On the first of two friends of nevada wilderness trips celebrating national public lands day, we head for the Black Rock desert after Ann gets off work on Friday. Arriving on the playa at night is intimidating. Aside from the occasional orange cone, nothing shows up in the headlights except flat white playa. We can’t tell how fast we’re going but for the speedometer. Luckily the camp has some flashing lights to guide us in the last mile or so. Soon after that a big orange moon rises.
We sleep where we stopped, waking to a pink dawn.
I join Brian Beffort’s group trip to survey springs near the black rock this area is named for. There are a bunch of kids in the group, and it’s really heartening to see how engaged they are in the exploration. They measure GPS coordinates, temperature, dimensions, and electrical conductivity of each spring. In the process they find many things I never would have seen. (You even have to look carefully in one of the pictures). I feel sure most of these kids will grow to love and defend wild places.
The next day Ann and I revisit some of the springs on an “adult” tour that includes a soak in a 108 degree pool below the black rock spring. Glorious.