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bear by san

December 2021



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bear by san

One-Eyed Jack

New Words:: 358
Total Words:: 34064, or 153 pages
Reason for stopping: field trip!
Mammalian Assistance: A really disgusting face-washing from the mastiff, who has dog breath commensurate with his mass.
Stimulants: Rose congou
Exercise: 8/19/04, walking down to Domino's to collect the pizza and back (about 1.5 miles) 8/20/04, about five miles around the Drowned City of St. Thomas, in 115 degree heat. Desert hiking. blech.
Mail: nolove from Lenox Avenue
Books in progress: Joan Aiken, Castle Barebane

Wow, busy day. kit_kindred, Dylan, and myself drove through the Valley Of Fire and went on walkabout through St. Thomas, which is one of the towns drowned when Lake Mead was filled which has now re-emerged from the lake due to the catastrophic drought the Southwest is still undergoing. We went so I could scout it as a location for One-Eyed Jack. I'm really really glad we did, because St. Thomas looks *nothing* like any of the other Nevada ghost towns I've visited.

We were out about two hours, and eluded both sunburn and heat stroke, but there was a certain amount of heat sickness felt by all parties in the aftermath of the hike. (We had a gallon of water apiece for a five mile round trip plus individual liters, cellphones, and the usual sunblock, hats, etc--plus ice in the cooler in the car, which is really useful for dropping your core temperature fast when it's elevated. And there's nothing quite like the sensation of freezing the front of your neck with handsfulls of ice and feeling the cold creep up the *back* of your neck a few seconds later, after the cooled blood starts back up.)

Desert hiking is not an impulse action; people die out there. And not infrequently, either. But St. Thomas was pretty spiffy; not like anything I'd imagined. And I found all the locations I need for the book.

I may have fried a few brain cells, though; if you notice an IQ drop in the next day or two, that would be why.

Then we went out for dinner, and I put a few bucks in the Megabucks machine as a tithe to the casino gods for our safe return from the desert. And it paid off. No, not the full ten million--or I'd be blogging from Fiji--but it covered dinner.

The casino gods are generous.

And I am so going to bed.


apropos of almost nothing, I love the One Eyed Jack icon. :)
Thank you!

It somehow strikes me as a very you sort of book, actually.
Is that even in doubt? I'd eat the thing up! :)
Praise the casino gods!
The casino gods have been successfully propitiated. Hail!
Wow! Cool! Were the buildings in the drowned ghost town still standing? When my son and I visited out local drowned village (Treweryn, near Bala) some years ago during our own small drought, there wasn't much to see as the buildings and field walls had been demolished before the valley was flooded. But it was still interesting.

I really really don't fancy desert heat, by the way. I wilt even in a hot British summer, which is nothing to what you cope with in Las Vegas.
All the adobe and wood was gone, but the cement was standing.

And I don't blame you for not fancying desert heat. Frankly, I'd rather live in Maine. *G*
Did you take pictures? I've never seen the drowned towns. There was a documentary about the making of the dam. Can't remember if it was during the seventies or the eighties, but it did show brief glimpses of them before the water. I think it would be sorta cool to see them.

I think our high here was 68 yesterday. We're fogged in, too. I don't miss the heat at all. Now, the desert sky is another matter.
*g* I hardly ever take pictures of anything; I used to, and discovered I never looked at them. I'm just not a very visual person, I fear.

There's a couple of websites with pictures, if you google St. Thomas--bu the pictures must have been winter hikes, because the whole place is thicketed in with tamarisk, and you can't see that in the pictures. I was expecting something more like Rhyolite....
I remember Iguanacon in 1978. I had lived in Minnesota only 7 years then, and returning to the desert with a bunch of native Minnesotans, I saw that no-sunblock-and-no-water effect several times. They were so used to high humidity that they just couldn't comprehend how dehydrating desert weather is.
Can you say a bit more about how St. Thomas differs from other Nevada ghost towns?

Up here in the greenery of Minnesota (where I have been for 33 years, nearly 60% of my life), I miss the desert nearly every day. Your description of the ice-cooling of the body is so evocative it brought tears to my eyes. I always enjoyed the effect of icing my inner wrists . . .
*g* I've been in Nevada five years, and I miss the hills and trees of southern New England so much it aches. So yeah, I know exactly what you mean.

For one thing, St. Thomas was almost entirely overgrown with tamarisk, a stand about seven feet tall--just tall enough to make it nearly impossible to navigate. So you'd walk through all this feathery green, and suddenly find a bit of an old engine, or an abandoned car wheel--

Also, there were sea shells everywhere. And vast tracts of the ground were cracked and dried lake silt.