We happened across a pseudoscorpion while packing up our things in Dixie National Forest outside of Leeds, Utah. The best part was how excited the lizard researchers were about this thing. Even “Destroyer” was interested. Maybe I should back up.
The past week or so we’ve been exploring the areas around St. George, Utah while awaiting a few packages from Amazon. We’ve hardly been in the camper more than two and a half weeks, and the world is pouring in from every crevice, while at the same time we become more and more comfortable and fluent in our living space and how to peacefully exist here. The wonderful part is that it has been quite easy to find solitude. Even more wonderful are the people we’ve encountered.
While camping just outside of Leeds, Utah, a young man named Jeff introduced himself as a scientist hoping to share our campsite so he could set up base for some research he and a few others would be undertaking over the next few days. He told us after his only concern was somebody coming out of the camper with a firearm, and to compare, somebody that remote visiting us brought me the same concern. Despite rattlesnakes, scorpions and spiders humans are by far the most dangerous to humans. Yet, even dangerous humans are welcome to us, a sort of brutal love. The campsite was special. 360 degree views of canyons and rock outcroppings and butting up to a steep rock wall. It was plenty big for many more than just us, and it was certainly not ours to claim, no matter who was “there first”.
We soon learned these people were lizard researchers, and they were in the field to catch, monitor, measure, and release lizards. They had teaching and sharing in their souls. Jeff soon armed Melissa with a fishing pole equipped with a tiny rope lasso, and on her first try caught a lizard. The lizard seemed unphased and returned to the same place on the rock within a couple of minutes. Spencer was considerably quieter yet still very outgoing, he managed to purchase a house while camping with us, we had very good wi-fi at that campsite.
It is amazing to me that people claim any thing at all. It never sat well with me while in Hawaii that if you encounter another camper, it was best to find another spot out of sight. Apparently the same custom occurs across the nation, and I don’t know why. Sure there are plenty of people I won’t see eye to eye with and I wouldn’t consider myself won over as a lizard researcher now, but I met incredible human beings. A few days later, Andrew, and two other researchers arrived to join in the field research. Andrew is a Snake specialist with not only knowledge but also a sense of humor. He has an incredible blog at http://snakesarelong.blogspot.com
It’s quite an honor to share a campsite with strangers. Campfires bring out something buried in our spirits and allows people to speak freely about the things they don’t normally say in general conversation, especially to people they’ve met only hours or days before. The simplicity of fire as a light source versus electricity that travels for miles from complex, controlled, regulated, and paid for sources helps people to shed a few layers of protection and just speak from the heart.
On our last day at the campsite the lizard researchers invited a group of ten or so homeschool kids to visit the site and learn about their research. The kids ranged in age from about four to eleven. They immediately spread out across the campsite like beads of water on a windshield. Some following others, some attracted quickly to the steep rocks for climbing, some completely absorbed in every word the scientists had to say. A group of four boys about six or seven years old congregated around the steep sections of rock, climbing up and down while creating games. They decided they each needed a name for the game, and one boy decided he would call himself, Destroyer. I’m not sure what the other boys named themselves, but Destroyer was appointed the leader of the group, and the other boys had to do what he said.
Soon after Destroyer and the other kids left, we also moved on to about 6500 feet. Water is hush-ing down just fifteen feet from the bed, nearly fifty feet from the highway, a light drizzle above and the metallic chill as if entering a commercial refrigerator surrounds the camper tonight. We abandoned the fire and came inside not quite ready for higher elevation. The human condition needs acclimation on nearly every level for comfort. Humans claim not to hibernate, yet I find almost no differentiation between having a warm house or truck and a hibernation den.