Septembe 23, 2007
Black Rock Desert
Fall has come, suddenly.
The rains came too, last night. For hours. And wind — enough to shake the trailer and rock us to a fitful sleep. This morning, it was no surprise when Coyote and D.A.’s call came in from the playa: Too wet. Today will now be about cleaning up personal camps and trailers and preparing to leave in 10 days.
Thirteen and this writer went to the ranch to handle some Gate business. That place has changed since the days when the DPW used to live there a couple months out of the year. Mainly, it’s not a giant mess any more. A lot of work has been done. It no longer feels like home, not like the days of Jalisco’s / Palmer’s and bucket bombs and flaming redneck soccer. It feels like work. Progress. (sigh)
Then on the way home we visited the “Salty Balls” playa. (We don’t know the real name.)
It’s on the other side of the 447 from “the” playa, and it’s small, and made of entirely different stuff. And after rainstorms, it definitely smells like an ancient lakebed where the free-range cattle out here come to pewp.
The salty balls up close. Grass blows across this playa, and it snowballs, and accumulates salt and seeds.
Thirteen likes salty balls.
This is what they look like when you cut them open.
The salt sounds like snow when you walk on it. Crunchy.
The crunchy part.
Pieces of the crunchy part look like clouds when you hold them up to the sky.
This is what’s under the crunchiest parts. It feels like corn husk, or rice noodles. It’s pink.
Tiny flowers at the shoreline. Also pink.
Thirteen found a dessicated snake corpse.
We paid a visit to the shot-up Thunderbird.
Then we found this.
Okay, okay. Enough about clouds. But stuff like this is why we’re out here
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