Gold Butte Rocks!

It’s a Nevada style gamble to go for a 6 day camping trip to an unfamiliar landscape in late December. But Nevada is for gambling and Kurt (from Friends of Nevada Wilderness) told me “Gold Butte Rocks!” so we hedged our bets by packing good food, lots of water, and a spare spare tire. Then we set a schedule to meet some friends and spend the days between the winter solstice and Christmas in the Gold Butte back country...

It’s a Nevada style gamble to go for a 6 day camping trip to an unfamiliar landscape in late December. But Nevada is for gambling and Kurt (from Friends of Nevada Wilderness) told me “Gold Butte Rocks!” so we hedged our bets by packing good food, lots of water, and a spare spare tire. Then we set a schedule to meet some friends and spend the days between the winter solstice and Christmas in the Gold Butte back country.

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I had printed out just a few maps and descriptions to set us in the right direction. We wanted to see petroglyphs -- the pictures chipped into rock faces by ancient people. People who were born on this ground and walked through their lives across this ground. It only seemed right that we would walk around a bit to find out what these people had left. We thoroughly enjoyed following our instincts down the washes and from outcrop to outcrop, discovering these ancient works of art. We were amazed! And I like to think that I was feeling some of the same pull across these open spaces that the ancient people felt.
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We saw only three sets of modern people. Like us, they had come to enjoy the land and its history.

Our short winter days seemed long in the quiet open space. Nights were even longer. I was glad to have a circle of friends around the campfire pan. I gambled on a little dutch oven cooking and got a jackpot of compliments on sourdough biscuits - probably due to the home made blackberry jam. The sky full of stars arching over us reminded me of a black enamelware bowl of cold. I was glad to be sharing a tent with three warm dogs and a husband. After plenty of sleep, the early glow in the
east provided the age old comfort of knowing that another bright day would rise.

Having wild places like the Gold Butte backcountry provides the age old comfort of a connection to the land.

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-Dolly Chapman

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When Dolly's not exploring the wild areas of Nevada & California, she provides top quality restoration and sharpening services for vintage and other crosscut saws and instructional workshops for folks who want to sharpen their own. She instructs crosscut sawyers in bucking and felling in accordance with USFS standards and offers training and leadership for other trail work types of backcountry projects.

 

 

Have a wild story or photographs you'd like to share? E-mail shevawn@nevadawilderness.org!

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