A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Friday, November 30, 2007

A reason I love the desert...the full moons are like no other.
Nov. 26 – 30
Back home in Quartzsite (!?), we squatted down in a different BLM camp area which was for some unexplainable seemed reason nicer than the other two. How that can be I do not know for the terrain around here is the same for hundreds of square miles. Maybe it is just me and I am getting into the groove of living in the land of limited income wayward vagabonds. Hey, that’s me! I learned from my neighbors Bill and Louise out of Alberta Canada that the winds were pretty fierce while I was away - good timing on my part, as if I knew what I was doing. Bill was a truck driver, driving fuel trucks mostly to the frozen wastelands of Dawson Creek and Whitehorse. He retired after rolling his rig, which caught fire, and he received burns over 60% of his body. (I got to see the skin grafts) His wife is a little short thing about as wide as she is tall, who has this obsession of constantly moving rocks about and building elaborate fire pits. She likes to rake the sand also. Nice folks, he in his late 70’s and she in her 60’s, “She’s much younger than I.” Both suffer from arthritis and vacate Alberta every winter for 6 months at a time, then have to re-cross the border for at least 24 hours. Silly government rules.

It is late afternoon one day as I work on my notes watching the dove and quail outside my window. I look up and take notice of the darkening skies; they are expecting rain for tomorrow. This is too interesting to be sitting inside for, so I brew up a cup of hot tea and go out. I stand quietly away from the Little Box looking all around. There is a blanket of clouds overhead with rips and tears here and there allowing the turquoise blue sky to show. This cloud cover adds another dimension to the quietness of the desert - a closed in room feeling. I can hear the whistling wings of dove as they flutter about in the arroyo behind the Little Box, and then in an instant, as if the commander issued orders to “move out”, flocks of them fly overhead to their evening roost. Their day is done. The Gamble’s Quail too have settled in. I do not hear my hummingbird bird friend who frequently investigates the bright red strip on the RV. When I was very little, someone, most likely my mother, told me to color the mountains in my Crayola drawings purple. I can now see why. It is so still and quiet, with not a hint of a breeze, that even with my problematic hearing I pick up sounds in the distance that otherwise would go undetected. Every night in the desert is special, but this one is unique in its own special way. I am mesmerized standing out within it all, gazing around, and soaking in every aspect of this out of the ordinary sunset. Surely, I must look odd just standing off by myself, tea cup in hand, slowly turning about taking in this wonderful experience, but I don’t care. This is fabulous and nothing can possibly change this precious moment. Behind me, I hear the sounds of footsteps crunching on the gravel road. Couples are out for an early evening stroll and this one in particular has their little rat-dog along. I pick up snippets of the woman’s conversation as they pass by: “…said they’ll do a biopsy…could be cancer…she doesn’t know yet till the results…I couldn’t hear much, people were talking around me…” I go back inside. My tea was getting cold anyway.

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