In the morning after I wake up—while I'm drinking my first, second, and maybe third cup of coffee—I often think of things to write for the blog, how to write them, maybe even what pictures to use.
I also think of things to write while I'm on the way to work, bouncing around in the front seat of a pickup truck (actually, the ride is usually pretty smooth and solid, I just thought bouncing just sounded better). A moving truck is not a great place for writing (there is *some* bouncing), especially because all I have is my semi-smart phone; perhaps if I had a tablet...
My thoughts while riding or driving into work typically run along the lines of...well, maybe it's time for some drilling stories...let's see, there was the guy who yelled and threw things when he was mad at his helpers, which was almost all the time. Ugh. Or, there's a story or two floating around about drill rigs brought onto staked claims in order to make a discovery before the company that owned the claims, thereby being able to, hopefully, make claim to at least some of the already staked ground.
And then, once again, I'm back here at my computer, it's early morning, and the briefest hints of coffee are trying to course through my veins, trying to rev my brain. Ideas are at a standstill; I don't get very far...until I'm back on the road and the ideas start popping. Another story, or general story idea, will come into my head: mud and getting stuck stories. Hey, there's one just over that not-so distant hill! It happened not long ago, and, remarkably, I have a few photos for it! And not too much farther down that road and over the next hill or two to the south, there's a mud without stuckness story...and that leads to a more typical claim jumping story...which leads to another claim jumping story out of sight from this road but down a road I was writing about last fall and winter before I got distracted by our recent move.
But then, I'm sure I'm missing something...maybe it's the details...because when these ideas start while I'm on the road (any road will do, me driving or sitting as a passenger, either way), other ideas come in and crowd out and confuse the first ideas, which then sometimes include other people's stories: other accounts with drillers, other encounters with mud, other overstaking problems. Which story to tell? What details to use? And, without a tablet, and even with a small notebook, how will these stories make it from barely incipient idea to fully written account?
One story would be about the driller (and set of helpers?) that got thrown off a job down in the south-central Mojave one spring (I hope it was spring and not summer) for showing up to work drunk and carrying a small flask of whiskey or JD. The driller that came to replace him had an interesting time using one of the two only pay phones in town—and so did I, although I used the other of the two pay phones in town—but the guy that had real problems with the one pay phone, which was sitting there on the corner of Main Street and the cross street that formed the junction that made the town, was one of our claim stakers, who was out there running a soil grid across the claims he was staking. And his problems with the pay phone had something to do with the druggy nature of the town, the drugs being the second main reason for the town, the first reason being the intersection of two sub-major (major in the Mojave) roads.
And so the ideas come and go, just like that, while I'm sitting here in the morning partly coffeed up, glancing constantly at the clock so I won't be late: sometimes the ideas get written down, sometimes they don't. These kinds of stories generally don't have photos to go with them, and the Mojave stories are not likely to have photos any time soon or in any systematic fashion: collecting the photos would take almost as long as the original years of exploration.
And now, with one last chug of ever-so-good nice-and-hot coffee, I leave this post behind and start getting ready for work.