Ekaterinburg, Russia – World Trip 2013: Part 8 (Mineral Tour of the Urals – Day 2 & 3)

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ouronlychanceforblog A different kind of Frankenstein. Einna is a lot like other teenage girls, naive, idealistic, secretive, disobedient and interested in boys. Only Einna is not human, she is an A.I. android. Her creator, her mother, is Manaka Yagami, the first female tech billionaire. Einna has a plan to make herself human, if she can keep Mother in the dark and avoid the clutches of the notorious Yakuza.

The leaning tower of Nevyansk

The leaning tower of Nevyansk

We spent much of day 2 near Nevyansk, digging for phantom crystals in a place Nicolay discovered when he was a teenager.

Lunch

Lunch

The digging is hard work, and when we break for lunch and dinner we eat heartily.

Place of phantoms

Digging for phantoms

Phantom crystal I dug - note green shadow point inside crystal

Phantom crystal I dug – note green shadow point inside crystal

Nicolay and Tanya pitch our tents as the sun goes down at 10pm, and I curl up in one sleeping bag with another on top me (I have learned recently how much I hate sleeping bags – they are so constraining!). I am almost asleep when I hear branches cracking outside. Something is approaching. Maybe more than one. I hear snorting around my tent, loud snorting inches from my head on the other side of the thin plastic material. I realize there are wild hogs, perhaps large boar, with razor sharp tusks. I tell myself I must stay awake, to fight the boars if they attack. But I am too tired and I fall asleep with my hands in my coat pockets.

Wild Russian pig

Wild Russian pig

And I dream of wild pigs rustling around my tent, pushing against it, smelling me, biting down on each wrist and holding me, I struggle to free my wrists and cannot. I shout “No!” and wake myself. And I realize wild hogs do not have my hands – my coat pockets have my hands. I fall back to sleep and the spirit of the wild pigs mixes with my fatigue, and I am swept away to the phantom world between waking and dreams, and I speak with my father’s spirit in Dallas and my mother long dead. And I realize this visitation of the pigs has been some kind of blessing.

Mist in the cold morning, after the visitation of the boars

Mist in the cold morning, after the visitation of the boars

The next morning a heavy mist lies over the fields of wild cotton I have named ghost soldiers. For they remind me, as they weep their white fluff, of all the soldiers, Russian and German,  lost in Russia in World War II, and all the French soldiers lost with Napoleon’s attempt to conquer Moscow before that. They were fighting men, husbands, fathers, and now they are blossoming white weeds in the Russian fields.

Soldier ghost weeds

Soldier ghosts

Day 3 – we move on, to search for tourmaline in quartz, and gold citrine crystals, and scepters of amethyst atop black citrine.

Quartz with tourmaline veins

Quartz with tourmaline veins

Russia amethyst

Small amethyst points and scepters I found on this trip.

Nicolay will tackle any road, any puddle, with his truck – twice we tip and I fear we will dump over. I hope I am strong enough to right a 4×4 truck.

Bad road to the amethyst mine

Bad road to the amethyst mine

Near our last mine we spot a black adder. Tanya imitates its hissing sound as she follows carefully behind it. The snake is poisonous but not aggressive (thank goodness!).

Big black adder (poisonous)

Big black adder (poisonous)

Finally we call it a day. We are all exhausted. They drop me at a new nicer hotel, the Green Park, and I give Nicolay and Tanya a heartful thank you. I sleep hard, pack my treasures in paper the next day, and ask the hotel porter to take me to the bus station and get me on the right bus to Chelyabinsk. The ticket for me, for the 4 hour trip, is 500 rubles ($16), the ticket for my suitcase is 250!

My bus ticket and my suitcase's ticket

My bus ticket and my suitcase’s ticket

As we sit waiting for the bus, porter Ivan tells me he has worked 5 years at the hotel. Before that he went to University and 1 year in the military – all Russian men are required to do a year in the military. He works 24 hours on, then has 3 days off. His wife works at a pet store. I tell him about my father who was in the military in the Vietnam war, and my brother John who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. We both agree that war is horrible. I sleep most of the way to Chelyabinsk, where I look to recover from my adventures over the weekend, and prepare for my software presentations the following week.

Flea market on street corner in Ekaterinburg

Flea market on street corner in Ekaterinburg

Ekaterinburg city street

Ekaterinburg city street

Subway sandwich shop - Ekaterinburg

Subway sandwich shop – Ekaterinburg

Categories: foreign travel, rockhound, travel | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Ekaterinburg, Russia – World Trip 2013: Part 8 (Mineral Tour of the Urals – Day 2 & 3)

  1. Wow! What an adventure!!!! The kids loved & laughed about the wild hogs!! 😂 I loved the part about dreaming about your parents ❤. Sounded like a rough fun time! ☺

  2. B. Gaudet

    We received your postcard from Finland today 🙂

  3. Carolyn Cloke

    I am enjoying reading your blog. You are a very blessed and talented man. and I am so proud of you. Aunt Carolyn

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