The Mojave has been in the midst of a grand flux these last months. The winter’s determined silence has been finally broken by bird song and the thumpings and rustlings of those amongst the shrubs. The lizards were perhaps the first to join the birds in spring celebrations, pattering from their subterranean abodes to luxuriate in the sunshine and all seventy of the degrees. Jack rabbits have returned to quiver beneath the white bursage, poised to explode from invisibility at full tilt at the approach of clumsy steps. Even the darkling beetles have surfaced to continue their endless wanderings, butts ever pointed skyward. There is new grass beneath the hop sage, and a subtle green has settled onto the plain.
All of this nature business sets quite a stage for our daily restoration. After six sweet days in Jawbone we had come to the very end of our work schedule, such efficiency! We hiked Bird Springs Pass in celebration, getting our first glimpse of the Pacific Crest Trail that runs from Canada to Mexico. Grandiose thoughts and dreams inspired by that historic route were shattered by a two day enslavement in the Rands Mountains. In a final desperate act of rebellion we fled to the Panamint Valley at dawn of the third day. Looking out for our winged friends, the Inyo California Towhee, we hiked the wind-torn Southern slopes capping mining pipes that are enticing but deadly nesting places for native birds. Matt then led us to a retired onyx mind for some rock hounding, what a blast!
Our display of solidarity made quite an impression on our oppressors and on our third and final day in the Rands area we actually had the privilege of working in conjunction with the dastardly crew. On the subject of evil men, Jawbone watched Polansky’s Chinatown and delved into the world of Western water politics this rainy Friday. All’s well that ends well.