And desert's blowing in on the west wind! And she's bringing Campari popsicles for all!
MrP!!!!! Yay!! I love the artwork. Just goes to show, we're still a classy joint.
Well, MrD and I returned home this week after two and a half months boondocking in the Mojave. It was Winter when we arrived and Spring when we left.
Because of the drought, you wouldn't notice a whole heck of a lotta change, except for the temperatures. The landscape still mostly looked like if
the moon were a light beige, and creosote bushes were stuck on the surface all over.
We had two coyotes come by, taking their usual hunting route, but this time we were in their path. They were healthy looking, and the female had a
beautiful darker coat with a dark stripe across her shoulders. When they turned to look our way, their heads and faces looked like Wiley Coyote. Not
much other wildlife out this year; saw a desert tortoise, a couple lizards and a desert chipmunk. I think the coyotes ate the one fox.
We had solar energy from 93 million miles away, and MrD would drive over to fill up our water bag and five gallon containers from the faucet five
miles away, so we were all set to have all the joys of camping with the comforts of home, more or less.
Besides some beautiful sunrises and sunsets, I enjoyed the silence of the desert. Silence interrupted only by one bird singing or the woosh-woosh of a
raven's wings beating overhead. Or, because of where we were, an occasional military jet and accompanying sonic boom.
There's a lot of history in our part of the Mojave, below ground, on the ground, and above ground. From our site on the hill, if i look east, I can
see the mountains under which gold, silver and tungsten were mined. The mountains shelter three old mining towns, which almost died about thirty years
ago, but the re-opening of a gold mine and the turn to tourism gave them new life. If I turn south, I can see the giant tailing piles of a borax mine
and also the air force base from which the X-15 rocket plane flew. Turning west I see the hills that were passed by the Death Valley 49ers on there
way to rescue in Los Angeles. (BTW it was 107 deg in DV yesterday.) Looking north I see the mountains that were home to the Depression era miners,
regular people who came westward from eastern states or up from Los Angeles when they weren't working, who came to those hills either for health
reasons or to search for gold. Today, regular folks still arrive on weekends and days off, to mine their claims next to their tiny cabins, with hopes
of finding color.
A very colorful character in area history is Pancho Barnes
, who is neither Mexican nor a man.
MrD and I have visited a memorial to Pancho at the Jawbone Canyon Store
. Oh, the
billboard with the luscious naked woman is no longer there I think. I remember seeing it years ago and could hardly believe it, but, hey, it's
California, so we were surprised and laughed and didn't run off the road.
Close by our campsite is the trail that the Borax Twenty Mule Teams took from Death Valley. We've driven over it on this side, until we were blocked
from further exploring by military fencing. I like to sit outside and pretend to hear the sounds of a team going by; fortunately, I can block out the
voice of Ronald Reagan. For those of you who are not around my age, google Twenty Mule Team and RR.
Well, I needed the silence and "nothingness" out there. It was time to return to the home without wheels. MrD and I realize that full time rving is
not for us. While we did some awesome cooking out there, we're ready to get back to where we left off here; in fact MrD just created some awesome
dishes with the chicken I took out of the freezer when we got home and had to make room in the fridge to restock. And he just came up with an idea for
something else. We'll be on the road again, but none too soon.
Oh, that place I mentioned about a couple months ago, it was an old former military radar station turned federal prison that shut down about 12 years
ago. It's a modern day ghost town now. We had a chance to look around all the buildings and go underground to check out a fall out shelter bunker;
the young men in military fatigues armed with heavy duty firepower turned out to be ex-military who gather there once a month with their air soft
rifles and have "war games". They said about 40 were there, but I only saw about a dozen; I was glad I hadn't run into the ones who were hidden
since dawn, as I feared running into Colonel Kurz.
Well, I'll go make more popsicles. Be back when they're done.