Monday, August 31, 2009

Desert Adventure

Friday, Dave had the idea of going out to a place where you can dig for Geodes. It was quite the drive, it took 2 1/2 hours. We went through Tooele and drove about 30 miles past town. We then proceeded down a dirt road that had quite a few rocks in the road so it was very bumpy. That was about 50 miles of dirt road (thrilling). I got car sick (which is very rare for me) and that made the trip seem that much longer. We were actually along the pony express trail so there were several monuments marking where the riders would stop. One place showed the entire trail and how it went out to Sacramento. Be sure to check out Dave's blog for additional pictures and stories. There is a link to his blog under "My Favorite Blogs". There were pretty mountains all over, but we were in the desert so they were very rugged.

I couldn't imagine any wild life surviving out there. However Dave did say we would probably see some antelope. All I could think of was rattle snakes. We finally reached our destination and it was a nice 97 degrees at 5:30 p.m. We got out and Dave found a location to start digging. We saw lots of little lizards and huge ant hills everywhere. We did see this huge lizard. It was about 8 inch's long from head to tail. Certainly it isn't the largest lizard in the world, however it was the largest one we saw. I love the spots on it.

There were all kinds of dirt roads all over the mountain and we were driving all over, looking for good spots to dig. Here is an example of where someone dug in the cliff looking for Geodes.

I'm glad Dave has a good sense of direction because I was totally lost. There were so many roads, with so many forks leading off them, I was paranoid we were going to be stuck on the mountain and have to be rescued. Although we didn't see a single soul out there and had no cell phone reception the lizards kept us company. And believe me, I kept my eye's on the ground and my ears open expecting a giant rattle snake to appear at anytime. Of course I never saw one or heard one, thank goodness! It was starting to get dark and we knew we had to get off that mountain before it became dark. I secretly wasn't drinking much water or eating any of the food we brought because I was positive we were going to get lost and have to spend the night in the car. So I wanted to make sure we would have food and water to survive on. I don't know why in the heck I was so paranoid this trip, but I think it was because we were seriously out in the middle of nowhere! We never did find any Geodes, but we did see circles in the ground where Geodes had been found, so that was cool. Needless to say, I wasn't really having much fun. I was hot and tired and digging in the side of clay cliffs really isn't my thing. Dave was loving it! I was relieved when it was time to go home.

I was disappointed that I hadn't seen any Antelope, or any other wild life besides lizards and ants. As soon as I was thinking that, Dave slammed on the brakes and there was an Antelope standing on the side of the road. It was beautiful and I loved the black markings that it had on its face. (See Dave's Blog for picture). As we continued on the wonderful 50 mile dirt road trek, my attitude change. We saw more and more Antelope. Usually one or two off in the distance. Suddenly, Dave slammed on the brakes again. There were about 4 Antelope standing in the middle of the road. Then we looked around and there was a herd of about 50 Antelope. I couldn't get all of them in a picture, but here are a few of them.

It was amazing. It was starting to get dark so they were coming out from their daily hiding grounds and it was so cool.

We continued driving, keeping our eyes peeled for any other Antelope that might decide to jump out in front of the car or just hang out on the road. Up in the distance I saw a cloud of dust. It was really large and I wondered if we were entering a dust storm.

We looked to the right and we saw a horse! That's cool! Then we saw another and another and another! They were running around and causing all the dust.

They were about 50 feet from the road. Then we realized it was a huge heard. Dave wanted to continue driving and see if we could find the head of the heard. Suddenly, the horses up further started forming a single file line. I tried to count as we drove by slowly, but I lost count with my awe at the beauty of these horses. We think there were about 100-150 of these wild horses. Unfortunately, all the pictures that I took that showed the a large amount of the herd didn't turn out. They were too dark. The leader of the herd was guiding all of them on a trail. I took these pictures inside the car without rolling the window down. So all the spots you are seeing are dead bugs on the window!

I love this picture because you can see the moon and the horses.

Just as we reached the lead horse there was a little pull out on the side of the road. We stopped there and just looked at this amazing site. At first we didn't want to get out of the car because we didn't know how they would react. But we decided to get out so we could see them better and I could attempt to get some pictures. The horses didn't even seem to notice us. At that time we saw down in a little gully, a large amount of water. That is where the horses were heading. It was amazing to hear the sounds of hoofs and the horses naying. It was also cool to see them in the water and hear them splashing as their hooves hit the water so they could drink. Unfortunately it was dusk and getting dark very quickly. The pictures I took didn't turn out to great, but you can get a general idea.

I also took some video on my camera. The quality is horrible. You can barely see them in the recording. We were able to see them just fine, but my camera wouldn't pick much up. It pauses for some reason in a lot of area's and again the quality isn't that great. It doesn't even come close to the experience that we had. But as I watch the video I get the chills from the wonderful memory I have seeing wildlife in nature. Unfortunately I have tried posting the video to the blog so you can see it. But I am having technical difficulties. So hopefully I will be able to post it at another time.

Soon the leader was back out of the water and after each horse had their fill of water, they got back into the single file line. They started to cross the dirt road. At this point we were back on the road and we just sat there and waited for all of them to cross. We had our lights on so we could see them. This is a picture that I took in the car. You can barely see the horses because of the clouds of dust they were causing. We could see them quite well, but again I am so disappointed in the quality of the pics.

It was like we were just waiting for a train to go by. Horse after horse after horse crossed the road to reach the other side of the desert. Needless to say, I told Dave "This was worth the entire trip". I don't think I will ever see anything this amazing again in my lifetime. You see things on the Discovery channel or on Animal Planet and it is neat. But to actually be there standing 50 feet from hundreds of wild horses is indescribable.


David said...

I love the last picture the best because the horses look like ghosts!! The whole experience was awesome and even when I tried to make the horses acknowledge that we were there by neighing and Amy hushed me. It's funny and I hope that we can get that video loaded so everyone can enjoy it! Love you sweetie, Dave

Anonymous said...

I love reading about your adventures. You're both great. Continue sharing your experiences. Love, Auntie M.

Reuel and Ana said...

what a great post. what fun to see the horses.