Been there, done that

Hot Ditch Road, seven miles along a dirt road ten miles north of Dyer, Nevada
Oh sweet Dog how good it is to get our puppies back. Kisses and hair everywhere, frantic greetings and sniffings and finally away on the Great Ride again. How could we have deserted them?

We slip south through Carson City listening to the Johnny Cash we downloaded from our Canadian friend Step. Wow. I'll never hear these songs without thinking about dancing in the 'street' in the sandstorm in our right minds at the Burn. The images are brain and soul tattoos.

We slip into California on 395, one of my favorite roads in the west, nice and cool and twisty (poor Dervish), through the back-country of the Sierra Nevadas, the back-door to Yosemite National Park. If we time it right, we won't have to buy any gas in Cali. Ouch! In one little desolate town, it's a dollar a gallon more than in Alaska!

This is a beautiful drive, a beautiful day, our family reunited, Skip and I still high and close from the Burn. We see Burners all day long, dusty cars and trucks full of odd-shaped decorations. We talk to them at all the stops, nod and grin at each other, hug goodbye, tell a story or two. A brilliant, brilliant day.

We are headed for Dyer, Nevada, where we broke down last year for the last time. Before we had the engine replaced, that is. Outside of Dyer, actually, is a hot springs, a place that used to be maintained by the county until they gave up. This is a surreal, magical place, an oasis in the middle of the dry land. A springhead pumping warm water into a marsh-like pond full of (last year anyway) goldfish and decorative koy. I swear. Not making it up. Have pictures to prove it. The locals built a concrete tub-in-the-ground and ran a pipe from the springhead, so that while the pond is about 85 degrees, the hot-tub is over a hundred. Slimy and all natural, but a brilliant, chemical-free soak, in a peaceful area eight miles down a dirt road off of a tiny hardly-known back road. Amazing.

We pray that we'll be alone when we get there, so we can soak naked and unashamed. We end up getting better than alone -- another Burner, Naked Mike from Phoenix, an afficionado of natural hot springs, is at the spring. We share stories and hot chai and email addresses. Meeting Mike helps prolong the Burn, makes us feel that we are among kindreds, makes us want to keep looking for Burners or potential Burners everywhere we venture.

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