Waning Crescent Moon
Three days of hard labor, helpful strangers, luck, and a can-do outlook have landed me in Eureka NV.
Eureka! Luceen, the energetic manager of the Sundown Lodge, kindly discounted the room rate for REACH Across America. So tomorrow will be a day of rest. Amen to that.
Many thanks to Kris the gold mine geologist who schlepped me offroad to the Illipah Reservoir. And to Steve and Linda from Cortez CO for their generous donation of meal money. And to Utah John the talented woodcarver for a lift into town when I was just about flat out of steam.
Of the four passes between here and Ely, Little Antelope was my favorite. It was the most challenging to climb mostly due to the soft shoulders and surprisingly frequent car traffic. But it had nice roadcuts for looking at rocks, which made it interesting. Kris gave me a geologic and natural history guide to US 50 in Nevada so I can test my rapidly fading memory against what the book says. She’s a real pro – wish I could have talked to her more about her job.
I spent a lot of time the past few days thinking about mining and looking at sites visible from the road. Everything we have, use, wear, and eat was either mined from or grown in the Earth. So we can’t realistically complain when we see giant piles of mine tailings. If no one used the stuff they are digging up, they would stop digging it up.
The challenge, especially moving forward, is do we really need the stuff, can it be mined more efficiently, and when the mining is done, can the environment be returned to a natural state. The same thing applies to farming.
I have some confidence in miners and farmers because the ones I have met have been invariably smart, informed conservationists. It’s in their best interests to do their jobs carefully with an eye to the future. As technology progresses, and regulation/education takes effect, I think there will be more balance between production of resources and the aesthetics of nature.
Eureka is the perfect place to zero. Lots of historical stuff to see and grub to eat in a compact radius from my room. But first, sleep. Deep, hard sleep.
Peace, Love, and Slumber,