Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fourth of JuPlaya recap

I spent the 4th of July weekend up on the Black Rock Desert with my wife and a collection of well armed folks.  Had this actually been the Zombie Apocalypse - we were in the right place with the right people.

With the dramatic intro out of the way, what on earth was I doing there.  There was a Ranger Orientation Meeting (annual training if you will) for the Black Rock Rangers - however I had already attended an earlier ROM.  So Saturday for me was spent mostly in the shade, drinking plenty of water and beer (but never watery beer) and acclimating - which didn't take all that long as had I spent the better part of the previous week in New Mexico for work.  We did a little recreational shooting in the late afternoon and then had a potluck dinner.  Sunday was my serious day, as we prepped to take the test for the ham radio technician license - which I passed thank you very much.  We drank more beer (and water) and then enjoyed the infamous Frog Bat and the impromptu fireworks - from folks within our camp as well as those scattered around the playa (that is "ply"-"uh" to the non-initiated; the vast dry lakebed remnant of prehistoric Lake Lahontan).  Monday we broke camp and drove down to Sparks where we checked into the Nugget and got to see the professional fireworks from Victorian Square - a great show.

The rest of the week was intended to be spent in various High Sierra points of interest that I had not yet taken in - Saddlebag Lake and Horseshoe Meadows in particular.  We left Sparks and cruised up to and around Lake Tahoe then south on 89 to cross Monitor Pass.  We had on previous occasions crossed Tioga and Sonora passes, so this completed the trio of Southern Sierra crossings.  Anyway, Saddlebag ended up a scratch as the road wasn't yet open due to this past winter's bounteous snow.  So we headed south and made camp on Rock Creek (where we had planned to stop and take in a trail ride).  Can't say enough good things about the folks (and horses) of Rock Creek Pack Station - who guided us up to the Hilton Lakes where the trout fishing was something between spectacular and insane.  Having had our fill of voracious mosquitoes, some of which were only mildly annoyed by 40% DEET, we skipped the next questionable high camp (Horseshoe) for this trip and headed home.

Since it didn't happen if there aren't pics...

One of our camp-mates, stylin' with an eeeeeeevil assault weapon (the folding stock was removed and the original put back on and the firearm was returned - legally - to California).

Our camp.  Aluminet provides great shade when you really need it.

Yours truly in desert zen, some other folks on the firing line, and everybody post-shoot.

Hope you had a great Fourth as well.  Next year you can always consider a desert get-a-way (assuming lack of amenities and lots of dusty people with guns doesn't scare the holy crap out of you).

Saturday, July 9, 2011


After years of yakking in other people's parlors, porches, what-have-you, I'm thinking it is time to set up my own place to plop my ponderings and hopefully to engage in some interesting conversations.  This blog won't be very thematic as my interests are varied and somewhat random.

My handle may be familiar to you from any of the blogs where I habitually comment: Reason Hit 'n Run, Volokh Conspiracy, The Smallest Minority, Notes from the Front, amongst others.

Oddly enough I wasn't able to use the abbreviation of the title as the site name, as I had hoped.  Oh well.  There are greater disappointments in life.