Sunday, June 22, 2014

Christmas and Spirit

Early morning at the marina
Just a reminder that my worksite this summer is 3000 ft below the town where it's technically located.  I call it my summer in the hole.  But it's a beautiful hole ringed by the mesas and mounds of the Black Mountain range.  And I'm surrounded by the clean beauty called Lake Mohave.  Most mornings lately I'm up at 5.  By 5:30 I've hooked a leash to my neighbor's lab and he takes me on a 1-2 mile drag part way up the hill and back.  After a rest and some water on our return I usually go down to the dock and jump in a kayak to get in some paddling before the heat rises (it's usually in the low 90s by now) and all the jet skis get on the water.  The water is so clean you can look down and see the fish and turtles swimming under you.  And it is so peaceful until the boats get out.  The water surface is as smooth as glass until the winds pick up, but if I get out by 6:30 I can usually get in an hour or so of paddling before the hard winds get here.  Then it's back to Seeker for a shower and breakfast and off to work.

Except on my days off.  Then it's make a shopping list and gather up the laundry before driving 14 miles up hill and up above 3600 feet to town.  Now we do have a laundry at the rv camp but there's no internet signal at the camp so by coming to the one in town I can use the wifi signal there and get my uniforms clean at the same time.  That's usually about 2 hours of wash, rinse, surf, and fold.  Then on to another town for grocery shopping and odds and ends.  You see, the town of Searchlight has a McDonald's, 2 casinos, a new Mexican restaurant and a gas station.  But the nearest grocery store is in Boulder City, another 45 minutes north or Bullhead City which is another 60 minutes south (but there is a super Walmart there). 

So Monday I had the day off and was back from my morning paddle when my neighbor asked if I wanted to ride to Bullhead with him and split the gas.  Sure thing I said.  Along the way he decided to take the scenic route through Christmas Tree Pass, a road I had eyed before but was too cautious to take my little car through.  In his big truck it was an easy drive.  As we drove along I was thinking that I wish I had a signal to see what geocaches were around me because I was sure there had to be some.  We were driving across BLM land you see.  Then I noticed a tree along the road decorated with faded Christmas ornaments.  I started laughing and then my driver told me that years ago people started coming out to the pass and decorating the trees along the way to make the drive more fun.  It was certainly different that's for sure.

Soon we were driving onto National Park Service land and the home of Spirit Mountain.  The views in every direction were breathtaking.  We stopped at a  spot where we could look up to the top of Spirit and enjoy the views, the quiet, the spirit of the place.  Eventually we were back on BLM land and stopped at a short trail where I picked up some rocks I'm sure my grandson Aiden will enjoy.  Decided to start him a box of Nevada rocks to take home this winter.  Can I count that as a Christmas present? 

Eventually we made it to town, ate lunch at an IHOP, and headed on to Walmart for our shopping.  Then, since we had some items in the ice chest in the back of the truck and it's 62 miles back to the hole (without the side trip through the mountains) we didn't mess around.  By the end of the day I was tired but happy.  Hope I get back that way again, but the next chance I get I will be sure to load those caches on Christmas Tree Pass.

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