfounded, the dealers stared at each other.

    Finally, one of them asked, 'What did she roll?'

    The other answered,  'I don't know, I thought you were watching.'

    MORAL OF THE STORY -

    Not all Irish are drunks;
    not all blondes are dumb.
    But all men...

    are 

    men.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Big Horn Symposium - Riverton, Wyoming

There I was, bombing along northbound on I-25 and Kim Fuka, the world-famous quiller (see July 4, 2014 post), had just rung me up. Suddenly, I looked down and noticed the temperature gauge was in the red! I pulled over and settled into the conversation while Eggbert regained his cool. Back in town, the mechanic said he'd get right on it, but he doesn't work weekends. I'm keeping my fingers crossed it'll be a one-day job.  

The unusual Time-is-of-the-Essence circumstances are due to having discovered, AND REGiSTEReD FOR, the (FREE) Big Horn River Symposium in Riverton, Wyoming, Sept 10-12. Below was lifted from the symposium's main page...



Logo used with permission
The Big Horn River general stream adjudication was initiated by the Wyoming legislature in January 1977 in response to an assertion of water rights in the Wind-Big Horn River system by the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes.  The adjudication is currently poised to reach its conclusion later this year.  The Wyoming District Court is expected to enter a final decree in the adjudication, which reviewed water claims held by over 20,000 parties within the Big Horn Basin.  This complex and often contentious proceeding has now spanned thirty-seven years.  It has been visible regionally and nationally, prompting two seminal opinions by the Wyoming Supreme Court as well as one closely watched decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, all of which involved water rights held by the two tribes located on the Wind River Reservation in the southwest corner of the basin.  Constituting a landmark in the fields of western water law and American Indian law, the University of Wyoming (UW) College of Law is proud and excited to be hosting a symposium focusing on the Big Horn River general stream adjudication from September 10-12, 2014, at the Wind River Hotel and Casino in Riverton, Wyoming. 


Other obligations had me ambivalent about attending until I spoke with Professor Debra Donahue, author of The Western Range Revisited: Removing Livestock from Public Lands to Conserve Biodiversity. Her enthusiasm for the speakers and the fact that she too will be there convinced me to go. You should too!