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, August 06, 2007

And That's What Living In The Black Rock Desert Can Be Like

The Sun was just dipping below the Granites when Tina and Jason pulled down an unmarked gravel road on the north side of the Black Rock Desert. Driving almost to the railroad tracks, they pulled into the small grove of trees that marked the location of the abandoned frog farm. A remnant of Reno's roaring twenties, the frog farm at one time supplied amphibian delicacies to diners as far away as Chicago. Now its buildings are long gone, but its perfectly circular spring-headed pools remain. It has been improved by generations of casual bathers through the addition of ladders, tables, bathing benches, Astroturf, and the occasional (and thoughtful) pruning of branches.

Tina began cooking chicken and fried potatoes while Jason lounged in a pool sipping a cold Pacifico. A few moments later she joined him, and they soaked in the warm, sulphurous water under the shade of a Russian olive tree while eating with their fingers. A short time thereafter an attractive blond couple pulled up in an old orange Family Wagon. They removed their clothing, climbed in, and retreated to the far end of the pool, where they murmured intimacies to one another under the sheltering arms of a large tamarisk. Sometime later they emerged and dried off. The man went to his van and retried a dobro, which he played softly while smoking a cigarette. The woman leaned against him.

The Sun drifted completely behind the mountains. Small bats known as pipistrelles emerged from the depths of the trees, swooping down over the surface of the water to drink or snatch insects out of the air. Two rotund and bearded scientists pulled up in a dust covered Volvo. Dirty from a hot, dry day conducting experiments on the Playa floor, they stripped and eased into the pool with deep sighs of satisfaction. A moment later they were discussing the metallic properties of hydrogen.

"Do you mean at some temperature hydrogen is a metal?" Jason asked.
"Well," answered the older of the two, "its more a matter of pressure than temperature. Say, on the surface of Jupiter hydrogen is a metal."
"So I can't look forward to hydrogen struts for my truck any time soon?"
They both laughed.
"Not unless you can drive it on the surface of Jupiter."

Tina gave the two scientists each a Pacifico from her cooler. The moon rose to the soft, melancholy sounds of the dobro.

And that's what living in the Black Rock Desert can be like.