Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
September 11, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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September 11, 1997

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Community News Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thursday, September 11, 1997 23 i I I I The Great Dumont Lizard Chase and rain dance It never ever rains at the Dumont sand dunes located at the south end of Death Valley. Dumont is desert. That is inscribed in stone and it doesn't ever rain. Never...I should have never made i fun of those dune buggy . ,N ",,. _ , r,. , .... In IRe lnermometer s ;anaaow guys m uregon WhO nave .  windshields and wipers on by Mike Dougherty their buggies. -  We were to make a television commercial for a  . department store chain in Boston. It was to be a simple chore of taking a few pictures of various items of .... " .......... merchandise against a desert background. And then ' there were clouds. Big nasty grey son of a gun clouds. The F producer asked me if the clouds were moving towards us. I replied that if the mountain disappeared the cloud was coming our way. The cloud devoured the mountain and kept on coming on. The sun was swallowed by the bleak blackness of the clouds rolling out on Death Valley and over the Avwatz Mountain. The air chilled and the intermittent wind swirled from all di- rections kicking up little whirl winds of sand. Light- ning streaked across the sky and the dunes brightened in the flashing strobes of the dancing bolts of sky fire. The sands of Dumont are full of iron and the light- ening does have a taste for the ferrous attraction of the black streaked sands. Rain. No sprinkle, no shower, no passing squall. Rain. Awesome driving clouds of monster rain drops verging on the edge of becoming hail. Wind driven rain that soaks clothing, blasts through shelters, and sh-ings as it strikes with slashing force. (I wonder if the dune buggy can float.) Large black tarps whip in the blasting rain as the crew struggles to'cover the props, which consist of small furniture and clothing items that do not do well in rain. The buggies race from the back slope of the dunes carrying clients and agency people back to the motor homes. The crew follows in a soaking charge through the blinding storm seeking the shelter of the base camp. Wet does not begin to describe the buggies and drivers. The seats are inches deep in cold water and the drivers are using their hands to sweep the streaming rain from their gogglers. There are pools of water forming on the flat areas of the dunes. Streams of water are pouring down the sides of the dunes leaving mini-rivers in their wake. The dune buggies return again and again bringing crew out of the storm; One man and a buggy are left on location. The man crawls under the flapping tarp to seek shelter while our favorite buggy driver figures he can't get any wetter and stays mounted in the buggy. The next day is hot and hu- mid. The dunes are still wet but the sky is clear and the air is warm and sultry. The crews re- turn to the dunes and began once again their filming of the department store commercial. Lots of rain means a fine hatch of horse flies. The New England Merchants meet the Tecopa Bombers, The hungry black bombers descend in a feeding frenzy on the unsuspecting crew. A brief break is taken to reduce the horse fly population and the crew goes back to work. It's time for the lizard. A lizard was needed for a picture. A certain curly haired fellow at Zzyzx was contacted and he provided a couple of large dirty green chuckwalla lizards and trained a young production assistant in how to handle the fierce looking reptiles. I knew it was going to hap- pen. It had to happen. Re- member those greased pig chases at the county fairs? That's what it looked like. The lizard did just fine in front of the camera. The young assistant handled him just fine. In fact it went so well, the lizard should hire an agent. Naturally others on the crew wanted to handle the Jurassic looking creature. The lizard twitched, a woman screamed and grown men shouted. It was the Great Dumont Lizard Chase. Granted, chuckwallas aren't really very fast. Being a creature of a rocky environment, the lizard didn't know how to handle the dunes and could only flee. An instant mob of "Lizard Vigilantes" was Auction Every 1st and 5rd Saturday of each montt Cactus - Cactus SelecU0n in Nevada Desert Plants ~ Succulents Lots o( Ju,e Im plts lncJud: Red Barrels, Cho Yucca, Mound Cactus, Clariel Teddy Bear, Beaver Trail, Prickly Pear, Saguaro ctw BarrY, Organ pipe, Desert Wiw Blue Pale Verde, Ocot$o, Mexican Fence Post and Exemely Nice Nevada Joshua Trees Free s Say you saw it in the Gazette, limit of one. Open: 9 am ~ 5 pm Daily, Sun 10 am ~ 5 pm 12740 Blue Diamond Road 1/2 Mile off 160 W: on Blue Diamond Rd. (Hwy 159) ,TmzY= Razda I..J= k, llad mz o,,,, i (702) 875-1968 - Fax (702) 875-1913 ,o o in full cry and on the trail of the escaping chuckwalla flying down the dunes in his high speed waddle. Men jumped over chairs and charged through tents. Women shouted encouragement as the men threw themselves under and over the parked buggies in hot pursuit of the renegade reptile. The lizard was not that hard to catch, many pursuers drew near but lacked a firm desire to touch a large reptile All that was missing was guns and horses as the sand dune posse tumbled and leaped and ran after the confused chuckwalla. Eventually the young production assistant came to the head of the hysterical mob and with a deft sweep of his arm, recaptured the tired and breathless reptile. Once again ensconced in his personal cooled ice chest, the lizard regained his lizardly chuckwalla composure and the crew went on with whatever it is a lizard posse does when it's not chasing lizards. It was in interesting week at the Dumont Dunes. Call Mrs, Clean Commercial Seal Grout Clean -up & cleaning Residential Carpet Cleaning Windows and MNOreo... - Senior Discount I I Illlll Illll I I I I Illl Ill II I Big Count.,7 AUCTION Saturday, September 20th at 10 a.m. Located at 1310E Bank Ave. From Las Vegas on Hwy. 160, turn left on Gamebi Rd.- Go 5 miles, turn left on Pahrump Vaky Blvd. 1 6/10 miles to Bank Ave., Left to dead end. Or, take Hwy 372 to Pahrump Valley Blvd., go South on Pahrump Val Nvct 5 mksto hnk Ave., turn left on llank to dead end. ** FormerZy the CUnton 00neer 00ton J'eno00 aZ00** '* Watch for auction Sigu** az'00 your own lawn Chair** Want Cash? Co to us and turn your merchandbe into cash Antiques Pumiture Primitives Glassware China Jewelry Tools Electronics r00niture? or househoJd #ms? Cometn'e tWorneeds I'01 fftOII T MEM wlff ft ltt t,lM ar SELt EVlffwrltllla On T EnD NIOtRIITMIItnlM Closing out an estate? Call us, we can N1YT'dlrtG & EVERYTItlrlG  sell even/thing. Complete dispersal CArl BE FOOIID AT THE AUCTION CALL U5 New and Used We accept  Odl far into