Sunday, April 27, 2008

Satursteady Spurlunkering

Woody's Plowshare

Went out for some weekend Spurlunkering again, this time with Mr. Sample who had not yet explored that stretch of desert. Went through Cutoff road, briefly stopping by Bear Claws campsite. Not quite springy yet, only a few wildflowers, but still a nice place to stop. Saw a young beaver rolling along through the water, until it got within fifteen feet of me. Did not check on the nearby Geocache.

Headed over the backway past the downstream campsite. Had all the characteristics of an Indian campsite, but probably been hunted out by the frequent RV’ers. Back on Cutoff rd., Richard spied three humongous turkey vultures. We backed the truck up slowly and got a good gander, though neither of us had a good camera. The first two flew off after about thirty seconds, but the third stayed. Finally, when I got out of the truck, the third vulture flew off, seemingly with some trouble, probably due to engorging so much meat. The victim appeared to be larger than a coyote and black. I didn’t want to approach any closer on account of the predators still swirling nearby, plus it felt bad. Later on I remembered that around ten years ago, I saw where someone had shot two dogs and left them in the same vicinity. In fact, there was a third similar incident, I remember telling Mr. Flowers about, which occurred in the same area. This crossroad left me with an ill feeling.

We went on over to where Silver Creek turns into a large holding pond before washing under Highway 93 and then spilling into the Little Wood River. Quite a variety of birds there, mostly ducks and loons, a couple of sandhill cranes too. We spied them with Richard’s binos for a few minutes. No birds were swimming in the area near the highway because of the occasional big rig. Some rigs were already hauling hay, which looked like this year’s first green cut. We tried to guess where they hailed from, since spring is so late here with snow still standing in the lower hills and higher valleys.

3V3TZ preaching in ancient days

Passed by Preacher Bridge and the old railroad bed, then over to Pagari. The old topos show that these places once had railroad stops. We figured that the freight trains must have been stopping for sheep and cows, etc. Tracks have all been picked up, but some of the trestle bridges are still intact. I drove over one of those creaky babies about ten years ago and don’t think that I’ll try that again.

After we begin to look for old cowboy camps and other objects of interest to scavenge, a congenial peace officer stopped to chat with us. We were standing adjacent to another treasure-hiding place, which I had set up in the pre-Geocache era, but I left that one too, unchecked for now. The Conservation Warden asked if we were fishing and we said that we thought it was closed. He said no, the Little Wood is open, but Silver Creek is closed until May 24. We thanked him for clarifying and then looked at the Little Wood’s murkiness, commenting that it looked too muddy. He said that the people fishing downstream by “Three Trees” were not having great luck, but did catch one or two.

Richard found some old pieces of pottery and glass and several gun shells. He commented that he thought it was a good rabbit hunting area and we discussed the links between rabbit and lynx populations. Richard was looking for a particular size of old tin to use for a gold-leaf art project. With his persistence of vision, he saw a pile of scrap metal near a fishing pullout. We went through it and found what looked like an old dog bowl, very heavy and still with some blue. Seconds later, we found a small bluish curved piece of metal with matching interior porcelain, which made us realize that the ‘dog bowl’ was actually a teapot and this was its spout.


Richard and I talked briefly about our legendary fathers. He mentioned that his dad had once contracted a rare disease, which causes paralysis below the neck. The cause is from a fleabite. I remembered that years ago, two of my dad’s work colleagues at H.B. Lantzsch had contracted what sounded like the same disease. After the second person became ill, the shop foreman, Werner Kulbe, contacted the health department wondering if the poor environmental conditions there had some connection to the illnesses. All three of these individuals returned to good health after six-month paralyses. A synchronicity I saw with Richard’s father’s case was that I had just lent Richard a copy of Jeremiah Johnson – a movie his father was cast to act in, until he came down with the brief disease. At an opening point in the movie, Del-Q is paralyzed in the sand from the neck down, although he claims that he has a fine horse under him.


We worked our way over in the sand to a large area where the sage had burned away the previous year. We saw that an old structure had probably been there once too and discovered two handfuls of ancient glass, now melted from the fire. I also picked up a tiny kerosene stove, which reminded me of an old tin of tobacco, which 3V3TZ once found, which still had tobacco in it, which had been meant as a gift for Woody Guthrie and now sits next to Woody’s Rock.

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