A Night in the Desert


A single, dusty, melting night in the country, 2018. So, for starters, lets recap last week.

Work Thursday was both a drag, and flew by. When I got off work Friday morning, I didn't leave until about an hour later (per usual), and felt exhausted. Opting for a nap, no living creature in my apartment woke up before 2pm.

After a last minute trip to the outdoor sporting goods store and Wally-World, my four-legged friends and I piled into the truck, and headed for Yerington, NV. 

Just some backstory: When first invited to A Night in the Country, I originally planned on showing up well rested Saturday morning without my pup, staying for a day of events and music/concerts, and then leaving Saturday night to be back with le doggo. "Bring your Turdle", they said. "It will be fun!" they said.

So, after a 2 hour drive into the Nevada sunset, we finally pull up to an empty queue in the middle of literal desert. Hot, exhausted workers greet us for a vehicle inspection, immediately look in the cab, and with concerned looks on their faces say "..There are no dogs allowed...we hope you didn't drive from far", as one looks down at my Ohio license plates.

At this point I'm hungry, tired, it's past dusk, I still have to pitch a tent, and slightly irritated that both the party I'm meeting AND the NITC website did not mention anything (that I saw) about pets. I mean, it makes sense, but the party I'm meeting was supposed to have dogs with them, too. Did they get stuck?

Surprise. The fella who had the RV we were gathering around has a service dog (whom, I quickly learned he did not bring, due to the apparently well known "No Dog" policy).

The gate folks were fantastic. After a conversation I'll omit from the world, 10 minutes later I'm driving through to the campgrounds, with two slob-bags on the seat next to me. 

Unfortunately, one of those slob-bags has pretty rough separation anxiety, and the other is just an a**-hole. 

One flips his lid if he can't physically see you, and the other has the bark sound of an ankle biter, and loves to bark to tell you how he feels. Which is sassy. All. The. Time.

Camping that night was simple. It didn't take long to get set up, and the group we were with quickly launched into late night drinking games. As we played, we could hear the last concert of the night loud and clear from the venue just north of us, and the dogs got to meet several of the process technicians I work with. The night ended swimmingly, and before too late (when the games truly began), I went to bed.

The next morning wake up was very peaceful. Waking up in a tent to the 6:30a morning sunrise in the middle of late-July Nevada desert is surprisingly serene. I got up, brushed my teeth, got some coffee going, and slowly waited for all the hung-over 30 year olds to emerge from their tents. 

Sounds super peaceful, but there was just one little problem:

Still-drunk-20(ish?) year olds camping nearby.

7am, coffee is percolating away, sausage is sizzling on the pan (..yes...maple sausage...), the dust is still relatively settled from the cool night prior and the sun isn't high enough to cook the ground, yet. Suddenly, a guy riding a bicycle decides it's as great idea to yell at us as he rides on by. And guess what happens? Pickle, a large Belgian Malinois, get loose and decides the biker is a threat to our lives. A large, ILLEGAL, boofing pup takes off down the camp zone after this cyclist, who is swerving all over the drive-path. This pup, who is so excited he doesn't want to listen, is just having a great time hunting down his prey.

The decision was more-or-less made that we weren't going to stay much longer.

As folks got up, sweaty and hung-over, Magic the Gathering somehow ended up laid out over two coolers, and for the next 6+ hours, there was a festival of nerd-ness as we all tucked under the shade of a single tarp, hiding from the 100+ degree sun. In the middle of the desert. With nothing else but dust and wind and California Smoke.

We lasted 24 hours. 

That evening, before the night concerts began, after spending the entire day at the campsite melting in the Nevada sun, we packed up and drove back to Sparks. The buddy I drove with and I stopped at a little pink shack in Fernley for dinner--a one off "does that place really exist?", and ate some delicious burgers on the back of my tailgate, before traffic-jamming our way back to my apartment. 

After going comatose that evening, the following day consisted of basking in my AC while playing 13-hours of Diablo III. 

It was pretty great.

The single night in the desert was a lesson to learn from for next year, but everything else around taking 2 days off from work and vegging out for an extended period of time was everything the doctor ordered. Returning to work this week is something else that I'll touch on in the next post; Spoiler Alert: I'm now managing my 6th line at Tesla in less than 5 months. But that's an experience to share when I haven't already talked your ear off...eyeballs out?

I'm going to try and squeeze a run in before getting ready for work tonight. I'm awake far earlier than normal today in order to take Turdle to a vet appointment. He's up to date on his vaccines and what-not now, and we got his limp checked out. He's had a limp for about 2 weeks now that he won't give up on (I have a strong feeling it's a phantom, but it's been going on for long enough I figured I should get it looked at). Doc didn't find anything, but gave him pain meds for the next week in case it's muscular inflammation (basically, gave him doggy aspirin). We'll see how he does going up to the Lake. I'd like to go to Tahoe this weekend, but we'll see. If he keeps the limp up for another week or two, he's gonna end up back at the vet's for some X-rays. 

Ta-Tah for now!