After setting up camp I decided to go exploring a bit. I had much more time than I'm used to, so I could afford a longer walk than Iíve had since I left. I noticed a very out of place yellow blob a ways out and grabbed the cameras.
It appeared to be an old mining outpost, probably from the early 1900ís based on the stone foundations. The site was littered with old cans, apparently a staple of whoever lived here. I wonder if they were as sick of canned food as I am of Lipton noodle mix. The yellow blob was what was left of a water tanker, probably 1950ís vintage.
Hopping down from the top of the tanker I managed to drop my camera, afraid itís time for retirement. All of my photos' now look like this:
The area was littered with debris, mostly rusted and shot up old pieces of steel from stove parts, cable, roof tins and unrecognizable bits.
I also found lots of dig sites, usually in the side of a hill where lots of light blue gravel had been excavated.
There are literally dozens of them in the area and I investigated several of them but could not work out what they were looking for here. Itís a significant effort to get here, let alone bring any equipment to dig so the reason must have been compelling.
(Please note; the following was written that night in camp and is somewhat redundant with other posts here, but it's the raw feelings of the day and I thought you deserved to be bored, twice.)
"I returned to camp not having seen a soul. From my vantage point on the hills I can see the road entering the playa (the dry lake that is the Racetrack) several miles away. Any vehicles on the road create a dust cloud that can been seen like smoke signals from miles away. The time was only 6:30 and I donít usually retire until 9:30 or later. What to do with my time? As I wandered around the camp looking for artifacts I realized that I was looking for signs of civilization, I was looking for signs of other humans. Although I did interact briefly at the visitorís center today, I really havenít been in any populated areas for three days. Even before that I had spent three days primitive camping. One would think that the two days I spent in between at a hotel would have recharged my social batteries, but it did not. I spent most of it in my hotel, only leaving twice in three days for food. Perhaps thatís why I feel lonely tonight. Itís not such a stretch I suppose knowing that no one comes out this far very often and it leaves me with a feeling of being very alone . Iím very much aware that a little fall, snake bite or other minor incident would have a major impact on me. The farther you get away from civilization the more careful you become about your actions. You realize that something as simple as a flat tire could easily be the end of someone out here. Iíd like to think that I could figure out how to handle most situations, hence the reason I keep putting myself in these situations, but the less frequently you see people, the less courageous you seem to get.
Itís fairly ironic that I deliberately chose one of the most desolate places on our continent and now would love to have the company of someone tonight. As a very distant second place, Iíd love to make a fire, but theyíre quite against it here for some reason. Strange since there isnít much to burn here. "
Note to self: double check boots every morning for rattly things.