Running late to the Smoke Creek and beyond

This is the second part of a multi-part post. To go to the beginning, go here.

Both Mike and Linda – the links @ their names are to their websites – are artists and their undisclosed location – as they would like to have it so referred – on the edge of the Smoke Creek playa, is like a giant art piece. Every vista is dazzling and every detail is thought out in a subtle but idiosyncratic way. Every time I come here, my first thought is I would like to move in and change nothing – OK, the name on the door, but that’s it.

Sunday morning, we woke up in our own guest cottage on the edge of a pond.



And joined Linda, Mike, and their three dogs on their pre-breakfast walk around the ranch – property? spread? whatever.




After breakfast and visiting, we wandered up the road a spell to Planet X. Planet X is a pottery studio  owned by John and Rachel Bogard. We probably would have stopped there anyway because we like their pottery and they always have an open house on Memorial Day, but Michele had taken a class there several years ago and wanted to stop by to say hello.


Michele and Rachel talked about the economy and I tagged along. At one point, I mentioned that they looked busy but that most of the people looked pretty old – it never occurred to me that I was one of those old guys – signifying that this was probably their first time here. Rachel said No, they are the same people who always come here, they are just getting old. Gulp! Just like us.

As Michele and Rachel continued to talk, I wandered over to the TV to watch Dario Franchitti win the Indy 500.


A long aside. Nevada is Basin and Range country. Between Lake Tahoe and Salt Lake City, the North American Plate is pulling apart, stretching the crust thin, fracturing it on a north-south axis. These fractured pieces, are rotating on the same axis producing a series of separate and parallel north south mountain ranges. Each of these Ranges has a flat Basin between it and the next Range. For 450 miles!

It is a geologically fascinating area and the great John McPhee wrote a geology primer about the Nevada Basin and Range that reads like poetry, titled, appropriately, Basin and Range. McPhee, when asked how he would sum up the book, said If by some fiat I had to restrict all this writing to one sentence, this is the one I would choose: The summit of Mt. Everest is marine limestone. Think about that, the top of Mt. Everest was once the bottom of an ocean.End aside.

Leaving Planet X, we drove through Gerlach – the sign says Where the pavement ends and the West begins. but we were coming in from the other way, so, I guess, technically we were leaving the West. Not really, after 18 miles of paved road, we turned east on a unpaved county road. Our trip would take us over several Ranges and through several Basins, starting by going up the fan into the Selenite Range.       (Double clickable.)


To be continued

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