Midian Ranch Blog

This is the web log for Midian Ranch, an isolated homestead in rural Nevada. It is owned by Jason and Tina Walters, whom are also its regular posters. This blog is exclusively for the enlightenment and edification of our friends, family, and colleagues.

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Location: Gerlach, Nevada, United States

Saturday, July 22, 2006

July 8th,9th, and 10th

It’s now the time of the year when intellectual pursuits become incredibly attractive in the Black Rock Desert. Specifically the kinds that don’t involve physical exertion: writing, reading, watching lengthy movies, and so forth. The desire to move about as little as possible becomes an irresistible siren’s song. If I ever get around to reading Brothers Karamazof or War and Peace, it will definitely be during the summer out here. Or maybe I’ll do it in the dead of winter. That would make more sense for reading The Russians, wouldn’t it?

I continued my work on the jeep without any discernable success. This time I replaced the distributor cap, gapped the plugs, and checked the flow of gasoline from the tanks to the engine. No dice: the damned thing still won’t start. My new theory is that the fuel pump isn’t working. Which makes sense when you consider the destructive effect that desert dryness has on old rubber. I’m betting that the little rubber membrane inside of the pump has suddenly ruptured due to age and climate. Oh well – I’ll replace it next trip and find out.

I’ve wanted to hike further into the Leadville Mines for some time now, so Chris and I drove out to the entrance of Leadville late Sunday afternoon and hiked up into the canyon system. It took us several hours but we found an excellent camping spot: a grove of several dozen aspen trees with a small, muddy stream nearby. It’s obviously a fairly popular spot as it had a bench, burn bin, and piles of firewood already stacked up nearby. It even had grass – the ultimate Black Rock luxury! We pitched camp, cooked dinner, and watched the old Robert Redford film Jeremiah Johnson (which seemed appropriate) on the portable DVD player before turning in.

The next day I completed my assigned tasks at the ranch and headed home in time to visit with Tina for a few hours before she headed out to Midian. That’s become the usual pattern in our lives during the last few months: we come out here at separate times due to our work. I don’t like it, as we alrady don’t spend that much time together in the first place. Trips to Midian have traditionally been our “together” time. Well, hopefully that will change soon.


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