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.

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