Sunday, December 6, 2015

Ghost Time

Each year beginning after the end of the season I pick an area within 30 minutes or so of Base Camp and spend the winter doing grid searches of that area. Amazing finds over the years, field telephone, telephone lines, petroglyphs, abandoned oil wells, Spanish petroglyphs, pottery, arrowhead flakes, herds of Big Horn and deer, arches, waterfalls, mines, and so forth. This year is different.

 First, Sarah showed up in Sep/Oct somewhere. Came out on her own to play disc golf. Hung around for a day or two, returned later with her mom and since with various friends. Sarah took to the place and has a way with the critters. Even Kobae seems to like her. When her seasonal job ended in town she came out here to work and spend the winter. Though I plan to live forever it's unlikely it will turn out that way so would be a shame if somebody didn't know all the things I've learned about the critters and area in the last nearly ten years. With that in mind I've been hiking with Sarah most days to show her my favorite hikes and things I've found so she can show guests in the future if I'm unavailable for whatever reason. A month later we've barely scratched the surface.

Second, I've thoroughly explored most everything within 30 minutes of here so this year I've picked a subject. Dinosaurs. This winter I'll be learning every thing I can about them and their tracks. I really enjoy tracking though this is sort of like loving chess and then being introduced to dimensional chess.

In another time you find a glass slipper, show up at the dance and wait for the woman to show up who's foot fits. Good evening Cinderella. Today with the fox I know it's a straight line, the back foot stepping in the front, the familiar three tracks one track of the rabbit, toe nails of the dog family, and no toe nails of the cat family. All out the window.

With dino tracks it's a 300 million piece puzzle without borders, some pieces faded beyond recognition, and other pieces missing and no longer in the box. Some evolved starting with five toes and in time down to two. Birds landed with one track facing east and one facing west and that's how they walked. Though there are hundreds of types of dinosaurs that walked here we can establish who had what kind of track and when they lived so the type of soil and terrain the tracks are found in will narrow down the number of dinos they belonged to.

Three. In the early 60's my father worked at Sperry, later Sperry Rand, at the old airport in Salt Lake City. He designed guidance capsules for missiles being fired from Green River Missile Base to White Sands New Mexico. They didn't all land in White Sands. Some fell between Green River and White Sands. Occasionally he'd come home a little dejected and say "Lost one today. Don't know where it is." Earlier this year at the south end of Lockhart Basin I saw parts of something some distance off the road. Then a sign that said "Missile Trail". Reading up on it there are three or four missiles from the firings near that trail. It's on my list.

Each year I label this Ghost Time since normally there's nobody out here but me and the little people along with the ghosts of the past. This winter it'll be Sarah some days, Linny also, and myself, with the usual little people. We'll be trying to find the signs, learn more about, and get closer to understanding the ghosts of the past. 

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