The Californian Desert


Day 78
November 2, 2012
After a breakfast of coffee and oatmeal with cranberries and walnuts, everyone does their thing. Christof borrows a car to go back to the sport shop for more bike parts. Ed tinkers on two jeeps, preparing them for a week-end of riding in the desert, while Linda packs and cleans the motor home with my help.
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A free arm quilting machine dominates her well organized quilting room, and when we are finished packing, Linda puts a sandwich of material together, and shows me how to use it. The stitches remain even and regular, regardless of the speed I sew at, and the quilt sandwich stays completely wrinkle free.
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Unfortunately though, it doesn’t sew on its own. To become proficient at maneuvering it would take an enormous amount of practice – like everything in life – something I might just work at on my own sewing machine, sometime in the future.
By 2:00 p.m. we are ready to roll and drive to the gas station to fill up the machines. Linda drives the silver jeep, Christof and I the yellow one, and Ed follows with the motor-home. After gassing up, we stop at a little Mexican place for lunch, while Ed repairs a leaking hose on one of the jeeps.
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The silver jeep is then attached to the motor home, Linda and I ride with Ed, while Chris follows us with the yellow jeep.
We retraced in reverse order the very journey we made by bicycle less than a week ago. This time it’s easy and effortless. In less than three hours, we are back at the gas station in Seely, where we heard the ‘Mexican War Music’. On a Friday evening filled with customers, neither the shop nor the parking lot feel even remotely threatening.
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Camp is off-road, in the desert up against the mountains, a spot the jeep club members have been meeting at for years.
Like we saw in Glamis, people here set up their large, well-equipped motor homes in a semi-circle – reminiscent of covered wagons during pioneer times – before pulling out grills and preparing dinner.
DSCN3749During the evening we join the larger circle of people from the jeep club, sitting companionably in chairs around a fire. The black sky is star-studded and vast, and looking up at the immeasurable dome above us, we can easily distinguish the Milky Way, but with a shiver also recognize the approach of winter.
The motor home has a bedroom, a bathroom with a shower and a kitchen/living room, where Christof and I sleep on a comfortable pull-out sofa.

Halloween in San Diego

Halloween in San Diego

Day 76
October 31, 2012
After breakfast Linda and Ed offer to take us on a tour of San Diego. Christof wants to go to REI, a specialty sport shop, where he buys some parts for his bicycle, and two tiny fold-up chairs, like the one Tom, the cyclist we met at the Grand Canyon, had in his trailer. [Read more…]

San Diego!


Day 75
October 30, 2012
When we wake up the house is empty, breakfast is set up on the kitchen counter, and bags of Halloween candy, cake, and freshly baked cookies are packed in baggies for the trip. A warm feeling envelops us being so well cared for and trusted by a perfect stranger. [Read more…]