A few days ago LC, Kory and I drove a few miles onto BLM land and then walked together.
Yesterday morning we woke to snow on the ground. By the end of the day it was almost entirely gone.
Yesterday was warm and calm. Today the temperature gauge reads 34 but it feels much colder because of gale force winds and a threatening sky.
And so it is going in the winter of 2013 and14.
On the day we took this walk the day was calm, overcast and mild, and we parked the truck on the same trail where we parked a few months ago, on the first day that we set Kory free to run.
On that day the sky was completely blue, the entire world was covered with snow, and as soon as we released our dog from the bondage of her leash for the first time, she turned and sprinted away from us.
Mindlessly running on the completely snow covered trail and not even giving her new people one second of thought.
We turned the truck around and headed back in the direction she was running, and by the time we finally caught sight of our new dog she was a good quarter mile ahead of us, and was still running in a full sprint.
Desperate to try and break Kory of the running-trance she was in, LC hit the horn and then hit it again.
The second time our dog finally stopped on trail, turned and thankfully began sprinting back in our direction.
We have come a long way together since that first halting attempt to set our dog free in the world.
It has only been three and a half months, even though it feels much longer................
It is impossible to see in this picture, but if you click on it, the picture will enlarge.
Even enlarged it is still difficult to see the tiny town of Atomic City laying silently in the vastness of the desert.
This picture gives some sense of just how isolated this quiet community really is.
A few people we have met in passing over these past months have told us that they used to live in Atomic City and loved it but their wives did not like it there.
Others just laugh when we say the words "Atomic City".
There is no doubt that it is quiet and isolated, but we don't live in Death Valley. We live 30 minutes from two different towns and are within an hour of numerous other towns.
I like it.................
I will be curious to see what this region looks like in the spring.
Close to the end of winter, right now this region is a world strictly of beige and brown and grey..........
I don't know what lives or lived in this large hole (maybe a badger?) but I was glad that I saw it and that Kory missed it in her running frenzy.
I don't know what she is going to find out on BLM land during the summer, how she will react to what she finds, or what she will do or have done to her during encounters.
Certainly she will come across rattle snakes.
The best we can do is make sure that she stays up-to-date on rabies shots and make sure that she receives a rattlesnake shot before the weather gets too warm.............
We stayed on BLM land for a long time and enjoyed quiet time together, wandering on public lands, exploring rock formations and unknown animal holes, sharing hot dogs and "stupid human pet tricks" with our energetic and freedom loving mutt.
Kory stays close and returns to us often.
She knows the commands jump, sit, down, speak but has difficulty with the "stay" command (30 feet seems to be her limit until she eventually tires of the game).
When it was time to go we all climbed back into the truck and slowly drove along the trail until we hit Big Butte Road.
But instead of turning left and heading back towards town, we instead turned right and slowly drove further down the gravel road than we had to date.
LC and I had both studied Google maps to see where this road led.
If we stayed on it long enough we would eventually be able to travel on BLM land all the way to Aberdeen.
On this day we only drove a few miles..............
Have you heard of the illness hysteria siberiana? Try to imagine this: You're a farmer, living all alone on the Siberian tundra. Day after day you plow your fields. As far as the eye can see, nothing. To the north, the horizon, to the east, the horizon, to the south, to the west, more of the same. Every morning, when the sun rises in the east, you go out to work in your fields. When it's directly overhead, you take a break for lunch. When it sinks in the west, you go home to sleep. And then one day, something inside you dies. Day after day you watch the sun rise in the east, pass across the sky, then sink in the west, and something breaks inside you and dies. You toss your plow aside and, your head completely empty of thought, begin walking toward the west. Heading toward a land that lies west of the sun. Like someone, possessed, you walk on, day after day, not eating or drinking, until you collapse on the ground and die. That's hysteria siberiana.............Haruki Murakami, South of the Border, West of the Sun