R.I.P. Nissan Xterra

Brand new in September, 2002.

Two hundred twenty thousand, five hundred miles of adventures. Just shy of 20 years.

Without a doubt, the best vehicle I’ve owned. So many 4×4 roads and camping trips. It would be great if I could list all of them. From the great plains to the pacific ocean. Fourteen thousand feet to 100 feet below sea level (there are places in the southern California deserts that are below sea level).

On the afternoon of New Years Eve, the snow had been falling for a couple of hours. I encountered some ice going around a curve in “the canyon” and spun about 90 degrees counter clockwise, now heading downhill sideways, hoping there was no oncoming traffic. When I suddenly regained traction, it took me forward into the canyon wall on the left side of the road. I was probably only going 30 MPH, but the rock wall was unyielding. The impact was hard enough to cause the airbags to deploy (aka explode).

Fortunately, no other vehicles were involved. The moments after the bag explosion were a little surreal. A couple of passerbys stopped to see if I was ok. A fight broke out between two other drivers who had stopped. This seems to reflect the current state of our society in general. Everybody is at each other’s throats. Everybody is on high horses. Everybody knows better than everybody else.

The Xterra was finally towed to the junkyard yesterday, where it will be stripped of everything valuable and what’s left over will smashed and recycled. Not much different from a human life if you’re an organ donor.

Dawn in the Utah desert, May 2021.

The Xterra actually had a name: Atomsk (from the anime FLCL).

Buckhorn Wash Rock-Art

Maybe it’s obvious to others, but I was struck by an epiphany while pondering the Buckhorn Wash art-rock panel, with its many eras represented.

The epiphany was how the older stuff was universal, spiritual, other worldly. The stuff thousands of years later is more about the tribe: hunting and food. Another 1000 years later, it’s all about the individual who has nothing to offer other than his/her name and the date they were there; or the heart-shaped outline with two anonymous and banal names contained within. It’s shrunk from worldly, to tribe, to self. What will humans be like in another 1000 years?

Earlier era pictographs. I believe the serpent lines represent lightning.
Rain gods watering the earth?
My favorite is the second from the left.
Later era petroglyphs
Looks like one of the horned animals is on its back.