The test of an adventure is that when you are in the middle of it, you say to yourself, "Oh, now I've got myself into an awful mess; I wish I were sitting quietly at home." And the sign that something is wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure. -Thornton Wilder

The nice thing about being confused is you get a chance to notice things a lot better than if you knew where you were going.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tracks in the Sand

The first morning in Death Valley I simply took a walkabout straight out across the desert from camp. I soon became fascinated by the various tracks left in the sand from the evening's activities. Most desert animals are active at night and I wondered about the stories that each track could tell. No doubt most were searching for food in one form or the other. It could be seeds or another critter. The tracks could be of the predator or the prey.

A rabbit?

A beetle?

A snake?

A lizard?

A kangaroo rat?

A mouse?

Even the wind leaves its tracks.

This fly or bee was so engrossed in his excavating that he couldn't care less that I was hovering right over him only inches away to get a shot.
This was a fun day, just casually walking along through the dunes, so peaceful and quiet, warm and sunny.
Whenever I do these walkabouts in the desert, my imagination always takes me back 150 years.
I think about the pioneers, the prospectors and native Americans.
Try as I do, I cannot begin to imagine how difficult and dangerous it was for them.
Me with all my comfort and modern conveniences only a couple miles away in my little movable home.
Them with everything they own in a wagon, on a mule or on their backs.
 Hundreds of miles from where they came, from any help or assistance, from food or water.
And of course, I am always dreaming of finding some long lost artifact. But so far those treasures have always been limited to rusty tin cans or pieces of a broken bottle.
I'm still waiting to come across that abandoned six shooter from long ago.

6 comments:

  1. It's always interesting to study the tracks in the desert.
    I, too, like to imagine what it was like for those who came much earlier.

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  2. oh, now you sound like my husband. he's convinced we'll find a gun buried out here someday - i told him more than likely we'll find a body first...

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  3. There's a cool Twilight Zone episode about a desert walk, a time warp, pioneers, and a rifle in the sand. Right up your alley. BTW, today is T on ABC Wednesday. Tracks would make a good entry.

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  4. So many different tracks, and some from animals we never have seen here where I live:)

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  5. Awesome photos! All I ever see is deer tracks where I am.

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  6. these various tracks are fascinating. the straight-line ones are a puzzle. the best treasure I ever found in the desert was a bleached femur from who-knows-what.
    I thought I'd hit the jack-pot though. still have it too!

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