Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
April 3, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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April 3, 1997

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Community News Pahrump Valley Gazette, Lnursaay, Apm J, wv / z The children of the dunes By Mike Dougherty Fantasy dies hard. An early morning trip to visit friends camped at Dumont Sand Dunes for the Easter weekend. Modern Metropolitan Thinking might have us believe that those who indulge in motorized outdoor recreation are a gang of hairy chested toughs stomping around the wilder- ness, a pistol in their boot, a bottle of tequila in their pocket, and a cigar clenched in their stained and broken teeth-- never happier than when endangering a species or desecrat- ing a wilderness. The reality of the type of folks who bring their families out to enjoy our back country deserts is a wee S'bit different. I had to meet with Jim Hale to pick up some parts for my buggy and take an early morning ride in his high powered sports buggy. Leaving Baker before dawn put me in Jim's camp at sunrise. A few people were stirring and told me Jim had taken his truck for an early morning sunrise ride in the nearby hills. I understand that sort of thing. Jim lives and works in the city and nothing is better for what ails your city head than watching a sunrise in the desert. While standing in the circle of motorhomes and tents parked in a canyon below the dunes, I watched the camp come to life. Something was stirring on the near by slope of the canyon wall. I looked up and saw one of the finest sights to ever be seen in the American west. A small girl, maybe 3 years old, wearing a fancy Easter skirt, was determinedly pushing a small toy baby carriage up the rocky slope. Intent and totally focused on her task, the child pushed mightily on the handles of the buggy and took her doll for an early morning tour of the canyon wall. A brief look around revealed a caring mother keeping a close eye on the child, but in her maternal wisdom not interfering as a child enjoyed her sunrise play. Smart mother. As the canyon brightened with the rising sun, other children began their explorations of the arid canyon. Soon the wall seemed to be alive with a small heard of diapered bottoms exploring the forever interesting rocks and dirt of the dry desert canyon. Above the canyon camp site, on the plateau where the dunes are located, I drove the Isuzu Trooper on an early morning sunrise tour. Smoke was rising from breakfast fires and men and boys were peering into the mysterious innards of their buggies and all terrain vehicles, (ATV's 3 and 4 wheeled motorcycles). The campers were a friendly folk. I cruised the camp sites slowly looking over the various styles of buggies and the fanilies wouM give a wave and a smile as I passed by. An occasional string of vehicles would travel towards the dunes from the camping area. A proud parent would lead a procession of smaller children on their own ATV's slowly puttering across the sand. The riders were dressed in colorful protective clothing and the helmets worn by the children seemed nearly as big as the small riders. The caravans of child riders led by a protective adult reminded me very much of a mother duck leading her babies to the water. Definitely a family activity. Back at the camp in the canyon, Jim had returned from In The Thermometer's Shadow by Mike Dougherty his morning oddessey. We discussed our important adult business and I brought some seals, some threaded studs and a spark plug wire or two. The entire camp was up and about. Children were everywhere and grumpy freshly awakened adults were fueling the equipment and preparing for the days riding. Breakfast was an informal affair at best. I was totally delighted to be invited to share in the early morning repast. The menu consisted of: beef jerky, Pepsi Cola, and an ice cream bar. This is living. I understand the evening meal is a more formal affair, but breakfast was a total delight and eating in the desert with friends is always the best kind of meal there is. Watching the young families visiting the dunes recalled scenes of my own youth. We didn't visit any California sand dunes, but we often went to "The Lake". Seems a lot the same. Mom would play canasta with her friends in our rented cabin, my sister would join the other girls exploring the shoreline while my father spent his time with other men pursuing the mighty trout while recounting past fishing triumphs. I was free to explore the entire lake in a rented row boat. I expect the families at the dunes are much the same as we were in earlier days. There' s also the mundane matter of money and dedi- cation. While I may run out to the dunes in the same rig I use for work, city folks need a bit more equipment and time. Consider the price of a motorhomes, a dune buggy, several ATV's. Not cheap. Think of the 6 hours needed to get to the dunes from Los Angeles and the joyful drive home on Sun- day evening. It takes a bit of money and a whole lot of commitment. These are not financially challenged poor C()ME SEE Saturn Sales Specialist Jacob Henn p 5325 WEST SAHARA / :005:00-89oo There's never been a better time to come into Your neighborhood Saturn Retailer..Test drive the all new line of 1997 Saturn vehicles. Special ,sport'-ttned suspension system, dent resistant body panels and a dual overhead cam performance engine have helped make Saturn one of the top selling aufomobiles in America. Come en|oy the Saturn experience. You'll never haggle over price. . ,what" you see is the price of the vehicle. No lpe, no pressure. Just courteous knowledgeable, and friendly sales people. Please speak with me personally. You'll find complete satisfaction is my, only goal. folk. These are the brightest and the best who are taking the time to dedicate themselves to the care and raising of their children and to the strength of the family. Good people. The children of the dunes. They have seen the comet. They have set around the family fire and watched the evening sky. They can track a mouse across the sand, and understand the workings of a sparkplug. I watched a teen- ager working on a younger girl's ATV. Not for him were jacks or blocking materials. He held the heavy machine effortless aloft while he adjusted something mysterious and malfunctioning. The younger girl watched in wide eyed fascination as the young fellow displayed his strength and skill. The children of the dunes are growing into just fine adults. Dumont Sand Dunes, South of Pahrump and North of Zzyzx, where else might a small toddler push her favorite doll in a plastic buggy to find whatever mysteries might be held in the dawning of a desert day. Smoke Signals Indian Trading Post Authentic Indian Jewelry and Home Decor. Watch Batteries Replaced Open 7 Days a Week 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. {Near 160 & Basin) KHWK Radio From Pahrump to Bishop has you covered! For the latest news, information and the finest music programming be sure to tune to KHWK, broadcasting from Tonopah.: If you're traveling the vast distances of Central Nevada's desert terrain you still can't miss us! Member:. Associated Press Great Basin Radio Network 92.7 - Tonopah 93.5 - Beatty 94.3 - Lida and Scotty's Junction 94.3 - Gold Point 95.9 - Pahrump 103.9 - Bishop, Mammoth and Big Pine 104.9 - Round Mountain 105.5 - Hawthorne