Monday, January 09, 2017

Hot Springs Trail ~ Part 16 ~ Austin, Nevada to Antelope Peak

In Austin, NV
there was a convergence of great synchronicity. When Zoner hitched from Highway 376 into Austin, he was picked up by a couple who had been camping out at one of the lakes we passed earlier. This in of its self is not the interesting part at all... the fascinating feature or cog in the circle of life was that the woman was the daughter of John who had picked up Stacey in Silver Peak and who allowed us to stay in their extra room for a night.

A greater synchronicty yet.. or as what Carl Jung describes as a meaningful coincidence, was when Stacey and I checked out of the motel. We immediately went to the nearby restaurant for lunch and i noticed a gentleman eating on his own.  After we left the building, this gentleman was outside next to his car and he began asking us questions about our packs and our journey. We then asked him what he was doing and he had just come back from recording natural soundscapes in the greater environment. And so I told him... "oh... you must know of Bernie Krause (with one S).  He then looks at me strangely and says.. "why yes, he is my Mentor." lol... So of course I know of Bernie Krause because I have googled my own name before in relationship to being a biologist.  Well, Bernie Krause is a reknowned acoustic biologist who studies sound patterns and vocalizations out in Nature.  I always thought it would be great to meet him one day, and then suddenly I meet a guy in a literal ghost town who actually lives in the same area as Bernie does in the Napa Valley Region of California.  What are the odds?

It was now 87 miles between Austin and the town of Eureka, NV.  I always wonder about the strategy of birds who flush off their nest to reveal the location of their eggs. If only they were more patient, they would remain hidden.  No poached eggs for us though coming out of all of this sagebrush.

A herd of over 40 Pronghorn Antelope spooked off ahead of us as we now approached Spencer Hot Springs.

We arrived for a night soak well after dark where we friended Greta and Cat who generously offered us a gallon of water to take with us along our journey.

During the night, I could hear vibrations coming from the ground and turned over to see wild burros walking past us to one of the hot springs.

At sun-up, I took a soak in a tub that was way too hot for Stacey. One of the pipes posted a temperature of 135 degrees taken on 10-31-15... which is interesting... because that was my last birthday.

This third pool was luke warm... but the overflow pond had goldfish swimming around in it.

Not only that, a pronghorn antelope was huffing and puffing at us because it wanted to get closer to us to get a drink of water in this thirsty desert. 

What was super fun was that while i was soaking in the pool, several nighthawks came flying next to us and skimmed the pool with the goldfish in it to also get a drink of water. They did this maneuver over and over again.

Having Zoner's smartphone number, he was texting us water reports, as he was now a day ahead of us.

We were walking on remote and often unused dirt roads alternating with cross country jaunts. There were also old abandoned mines to visit. One shaft had pigeons or rock doves nesting in it.

Wild Horses and Burros were experienced everywhere in huge herds.

Elk were also roaming the mountain ranges feeling completely at home.

Just a good time of year to be up high in Nevada.

Even going Cross Country was made easy by the horses. After a hundred years of going back and forth through all of these mountains, there are plenty of horse trails to follow.

We were able to spy on these horses for a while without them noticing us.  Several of them were staying cool by rolling in the snowbanks and also appeared to be eating the snow.

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