Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Donkey Quest 2016

Nevada! I love Nevada!
We went to Southern Nevada to flee the snowy weather and because there are more wild horses and burros there than in any other state. We set out to find some.
It rained off and on the whole time we were there. Rain in the desert....pertichor, the earthy scent. Creosote and dirt. Is there an aroma more fresh and wonderful?
Nevada means 'snow-covered' in Spanish. When actually, it is the driest state in the U.S.
A souvenir. I found this tile coaster depicting the scene exactly how I remember it. (Well, minus the burro) Now I can dream every morning while having my coffee.
The Desert Bighorn Sheep is the official state animal. They are smaller than the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep but have a wider horn spread. They use their impressive horns as tools to break open cactus, which they consume, and for fighting.
Bighorn sheep in Nevada are thriving. The species is doing so well that some are shipped to other parts of the country to replenish herds that were wiped out decades ago.
There are 300 plus mountain ranges in Nevada. More than any other state!
Nevada is nicknamed "the silver state" but is the largest gold-producing state in the U.S.
Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area was shrouded in fog and clouds. Sometimes the sun peeked through, but mostly we walked in a misty rain. The area offers one of the most scenic drives, miles of hiking trails, petroglyphs, and abundant plants and animals. If you hike up the mountain, there are ponderosa pines and waterfalls. The Mojave Desert is absolutely glorious.
I walked away from there with tears in my eyes.
There was a black spot high up on a hill. With my camera, I zoomed in to the max, trying to hold steady in the breeze. I couldn't get a good focus but I clicked the shutter once and went on my way in hopes of seeing a burro at closer range.
I didn't look at this picture until I got back home. Sure enough, that WAS a wild donkey! And if you look to the right and up a bit, you will see a sweet little grey burro who looks like the trunk of a Yucca!
Sadly, these two creatures were the only ones I got a glimpse of on our quest to find burros.
Ah, the exquisite work of The Plume. No one, no one, has more creative talent than she. Here, I am graced in honor and deep respect for 'Primitive Horse'.
This is that same "black dot" of a donkey. Isn't he precious?
Anasazi rock art at Valley Of Fire State Park

We tried to get as close to the Muddy Mountains as possible in the VW Beetle we rented. The burros make the trek from the mountains to Lake Mead to drink. People we spoke to say "we see them all the time." For five days we drove around in the rain looking for them.

As Chad drove, I kept repeating the mantra: "Come on little donkey."