Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sounds of Silence - Part 1

Feeling unambitious and unmotivated, LC and I debated for most of the morning just what we should do, and if we should do anything.
Finally tired on the indecision, I suggested that we explore up-til-now unexplored portions of Oregon Basin.
The weather was variable - very cold and windy and then warmer and calm, overcast and then suddenly filled with promising sucker-patches of blue.
But Oregon Basin was close.
Standing on the front porch I looked to my left and scanned the BLM hills that surrounded us.
The hills were deceivingly high and I could not see over them, but I knew that the endless flat acres of Oregon Basin were just on the other side.
Our sweet dog eagerly followed both of her humans around the tiny rented house as we got ready to head out,. knowing without us telling her that we were going someplace fun.
And that someplace would involve walking.
We have been to the Oregon Basin a handful of times over the past 8 or 9 months, but have always turned to the right and followed the rutted out dirt trails close to the bluffs, eager to check out the wind-ravaged rock formations that this area contains.
Today we stayed straight and followed a dirt road that led directly into the basin and towards the Marathon Oil rigs and buildings that dot the flat lands.
The gravel road eventually reaches a fork.  A sign that I had never noticed before told me that if we went straight we would followed an isolated BLM road all the way to the towns of Burlington and Meeteetse.  If we went straight we would hit the basin.  We went straight ...............
Gravel road predictably turned into rocky and rutted out dirt road, but (although it was still a bumpy ride) it was in reasonably good shape.
As LC continued driving further into the basin I looked to my right and saw the mountains.
I was looking at the back side of the mountains in the North Fork - the ones that we cannot see from the house - and the mountains and inverted cloud banks (that are very common this time of year) made them look both ominous and beautiful at the same time..............
Some of the oil company buildings were off in the far distance.
Click on the pictures to enlarge..........
These two antelope casually walked across the road in front of the truck and then casually wandered across BLM land before disappearing.
I watched them for a few moments, enjoying the sight of these strange looking animals.
With their weird little faces and their weird little white butts, they always make me smile.
I looked beyond the antelope-pair and out over the wide expanse of land in front of me.
It was a sight then went on forever in all directions.............
After following the oil-road for a few miles we turned back.
LC was curious about the dirt road leading to Burlington and Meeteetse, and wanted to drive at least a portion of it...............
I think some of these pictures are interesting because I find the lighting and muted shades of the land interesting.
For all the barren-ness and expansive emptiness there is on BLM, it is a calming place.
Uncomplicated.  Wide open.  Usually completely empty except for the occasional antelope or the even more occasional vehicle.
The silence of this space isn't deafening.  The sound of the silence is welcoming...........
I asked LC to stop the truck so that I could take this picture.
The one and only leafless, straggly looking, lonely looking tree that we saw the entire time we were out...............
Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence
Verse 1 - Sounds of Silence (Simon and Garfunkel)

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