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

Monday, April 30, 2007

How Do You Drive This Again?

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How Big Redux

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How Big Is The Trailer We Bought You Ask?

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Palletized Motorcycle

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Moving To Midian

Well, it’s about halfway done. With the help of our brother-in-law Gary and Tina’s sister Keri, we loaded up 95% of our belongings into a 45-foot trailer & shipped them off to the ranch. This was kind of a tricky operation, as we boxed, palletized, and finally shrink-wrapped most of our belongings before lifting them onto the trailer using a rented Bobcat (see the pictures above). We’ve got a few more weeks of work to do on the house before we can put it on the market (actually, we could work on the house forever, but we’re capping it at a few more weeks), then Tina, Snap, Michelle (the dog), Adrienne (the cat), and myself move to the Black Rock Desert for good. With the help of the Lord and our real estate agent Jasmine, it should sell relatively quickly, allowing us to move on to the next stage of our lives.

I haven’t posted anything about the last two trips to the ranch, as they were dedicated entirely to turning around book shipments for Hero Games & thus had little to do with working on the place. As of last week everything was functioning smoothly out at Midian: the power situation was good, water was plentiful, and nothing had blown over (God willing nothing will, either!). One of my trees may have been killed by a late April freeze, but the others are in full bloom and seem healthy. I hope to plant somewhere between 10 and 20 more this year, weather and finances permitting.

Well, that’s all for the moment! The next post will be from Tina and Snap, as they’re going to move out there a week before I do.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

April Fool's Day

Often it’s hard to describe exactly what the weather is like in the Black Rock Desert. It’s kind of like going to the drink dispenser at McDonalds, mixing together Coke, Sprite, Mountain Dew, and Root Beer, and then trying to explain exactly what the flavor is like. Sweet? Certainly. Different? Definitely. Tasty? Yes-No-Maybe-No-Yes.

It’s tempting to try to establish some sort of nomenclature for this strange desert’s weather. It’s also probably futile; I’m no Eskimo and this isn’t snow (or at least it isn’t at the moment). But I would describe today’s (April Fool’s Day) weather as Biblical Weather: a dust storm the size of Moldavia is blowing around on the horizon to the east, while angry black storm clouds rumble in from the west, emitting the occasional shard of bright light like some sort of alien spacecraft looking for a cow to mutilate. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Moses (well, ok, Charlton Heston: there is some hunting going on out here) came straggling into the ranch clutching two stone tablets. (And then asked for a beer. Everybody that comes straggling in from the desert out here asks for a beer.) It’s all very pretty in an ominous, frightening, let’s-all-stay-inside kind of way.

This time I did.

Last week we had Abyssal Weather: a blinding, frigidly cold storm comprised of 50% London fog and 50% dust (Somebody else’s dust, not ours. It tasted wrong.) blew over the Granites and settled comfortably down on the valley, reducing visibility to about 15 yards. Then, about an hour later, a freezing rainstorm blew in from the north, turning the whole thing into a falling mud storm. Hell gets better weather than that. It was a good day to stay inside - so of course I went outside, started moving stupid crap around with the forklift, got it stuck, hooked it up to the Chevy K-10, and then got that stuck too. Tina and I had to wear breathing masks and surplus military desert goggles while the sorted the whole mess out.

Hey, at least I bought the goggles!

This will be my last post for a month, as I’ll be back in California getting the house in Richmond ready for sale. Then, we’re moving out here once and for all. Out in our beautiful, hostile, terrible, welcoming wilderness.