Redwoods 2020

Friday, March 28, 2014

Further thoughts about the Desert

In my last post I wrote that I didn't really like the desert all that much.  This is not really an accurate statement.  I do like the desert, I just wouldn't want to live here long term.

There are many places I want to visit, want to spend a week or two exploring, but already know they are not candidates for long term residency. I want to go to Alaska a few years from now, but I know I don't want to stay there.  I am planning a two month trip to Florida, but don't expect to settle in the Keys. New England and the Maritime Provinces call to me, but I know we will travel back to the Western U. S. in the long term.

As a blogger, I hope to be true to myself in my reactions to different parts of this great country. Some people are compelled to only write glowing reports of where they are what they are doing.

Someone wrote to us after we commented on the winds that "they never were bothered by wind in Phoenix."  They said they had seen dust clouds on TV, but had none where they lived. This person said they hoped our house would close soon so we could go where we wanted to go.  We already are! We wanted to come to Anza-Borrego.  We may just be a little late in the spring. We enjoyed the desert outside of Palm Springs last year, but we were there in December. We were fascinated by Death Valley, but our visit there was in January.

Time of day also has a lot to do with enjoying the desert too.  We are really not morning people. All winter we enjoyed late mornings in bed reading and sipping our coffee. Years ago, when I was a smoker, I was always up early so I could get my first hit of nicotine  Then there were the dog years. With our last dog it was my job to get up early, let her out, wait for her to return, give her an injection of insulin and feed her.  Then I would snuggle back into the warm bed and read the morning paper.

Now we naturally wake up about 7 AM, and by the time we do all our morning things at a leisurely pace, it can be 9 AM before we are both ready to do or go anywhere.  This is not compatible with desert living.  It seems to me that hiking might be best at 6-8 AM, and sitting outdoors is best after sunset.  

We lived in the Dallas area for four years. I remember one year when it did not get below 100 degrees (at any time of day) for over 30 days.  We went from our air-conditioned house to the air-conditioned stores, back to the air-conditioned house.  We had a very nice pool, but it was too hot to swim during the day. I didn't mind.  That was where we were and that was what the summers were like. We could not move on.

I wrote about this week's wind as an experience. It was real. The rocking of the coach as we lay in bed was not nearly as scary as listening to the wind in the trees that towered above us at Camp Driveway. We knew we were quite safe in Anza-Borrego. Someday I may write about seeking shelter in the cement block bathroom structure in a midwest park because of a tornado warning.  It will be an experience, not an indication that we didn't want to be where were at that time. An adventure.

Some of my attitude yesterday might have also been because my physical endurance is also not up to par these days. After sitting around waiting for the house to close, I have gained a bit of weight again. I love to hike. I love to climb rocks, but the heat and my weakness makes things less exhilarating. I will get back into shape! 

What a difference a day can make. On Friday, we woke to a cool morning with no wind. We went over to the Borrego Springs farmer's market, bought a few things, returned to the campground and hooked up for our short drive back to El Centro.

We had extended our stay by one day so that we could meet Nan and John Talley, and go to the Friday market.  It was really a good thing we did, because we avoided the wind on the road.

We bought strawberries and arugula from one vendor. Some great pita chips and dip from another, and both bread and cinnamon rolls from the pastry guy.

The market was smaller than we expected, but everything was good quality and reasonable priced.

We are now back at Rio Bend in El Centro and have just had some very positive news about the house sale.

Life is good.


  1. Loved this, Merikay. No matter where you go, there you are, and you know how to enjoy that moment, no matter what it is like. You know I love the desert, but I would NEVER want to live there full time. It is why you full time, you can enjoy it all when you want to do so.

  2. I think the season makes a big difference any place you go. We love the north Georgia mountains in the summer and fall...but sure wouldn't want to be there in the winter.

    We have found for ourselves that it takes a little while to get in the groove any place we go. The Keys is so different from the mountains, but we managed to make them both work. We were talking last night about going back to the mountains (as we were sitting at a fun bar in the Keys). Al said he would miss the happy hours, but I reminded him the GA happy hours are on our golf cart looking for bears, or sitting in the hot tub. Different, but enjoyable too. I'm anxious to see if you like the Keys or not. You either love them or you don't.

  3. mindful living :-)

    Season is everything in some places. While our summer is lovely, the winters are NOT (especially this never ending winter). Being able to follow the weather has got to be one of the greatest things about having your home on wheels!

  4. Isn't it just the best ever that you live in your home on wheels and can have an adventure wherever you want to. If you don't particularly like a place, move on or if you fall I love with a place, stay as long as you like. That's why we hardly ever make advanced reservations. We wouldn't trade the many years of raising children and careers for anything, but it sure is nice to have time now to just do whatever we want to.....life is good Merikay!

  5. I'm not sure who posted about no wind in Phoenix because we really do get hit hard with winds especially in March here in AJ. As much as I love the desert (which is a whole lot) I'm not sure I could handle the heat in the summer time. I'm still looking for utopia and I'm afraid it doesn't exist. Too cold, too hot, too windy, too many storms, too many earthquakes - and on and on. Which makes having wheels the perfect way to live.

  6. I've been wondering about youur home sale--you two deserve good positive news there! I'm not a fulltimerr & probably never will be but your words were spot on for any of us. Be present where you are. If it's not a good fit, move someplace else. Douglas Adms (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) puts it well:
    "I may not have gone where I intended to go but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."
    Happy Trails!

  7. Having the option to move or not is what keeps us going. We never thought we'd be in AL so long but when you feel good, why move!? Now the storms have begun and we must leave soon...concrete block buildings are on my radar for Spring travels indeed!! We hated to give up Maine this year...I feel your draw for that area!

  8. Three cheers for honest blogging! We felt like we were the only people who hated the RGV. But, we did. And, like you, we felt it was important to tell the whole truth and nothing but. And, thankfully, not everybody loves the places we do!

  9. It was great to see you in person. Friday was a great day, wasn't it. We are at Clark Dry Lake, but did not take the rough and bouncy Rockhouse Road. We came in a smooth way and are not too far from the highway in order to have good internet.

    I wish I had shown you this area. I think you might have liked it a bit better. Hopefully, we will meet on down the road, once more.

  10. Hi Merikay, I have been following your blog for awhile now. My husband and I lived up off of summit roadfor about 15 years. Our children went to Loma Prieta schools. We were also there thru the earthquake, lost everything and rebuilt again. Not sure where your house is located but loved hearing about the area thru you from Camp Driveway. We are also in the process of selling our house here in Alabama so we can be full timers as well. I think you stated you would be in Florida this winter, we will also, maybe we could stayin touch and plan to get together.

  11. I agree that not all places are to our liking. We've been places that we could see staying for a long time, and others that after a week we were pushing off quickly. We both are getting tired of this part of Florida, and are ready to head north now. Can't wait to hear more about the news of the house.


Leave a comment, or send an email.