August 11, 2015
Alas, we finally arrived at Rambo's place in the midst of Nevada. We hadn't seen civilization for hours and I was too lazy to pee on the side of the road, so the first thing I did was run out to the outhouse... Well.. What was supposed to be our outhouse. Apparently, a few weeks before we arrived there had been severe winds and flash floods that had knocked it to the ground. There was definitely a moment of silence as I stood there looking at the remains of my old friend. Luckily, I was able to just go in the house and use indoor plumbing instead of risk getting bit in the butt by a rattler.
We spent the evening getting settled in, turning the propane on, fetching water from the well (ha just joking this time), looking for the microwave (lol yeah we did do that), and then sitting on the front porch relaxing. The weather was absolutely perfect, not hot but not cold either, with the perfect breeze dancing along the winds. Luckily, while we were out here, we were going to be able to catch one of the coolest meteor showers of the year- the Perseid Meteor shower. This is because during the peak of the shower, scientists say you are able to see 60-100 meteors.
Soon, the sun kissed the earth goodnight and we watched the mountains change colors from pastel pinks to deep purples and blues. On the top deck, Jake pulled out a mattress so that he could sleep out under the stars. We all stayed up there for hours talking, listening to music, nature, the wind, and just watching the meteors dash through the night. It was the first time I had ever seen the Milky Way. It was almost like we were in the center of a snow globe, seeing the stars touch every corner of the Earth.
August 12, 2015
Woke up a little foggy, not remembering where I was. I had slept without a pillow, for some strange reason it was one of the best rests I'd had in a long time. Wiping the sleep from my eyes, I was filled with joy realizing that I was back home. I had waited a whole year to be back and here I was. It always feels too good to be true.
We drove out to Berlin State Park soon after breakfast. We wanted to make sure we were there in time for the fossil tour. The morning was absolutely lovely. Not hot, not cold, perfect. The clouds were full of life and character. Apparently, Rambo had planted an apple orchard in one part of the park, so we drove down to the gully to see what was left of it. Corley said Rambo used to take Betty on picnics down here, I think that is the cutest thing ever. We hopped in the back of the truck where we had previously thrown some lawn chairs and headed down a dirtroad. The backroad we had gone down through the back of the park, clearly hadn't been used in such a while. Probably due to the remote location of the park and the lack of many humans out there. As we drove through this mountain range, there were so many cattle just grazing where ever they pleased (open range), as well as wild horses roaming around.
Dirt road after dirt road we went. Said hello to some of our friends on the res as we drove through and made our way up the mountain to the Toiyabe National Forest. Here we were in the middle of this spectacular park with picnics, an outhouse, and not a soul besides ours. A stream ran down the mountain beside the campsite we were at, lush green grass filled the area. It was almost as if we stepped into this secret oasis that no one else knew about. Corley said Rambo found this place a long time ago and would come here to eat lunch and just enjoy God's wondrous creation.
We made our sandwhiches, ate, joked, threw m&m's at each other, and had a grand time. We crossed over the stream and went up the mountain a little ways to investigate something we had seen from our picnic table, turns out it was just a fence post. The stream water was clear and cold, I really wanted to continue my tradition of drinking water from the Earth every chance I get, but realized how stupid it would have been. For those of you who do not know, if an animal dies in the water upstream, it can carry disease and bacteria downstream, therefore it is always a bad idea to do this for fun.
Made our way along another mountain range, saw what used to be a landing strip for helicopters, and arrived at yet another ghost town. Once the mines went dry, the people left- their houses still had furniture, curtains blowing in the wind, and clothes hanging in closets / on the ground. We didn't enter any of the houses, rat feces covered the floors and we didn't want to risk getting that rat poop disease. Across the road from the the small mining camp, there was a well where one could collect water from the earth. Something Rambo used to come out here and do since this whole place is abandoned.
We drove all day through the mountain ranges near the cabin. At one point we hooked up Jakes music to some speakers and listened to some pretty foggy stuff. Jack rabbits hopped about at every turn.
Once again, the golden rays of sunshine touch the earth as they say their daily farewells. I could gaze upon this sunset everyday for the rest of my life and never grow tired of the way the pastels turn into a matte gradient. Being able to look up and see the Milky Way once night has settled in, is one of the most amazing things one can experience. It's like being covered in a blanket of stars.
August 13, 2015
So far today, we have visited with our neighbors out here and checked out their gardening techniques. I'm super excited for the day I can start my own garden here. We walked around the town checking out old buildings from back in the day when this was a bustling mining town. My favorite part of course, was when we spotted an outhouse, we would go check it out and see how nice they were. Jake said there needs to be a Yelp! for rating outhouses. Corley said that one fella here in town used to keep exotic cats out here, and not to mention a bunch of buffalo.
We made our way down the dirt road to the cemetery today. The dirt road is so rarely used that it was starting to wash away, we had to circle back just to find our way up to it. The graves here are so ancient. You could tell this town had to of been amazing back in its heyday. One gravestone we found, wasn't the usual type of headstone you would normally find in a cemetery. It was a headstone made of wood with their name, birth, and death etched into it. Unfortunately, we were not able to actually make out the date engraved in the wood. Another mausoleum type grave made of wood, had started to decay, leaving a couple human remains peaking through at us.
I sit here by candlelight as I write this entry. The desert sun made my skin a little crispier than I realized and soon I had fallen asleep. The sky was filled with more clouds during sunset tonight. In fact, the whole sky is filled with clouds right now and I wonder if it will rain. The winds had picked up today and were more fierce than usual, they make the oddest whistling noise and they come through the land here. While I was napping, the boys fixed the outhouse, oh glorious day!
I went running earlier. Gosh, I love running! Something about running through the mountains makes it far more exciting as well. I explored some old mud/stone houses that I passed alongside the road. The way the wind whistles through them is so spooky when you're alone. In the distance the most glorious lightning storm was dancing along the mountains.
Corley and I of course just did regular ol' Corley things like play pranks on Butch and Jake and tell a bunch of funny stories. At one point we went through the whole house and turned on all the light switches then snuck back out the our generator to turn on all the lights and spook them. As we walked outside, surrounded by the stars and the few meteors that were still flying through the night, we did a few native american dances and just acted silly for a few minutes. It's so nice we get to spend all this time together out here just enjoying each other's company.
Tonight is the last night we are going to be here, tomorrow we are heading back to Reno. It's late but the clouds finally rolled away. I sat on the patio with Corley and we just watched the meteors dash through the sky. Man, I wish the rest of my fam. could be out here with us to just see this majestic world God has made. Words can't describe how much I love my family and how glad I am that we are all related and able to just share these awesome moments with each other.
August 14, 2015
The sun has made its debut, so we rolled out of bed to start packing our things and cleaning the cabin. It's been a lovely few days, I said goodbye to my friend, the jolly o' outhouse and soon all we could see was the dust flying up behind us and flag from the top deck just waving farewell in the distance.