The accordion simile was used by the handsome geologist yesterday on Mount Rose to explain and describe the basin and range landscape of much of Nevada, some of which Tom and I had spent the previous three days exploring, looking at quake faults and “quakies” (aspens) and beaver dams in the Ruby Mountains.
We got back to the city last night. When I pick up the accordion today after ten days away, “Edelweiss” is buried under a glacial moraine. My playing was so predictably terrible I waited until Tom, who’s staying on in the city for a few days, was out of the house. I think of those poor emigrants drinking the alkaline fetid water in the Humboldt sink. An absurd correlation, except in this: put one foot in front of the other, through the 40 miles of salt desert. Put one minute next to the previous. In the Ruby Mountains it’s not hard to do.