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Tuesday, December 28, 2010 - LoW-HI RV Ranch, Deming NM

Snow Geese, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, San Antonio NM, February 1, 2010
Snow Geese, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, San Antonio NM, February 1, 2010

Morning at JT's Auto Service

There. That's done. After a morning at JT's Auto Service LD now sports a fine newly rebuilt air conditioner compressor and a new belt tensioner pulley. That quieted the belt just fine.

Now it's on to find replacements for the rear tires which are getting down to their last 10% or so of tread depth. That's plenty far enough for me. I'll sacrifice that 10% for a little peace of mind out on the highway. A flat dually will often disintegrate before the driver even notices it has gone soft. We've all seen those road snakes out there. Trouble is, a disintegrating dually can do major damage to the plywood wheel wells on the Lazy Daze. I'd rather not deal with that if I can help it thank you.

So tomorrow I'm off to the tire shop JT's recommended, Tinley-Tee Tire & Auto Services, a mile across town.

Night camp

Boondocked - LoW-HI RV Ranch, Deming NM

A Siberian dog signal-howl

A camp in the middle of a clear, dark winter's night presents a strange, wild appearance. I was awakened, soon after midnight, by cold feet, and, raising myself upon one elbow, I pushed my head out of my frosty fur bag to see by the stars what time it was. The fire had died away to a red heap of smouldering embers. There was just light enough to distinguish the dark outlines of the loaded sledges, the fur-clad forms of our men, lying here and there in groups about the fire, and the frosty dogs, curled up into a hundred little hairy balls upon the snow. Away beyond the limits of the camp stretched the desolate steppe in a series of long snowy undulations, which blended gradually into one great white frozen ocean, and were lost in the distance and darkness of night. High overhead, in a sky which was almost black, sparkled the bright constellations of Orion and the Pleiades--the celestial clocks which marked the long, weary hours between sunrise and sunset. The blue mysterious streamers of the aurora trembled in the north, now shooting up in clear bright lines to the zenith, then waving back and forth in great majestic curves over the silent camp, as if warning back the adventurous traveller from the unknown regions around the Pole. The silence was profound, oppressive. Nothing but the pulsating of the blood in my ears, and the heavy breathing of the sleeping men at my feet, broke the universal lull. Suddenly there rose upon the still night air a long, faint, wailing cry like that of a human being in the last extremity of suffering. Gradually it swelled and deepened until it seemed to fill the whole atmosphere with its volume of mournful sound, dying away at last into a low, despairing moan. It was the signal-howl of a Siberian dog; but so wild and unearthly did it seem in the stillness of the arctic midnight, that it sent the startled blood bounding through my veins to my very finger-ends. In a moment the mournful cry was taken up by another dog, upon a higher key--two or three more joined in, then ten, twenty, forty, sixty, eighty, until the whole pack of a hundred dogs howled one infernal chorus together, making the air fairly tremble with sound, as if from the heavy bass of a great organ. For fully a minute heaven and earth seemed to be filled with yelling, shrieking fiends. Then one by one they began gradually to drop off, the unearthly tumult grew momentarily fainter and fainter, until at last it ended as it began, in one long, inexpressibly melancholy wail, and all was still.

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