Sunday, November 25
It’s said that exercise is good for raising one’s spirits, so Bridget, Spike, and I take a longer walk that usual. Out in the desert away from the community of motorhomes and trailers at Slab City that has been our home this past week, I resolve to remember all that the crew and I have to be thankful for.
One of those blessings is the friendship and company of Ken.
Shortly after we return, I hear Ken talking to Bridget and Spike outside the Best Little Trailer. We settle under the awning and proceed to talk nonstop all afternoon. I find myself laughing several times. We exchange email addresses, hug, and say goodbye.
“I know we’ll meet again, Ken,” I call after him as he walks away.
After an early supper I pack up everything — dog pen, table, lounge chair, camp chair, patio mat, etc. — leaving only one camp chair for morning coffee time. I roll up the awning and lower the solar panel. Good. Now I don’t have much to do in the morning before we leave.
Monday, November 26
I hitch up, remove the chocks from the wheels, lift the rear jacks, secure the interior, throw the chair in the back, and the crew and I wind our way across the Slabs toward Solar Mike’s. It’ll be so nice to have that connector fixed.
I pull around back. Oh, no! “Closed on Monday” sign. Geesh, I wish he’d given me an appointment! Well, I guess this is too small a job. It’s my own fault. I should’ve asked what day he takes off.
On the bright side, the crew and I can leave Slab City right away!
I find the free dump and water I’ve heard about. It’s at a rest stop between Calipatria and Brawley. I want to keep going. An unpleasant odor hits us just past the rest stop. A feed lot full of hundreds of cows! I turn my eyes away which is my custom whenever I pass one of those dreadful places.
Driving on down the road, the air becomes even more odiferous. There’s a dirty yellow haze above the city. To the right four stacks blow who-knows-what into the air. I see chemical sprayers and tanks in the farm fields on both sides of the road. And the Salton Sea gets the blame for the stink!
When Route 111 intersects Route 78/86, we turn right.
We make a brief stop at the Brawley Vons store (aka Safeway). I’m thankful the odors haven’t permeated the store. My throat is irritated. Back in the PTV, I share a few slices of deli turkey with Bridget and Spike, down some soda, and head northwest.
We pass through Westmoreland in the blink of an eye and approach Salton City. The sky in all directions is thick with smog! I look toward the Santa Rosa Mountains and Anza Borrego Desert State Park and it doesn’t look much better over there. Now my upper chest hurts, as well as my neck. This is not good.
I want to get gas and dump tanks at the ARCO station but all the pumps are busy with motorhomes and cars, with more waiting.
I need to get better air! I’ve got enough gas and dumping is not urgent, so we leave and go west on S22. About five miles out of Salton City, I’m not feeling well at all. I see two Class C RVs parked in a clear area to the right and decide to stop for a while.
This is where I meet Lila and Loren from Saskatchewan.
What interesting people! I realize I don’t want to drive any more, so I set up camp. After a nap and a bite to eat, I feel better. I see Loren coming over. Later Lila joins us. We discuss such things as my solar set-up, the used Class C they just bought and are fixing up, and the hundreds of quads (OHVs, ATVs, whatever) that stormed all around this area over Thanksgiving weekend.
“See that mountain over there. You couldn’t see it. It was a sheet of brown . . . the dust was so thick.” Together we hope it’s completely settled by tomorrow.
Our camp is near a very deep precipice in an area known as the Badlands.
I keep the crew on-leash or in their pen until it’s time to turn in for the night. Before bed I get online and read the outpouring of support from my wonderful blog readers. I’m deeply touched. I write a brief update instead of blogging because I’m feeling tired again. I fall asleep in a much better state of mind.
Around 3 a.m. I wake up with a terrible headache!
I take some ibuprofen and go back to sleep.
Tuesday, November 27
In the morning, the headache is still with me, but I manage to get us back on the road. A short time later we arrive at Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Yay! The air is clear! I can breathe! And what a fantastic area for dispersed camping! It’s everything people said it would be.
I feel better already!
Bridget, Spike, and I jump out of the PTV and walk around until we find the perfect spot for our camp. It’s away from a group camped here. We’re off by ourselves, the crew can run free, and we have a lovely view of the mountains! [slideshow]
Note: I remember my father admonishing me, “Speak when you’re spoken to!” I guess that’s why I feel I should respond to every comment on my blog. However, there are too many after the last post, and if I respond to one, I feel I should respond to all.
I can’t come close to expressing my appreciation. Please know I’m grateful for each message. Your words worked wonders on me. Several comments were so powerful, I was awestruck.
I think I have the best comment section anywhere, and I don’t care if I’m bragging, because it’s true. And it’s the best because I have the best readers! Gee, the comment section often has more good content than my posts! Thanks for writing.
Your comments are full of good advice for anyone trying to get through a depressive episode. I know your sharing of personal experiences and your sincere encouragement must be a help to fellow readers, as well as to me. Thank you so much for caring.