Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Catclaw is blooming!! No, no...wait. It's Fairy Duster!!! Fairy Duster I tell you!!

EC634 is marked by the ubiquitous fiberglass "pole" about 200 feet from the highway. It's about 20 miles north of I-8 on S34 (Ogilby Rd). Blink and you miss it.

It'd be a fine way-station but for the two sets of track about ten miles south. In this land of not-much-to-absorb-sound, I mistook the train for an idling F-15. A chance encounter the next day enlightened me.

On Saturday mornings you may awaken to the sound of minimally-muffled motors wafting o'er the plain. I surmised there was a race in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area. C'mon everybody!!! Let's all go for a competitive DRIVE!!

The delirious bees stagger about quoting Mae West - "Too much of a good thing is wonderful!"

Now, after a bit of confusion (it MIGHT have been catclaw) we've decided it is, in fact FAIRY DUSTERCalliandra eriophylla. It smells sorta like mimosa.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Worst!!!

I was late getting out of Flagstaff on Feb 8 and didn't make it all the way down the hill. The weather was closing in and it was nearly dark when I made  camp on Silver Spring Road (west side) at about 4,000 ft (just over 1,200 m).

The Goddess smiled as she took aim. Unable to quell her beneficence she waited until the hatches were battened.

It began as a nice drizzle and I, who REALLY dislike rain, might even have enjoyed it...except it was cold! 

On the edge of an arroyo, an ill-advised locale during the Monsoon Season, I surmisalled a flash-flood was unlikely at this time of year. On the other hand, what with all the climate change these days, a Nutria can never be too sure. Sometime during the night it stopped....or so I tho't.

Upon awakening, my first tho't was...Whiteout!! Almost, but not quite as dramatic was, perhaps, an inch of SNOW! Shivering and with teeth chattering, I cleared a patch (on the ground); I thanked my luck as I savored the fact it wasn't frozen...and squatted. Fortunately there was no wind; no breeze either (couldn't resist).

When asked, the station attendant in Kingman said, “It doesn't usually snow in February...and it caught the weatherwoman by surprise too.” Perhaps you'll empathize when I admit to a bit of shadenfreude from that little factoid. 

The quiet is incomparable. It's nice to be back in the wilds....less than a mile from the freeway. Rumor has it it’s warmer further south.

Set from Lost In Space?