Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nevada pin stripe convert

When I met my man, there was not much to do in town, so I dragged him off into the desert. My man is from the mid-west and before he met me, he had the impression that Nevada was the ugliest place on the face of the planet. He had only seen ugly I-80.
The very first thing I did was take him to Peavine. I am lucky with big horn sheep and I have roots there, so it always impresses. On our way there he asks, "So, who does all of this belong to?" He points out at the desert, with a broad sweep of his hand. To him it must have looked like a wasteland that went on forever.
"It belongs to you silly." I told him. Then I told him about his public lands and about the Bureau of Land Management. I could tell the man had no idea what I was talking about. What more, he had no idea what he was getting himself into by getting into the Toyota for a little fun in the desert, with me.
After a year had passed and Cory had made friends and spent time romping around Denio with some cowboy miners, we were bumming around with my "new" Nevada map book, out by Tybo. For some reason we took his pretty brown Ford.
I was much more dangerous when my Nevada map book was brand new. I thought because I had the book I would no longer get lost. It gave me a false sense of confidence and I often said, "let's keep going," when before, I relied on my gut to tell me, turn around.
On this day, I had my nose buried in the map book and my man had indicated twice he wanted to turn around. The road was narrow. I ignored his request and told him, according to the map, the road comes back out at the highway, just keep going.
Just then, the road turned sharply and there was no way to turn with it, without brushing up against the sage and pinion.
SSSSSSSSSSSSCREEEEEEEEEEECCCCCHHH. If you have ever been in the back country, you know exactly how a Nevada pin-stripe sounds.
To me this was no big deal but as it happens it was the last straw for my man. He lost it. "All you wildnevadans are the same! You all just say, keep going! Keep going! This is not a road! It is a cow path! You really need to learn there is a difference!"
I have to say it was the first time I ever saw anyone get mad over a little scratch in the paint. I guess I am so native Nevadan that I had thought up to that point, all vehicles had Nevada pin-stripes.
As we courted we spent a lot of time, wandering, in the desert between Tybo and Warm Springs and Eden Creek and Lida Junction and Pigeon Springs and Smoky Valley and I even took him to Gabbs. 
We still go rounds when we go too far into the never never, or when we have to use a chainsaw blade-cover to dig ourselves out of a snow bank. But, over the years he has had to let go of some of that worry over pin-stripes.
A couple of days ago, it was ugly out, and we made our way down the summit into Wells on ugly I-80 and my man noticed the map book on the floor of my car. "You need to take this inside, it is going to get ruined out here," he said.
My answer, "What good is the map book in my office?" Aww, he is worried about my favorite book. Not. He said he feels a whole lot safer when I leave the book at home!
As we were leaving town, I asked him, "Now that you have been in Nevada five years and seen it all, is this still ugly?" I waved my hands in the direction of Wells and the surrounding public lands.
Just so you know, Wells is kind of on the scrubby side and when it is gray, it is, I am sorry, ugly. You have to appreciate the people, the history, or the rough and rawness of cowboy country to really think some things in Nevada are not ugly. 
My heart did a little dance. He did not even hesitate. His answer was, "No. Not anymore."
My man is fully converted. He and I must have had the same memory, then, about that day trip out by Tybo. "The next vehicle we buy will be a truck," he says. Then he gives a little laugh and winks, "We will get one with Nevada pin-stripes, to save us the arguments."
Thanks for reading
April 30, 2011

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