Mojave madness

I’m in Nevada for a stretch of vacation and a bit of work, having excellent daily adventures of one kind or another.

It’s been steadily between 105 and 110, but I’ve been able to do a fair bit of desert adventuring, with a little bit of caution. On my second trip into Red Rock Canyon, after hiking the Lost Creek, I found the gorgeous Pine Creek Trail and hiked a mile and a half or so down into an ancient landscape of ponderosa pines.

I met a new friend.

A wild burro not only decided I was okay and spent a good while poking around with me, but took it upon himself to escort me with great care all the way up and out of the canyon.

I live for this kind of encounter.

The desert is soul-food, except for the missing-Gilly part. He’s being babysat by his extended pack back in the woods of the east coast, though, and is doing fine.

Dogs here stay indoors in August, except at dusk or dawn, or they cook. Even at dusk, their feet can cook on Vegas sidewalks.

It’s hot.

Not “hot.”

Truly, killingly HOT.

The few canine hikers I’ve seen on short trails pant fit to bust, but wag gamely as if to say: “my brain is boiling, but I love you!” to their REI-outfitted person.

I can’t imagine black-dog Gilly surviving Red Rock in 110 degrees.

He also doesn’t know much about snakes (garters and a few large blacksnakes are all he sees, and they’re extremely shy), and he knows nothing at all about scorpions.

Best to let him be the Master of New England Forest, cool feet and all. And when our bursts of  tens-below-zero hit, he’ll stay inside while the Vegas dogs party.

I hear this is what he’s doing while I’m gone:

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