I've become a desert rat.
I need is to grow my beard out and get myself a burro and the
transformation will be complete. Maybe get a pick-axe and start searching
for the Lost Blue Bucket Gold Mine.
There are an
endless number of trails, and I'm trying them out one by one. I have my
favorite about 12 miles out of town where there is hardly ever anyone
else, for when I want to get my four miles in and also write.
But when I can, I search for new trails further out into the high desert.
is something zen about it. Peaceful and relaxing. My mind can settle
into a creative groove and not worry about anything else.
suppose some people might find the terrain tedious, but I find there is
a certain beauty in it. I grew up traipsing around outskirts of Bend,
never thinking anything of it. While my Mom concentrated on creating an
English garden in the middle of this desert, Dad and I went hunting or
fishing in the woods.
It got into my blood somehow.
you had asked me 30 years ago whether I preferred the mountains, woods
and lakes--or the high desert--I'm sure I would have chosen the former.
But I can go anywhere I want for my walks, and I almost always chose the desert. It's more solitary, somehow. More peaceful.
I'm just a desert rat, I guess.
interesting that my first book published was Led to the Slaughter, a
western horror novel with a strong element of the real events. It got me
in the mood; or perhaps my affinity for the west is what led me to the
I've turned into my Dad, who always had an interest
in the old west. I didn't think I had that, though I enjoyed the
occasional western novel. Dad even had theory about the Lost Blue Bucket
Mine that got published in the local paper, the Bulletin. I came across
it when I was researching. He contention was that you could draw a
longitudinal graph of gold finds and where it crosses the path of the
Lost Meek Cutoff wagontrain is where you'd find the mine. Of course they
were wandering lost, so it's a guess.
It could be
hundreds of square miles. Walking in the high desert with its endless
hills and gullies makes you realize what a hopeless quest that is.
it's become a habit. Sometimes I wish I had more of a memory for the
names of these places. I had some friends growing up who always knew
these things. Me...I just go places and later I may even have trouble
finding where I went.
I probably should learn the names of
the places, the plant life, all of that. But I just wander obliviously,
lost in my own little world.
4 days ago