Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Outskirts of Nowhere

August 7

We got the band back together this morning, set to make a big push towards Green River, which still lay fifty trail miles away.  Cisco's rotting corpse was the starting line and the hoped for conclusion Thompson Springs. In between lay a fantastic pile of nowhere.  I have to always correct myself and say we are on the outskirts of nowhere.  Having looked at a map, the middle of nowhere is clearly in Nevada.
After a dozen routine miles the desert heat began to flex its muscles.  Colin and I bore the brunt on the third shift, when the mitigating force of the wind took a lunch break.  We had run out of water by the time we reached the end of our stretch together.  I ducked into the rented Mitsubishi to escape the desert broil  for a few minutes.  Then I dumped water down my throat and on my head before heading on the end run with Mom.
The breeze mercifully returned and I was reinvigorated.  We even watched a small thunderstorm to our northwest, proving rain does exist out here.  Green River sees a grand total of five inches yearly. 
Two hours of work brought us to Thompson Springs, which was more of a mobile home park than a town.  Any settlement with live souls is a miracle out here.  The environment does not favor the presence of humanity. 
I was wasted by this point, having logged twenty four miles in only nine hours.  I chose to nap while Colin and Mom explored Green River, our base for the last four days of my family's visit.  Our intrepid reporter Colin will tell you what he saw:
"Poor little Green River has seen better days to put it bluntly. I spied with my little journalist's eye vacant building upon vacant building along the town's Main Street. Empty hotels with for sale signs lining the windows and abandoned gas stations dotted the road through this sleepy little hamlet. To be fair though, the local grocery store the Melon Vine was clean and nice and stocked with edible food stuffs. And not everything is dead or dying in Green River. There are still several family style restaurants, dive diners and chain hotels alive and kicking-our Super Duper 8 case in point. Some tourists still use it as a way station to Arches and Canyonlands.
I must also give props to the sweet elderly couple who sold us cantaloupe and canary melons at Dunham's Fruit Stand a block away from our hotel. They allowed mom and I to sample a variety of their prize-winning juicy and delicious melons before committing to our purchase, then agreed to pre-slice the melons they sold us since our only utensil was a Super Duper 8 plastic knife. Green River is known for their melons-the climate plays a helpful hand according to the Dunhams-the hot days and cool nights in the high desert create the perfect conditions. Of course, as Alastair alluded to, precipitation is scarce so none of this would be possible without the wonders of irrigation."
I hoped you enjoyed our guest contributor.  Now you know why journalists are given a word limit.  See you tomorrow with more family adventures in the burning desert as we walk more (boring!) and take an excursion to the red hot surface of the sun at Arches National Park, just to turn the temperature up a notch and see if we can take it.  Oh, and there might be some of the most unique rock formations on the face of the planet too. 

24 miles/3032 total miles

Thanks to Recent Contributors:
Bob Arnold
Karen and Bill Lawton
Donnie and Mark
Jeanette and Curt
Amy McCandless
Colin McCandless
Peter McCandless
Corey Smith

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