Monday, September 3, 2012

Wah Sabe ?

August 26

I left civilization behind early in the morning, trying to stay ahead of the sun. The dreary and barren Wah Wah desert lay ahead and I feared shade would be a rare commodity.
"What does Wah Wah mean," Mom queried me the other day. I couldn't give her the correct answer, but I will be glad to give you a number of off the wall theories. A. The sound of a baby crying (or in this case a grown man) B. A musical note played after some minor tragedy has befallen the protagonist (applicable) C. The noise a martial artist makes while performing a devastating combination of moves (not applicable).
I can't explain the origination of Wah Wah, but I can describe to you in more detail the geography here. From Beaver to the border I'll walk through a series of bowl-shaped valleys, about twenty miles wide on average, the edge of the bowl composed by a line of mountains. The valley floors are at 5,000 feet and the summits of the mountain passes are around 6,400.
Fourteen miles in I escaped Milford's bowl and reached a ghost town. Frisco is among the largest of the failed communities I have visited. At its heyday in the 1880s there were 4,000 residents! Sixty million dollars worth of ore were extracted from the mines here. A cave-in ended the bonanza in a heart beat and the citizens saw no further need to remain. By 1920s the population had emptied. Only a few stone ruins stand, a stark reminder of how fleeting are the tides of mineral wealth.
I turned down into the next bowl, the Wah Wah Valley. Not a tree grew below except at the small Wah Wah Valley Ranch. The only shade came from a flotilla of small fluffy clouds, thrrowing an occasional shield between myself and the great ball of fire. More helpful was the wind, which picked up nicely, keeping my skin out of the fryer.
There was one snafu on the day I should mention. I left the desert camouflage hat Ken gave me at the hotel. I had lost my sunglasses as well on the search for Beaver so I now have no head protection whatsoever. I wrapped a shirt around my head, going for the Arab hobo look.
I settled at the bottom of the Wah Wah among a series of antique cowpies, a dusty remnant of a previous bovine presence. None were to be seen or heard this night, however, allowing me to drift quietly into slumber.

22 miles/3317 total miles

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