Desert solitude brings you back to the core of your existence and reminds me that the "rock" we all live on is far more in sync with "all things" than we could ever hope to be. We treat our Mother Earth like a disposable diaper and yet She graces the skies with sunrises and sunsets even the angels must marvel at.
Even when it seems as though nothing would want to live in this arid rocky landscape a hummingbird sweeps past and takes a milli-second to look at himself in the motorhome rear view mirrors, checks the windshield for feeders and rushes off to find another interesting object. I hear rapid tiny footsteps on the outdoor mat our lounge chairs set on and see a feisty lizard investigating this new form of ground cover before he looks up at me (at this point I expect him to rise up on his hind legs and exclaim in a British accent .... want to save 20% or more on your car insurance????) and moves on to explore the neighboring flowering brush. Morning doves and hawks swoop by, quail scurry for cover from the hot sun and I'm sure there is much more I don't see. So much for this being uninhabitable habitat!
Boon docking in Quartsite, AZ this time of year is like going to Wal-Mart at 3 A.M…..you know nobody is likely to be there but you don’t really believe it til ya get there.
The BLM site we’re parked on is about 6 miles North of town. The landscape is peppered with a few lone saguaros, brush in full yellow flower bloom and lots and lots and lots of open empty space. The desert floor is literally frosted with millions of flat multi-colored stones and a scattering of smooth weather worn rocks, the perfect size for fire rings. The stones/rocks actually have a glossy sheen to them and Dave calls it “desert varnish” which is actually a perfect description. A millennium of scorching hot summers have somehow worn down the rocky terrain and transformed it into Mother Nature’s version of laminate flooring with a lifetime high gloss wax finish.
West, South and East of us are jagged mountain ranges that lend a surreal quality to the flat expanse we’re living on. It’s one of the reasons I love Arizona, for its extreme contrasts, not unlike myself I guess. A true Gemini in the flesh!
Temps were in the 90’s when we arrived last week and it’s since cooled down into the 80’s with the evenings cooling off into the 60’s and even into the 50’s last night. Open window sleepin’ weather! Temps have pushed back up into the 90’s and likely to stay there this time of year. My kind of weather since I’m such a cold weather sissy!
Since we’re totally dependent on our own supply of fresh water, showers are military style, short and sweet. Electricity is used sparingly so the generator only needs to run a couple of hours a day to recharge the batteries and energy sucking appliances like the washer, dryer, convection oven/microwave are on vacation for now. Kind of takes me back to my childhood when wastefulness was not tolerated on any level and it also makes me aware of just how much I totally overuse and waste each and every day. FOR NOW …. It’s a game of “how little can we use if we have to”.
So you ask… what the heck do you do all day?!!
It’s a full work week for me with my Internet job keeping me busy and a scattering of radio ads to put together and email to radio stations. Yes…..I have 4G internet here! There’s primitive and there’s TOO primitive and since my income depends on a strong internet signal…well you get my drift. Book readin’ replaces TV watchin’ and I’m on my 2nd book and there’s plenty of open space for desert walks (Willy REALLY likes that part!)
Dave and I took the bikes out a few afternoons ago and did some exploring, lots of paved road, little to no traffic and perfect weather, followed by warming up some leftover corned beef, sweet potatoes and veggies in the dutch oven buried in hot coals for dinner.
I did request a drive Sunday afternoon cuz I was getting stir crazy so we hopped in the truck, explored some other campgrounds South of Quartsite and just meandered around for a while. Took care of my wanderlust for the day.
In some ways it’s like being on a desert island … yet knowing if you want to escape the life boat is just a few steps away.
In a month or less we’ll be set up at Whitefish Lake State Park in Montana and getting ready to play camp hosts. Another extreme contrast!
And isn’t that what it’s all about?