STOIC POETRY | The November Threat Solitude
Updated: Sep 4, 2021
DAY ONE ALONE
The Return to Siberia countdown timer says I’ll be there tomorrow. Actually, I’ll be there tonight. Let’s go!
Last week's Siberia solitude began with this ride from Ludlow to Siberia ghost town. I'd taken a few hours off work in order to leave early (noon) and arrive before sundown, which made for pleasant and interesting travel along a stretch of highway I normally only ride in the dark this time of the year. The many big white 4x4 trucks seen on Route 66 are from the Pacific Gas and Electric company (PG&E), which I'd earlier learned is performing safety checks on an underground section of their gas line running through this stretch of the East Mojave desert. Sorry about the dead bug on the camera windshield... I'll try to remember to run the wiper (my finger) over the lens next time before starting the camera.
Arrival at Siberia was simply lovely; with perfect climate and only a slight cooling breeze suggestive of the very cold nights which are just a few weeks away. There was none of the unsettled anxiety I felt two weeks back and which I later attributed to the increased presence of humanity (the gas line trucks and workers) in a place on earth I usually have all to myself.
Stopping for lunch at the edge of the high desert. It’s cold out here. That’s good, as it means the summer Desert Killer is now gone. It’s too soon for the winter killer to arrive, though I shutter a bit at simply the thought. I’m so much more scared of the desert during the winter than the summer; as there’s no escape. There’s no hiding beneath the bridge. No amount of clothing will do. Especially in the wind, which moves over my two-hundred square miles of empty like a smothering blanket of cold, with a deep indifferent embrace. At least the heat warms the mind, imparting some comforting suggestion of more when life in done. Not the cold. There’s no immortality there.
Lunch is done. I’m amused my muse came out to meet me. It’s the first time she’s ever done so, so far from her desert home. She sat with me here at Chipotle. Like someone close meeting a friend at the airport. Mostly she was quiet though - mentioning only a few words about the cold. I won’t expect her at Siberia. I’m ready for a long night utterly alone. There’ll be no moon tonight. The ghost town will be utterly dark. Too dark to see ghosts, or muse. just darkness and the wind. As far as I know I may never see her again. And that’s fine. As our work is already done.
I stopped at the Barstow field office of the United State’s Bureau of Land Management to meet with a geologist about my plans to file a mining claim in the Deep Water Wilderness. The geologist is a swell guy, and he’s going to work with me to determine if there are any current claims on the land I want. If not, then he’ll help me file my claim. I asked him about the minerals I’m after and he gave me some good, and very encouraging info. Looks like this is a go unless someone else has already “jumped my claim.”
I’ve arrived back at Siberia. The wind’s blowing. Pretty hard. It’s that same wind that got me last time. And a new moon tonight. It’s gonna be dark and blustery - good conditions for a night hike. First to set up camp and have some dinner. No sign of the muse yet. Maybe she’s under the bridge. I’ll go check later.
My desert camp is set up with maybe thirty minutes of sunlight left. Now it’s time to pop over to the writing bridge to see if I can locate the muse.
I struggled to find the right word to capture the sense and feeling of the short hike captured below...finally settling on the Japanese word "dekita" which expresses the proper sentiment - but only when spoken aloud.
The writing bridge from above Route 66. Nothing down there...
Sunset on Siberia ghost town. The wind has stopped. Now the ghosts that never were can return...