There’s an open area close to our house that Brian calls “the ditch”. We walk the dogs there so they can run off-leash. They like to blast around through the sagebrush and chase birds. I’m not sure what other people call this place, but it’s sort of an abandoned (or preserved) wild space surrounded on three sides by neighborhoods, and on the fourth by McCarran Boulevard. A few trails traverse the length of it, crossing berms and disturbed areas and culminating at a high point that looks out over the flood control basin and Northwest Reno.
The ditch seems like an interesting subject for a blog because I don’t know a single interesting thing about the place. I don’t even like going there, really. I moved to this side of town recently from a house within walking distance of the Truckee River, my preferred nature-place. I was sad to move away from there; I love the desert, but I often feel like the river is the lifeline of green that keeps me happy here in this brown land. I can still drive to the river (and easily), but it’s not the same. I feel mentally disconnected. Thirsty.
The ditch is brown, but it’s convenient, and the dogs need to run. People, too, need to get outside every day and move a little, I think — a break from our glowing rectangles. Though it feels to me like an unwanted waste-space, even for Nevada, the ditch is close to the house and the easiest place to go walking.
One thing I’ve learned in Nevada is that sometimes you have to try a little bit to like things. You have to put in a little time. You don’t get to know Nevada from the highway, and maybe the ditch has more to it than I know. I like to look closely at small things. I think it’s important to know the place that I live. So, here, a resolution for 2014: I will try.
Likeable thing #1: Google maps has no name for this space. (There’s still something Google doesn’t know)…