Saturday, October 25, 2008

Oregon is full of rich organic soils, supplemented by potash and minerals from volcanic soils, along with the constant precipitation from the Pacific. It has dense stands of old-growth trees you and another person holding hands cannot completely reach around. I left there, driving south on 199, through the Willamette Valley, Through the linear dimensions of wine country that splay out across northern california, sown through San FRansisco, THrough LA, then turning East to head inland to the Mojave desert.

The Mojave is full of intense smells. Plants have similar tachniques to avoid having moisture rich foliage being eaten. Fragarnt tanins ward of herbivores, while making the desert smell intoxicating after a rain.

Sandy dry soils hold no heat, hold no cold. They reflect the atmospheric temperatures and amplify it, buffering nothing the way a moist climate would.

The locals say these are Joshua TRee forests. The Science in me hates that phrase... Joshua Trees are not trees, and cannot be a forest. And if they were, they would be a savvanah. But its allowable anyways. THese decadent plants fall all over themselves, colapsing and changing dirction . They are the only plant above my waist here. They stab you when they can.

SCA is very cult-like. We live together. We eat vegan food (delicious vegan food). We wear the same clothes. We can't leave for Thanksgiving. We stay in the desert for weeks on end and do not shower.

My job is restoring illegal inroads into wilderness areas made by OHV (Off-highway vehicles) drivers. The roads wind across mountains, you cann see them for miles. We go in and restore them, planting native plants, moving dead trees and logs and giant rocks. At the end of the day you don't see the road anymore, and its a strangely satisfying feeling. Our job is done when it looks like we were never there.

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