Thursday, February 19
It’s another balmy day at the Salton Sea. Cotton balls of clouds are strewn across a blue sky.
Okay, that’s enough of that.
I am proud to announce that Bridget and I finally made it to a laundromat! It demands some serious recollecting to figure out when we last did laundry. I know it was in 2014. When we camped at Roosevelt Lake. I vaguely remember a laundromat in Globe . . . .
Almost every stitch of clothing needs to be washed.
And by “every” I mean everything I own for winter, spring, summer, and fall, plus towels, a passel of quilts and shams and pillowcases and a comforter and . . . .
For over a week I’ve been hand-washing what I’ll wear the following day. That’s homey and cute for a day. After that, not so much.
Laundry sits in the passenger seat like a very large, immobile person who’s not talking to me. More laundry is jammed into the space on the floor in front of the seat and between the seats. Bridget is confused.
“You can climb on it, sweetie. It’s okay.”
It’s a 22-mile drive from our campsite to the laundromat in Indio.
I take a wrong turn in Indio and become lost. Well, not really. How lost can you be if you find yourself in a Wal-Mart parking lot? (Don’t answer that.) One of Wally’s employees gives me very thorough directions to the laundromat, complete with spontaneously drawn map.
Returning to the PTV, I spot a familiar building.
Oh my! There’s my bank! I happen to have everything with me that I’ve been wanting to take care of at my bank, the bank that high-tailed it outta’ Yuma.
I come out of the bank with a smug feeling of accomplishment, plus my purse is loaded with $100 in quarters.
That should take care of laundry for a while… well, if I don’t use up all the quarters today, that is.
Soon Bridget and I pull into the mother of all laundries.
I kid you not. This place is more than a laundromat. It is a dadburn shrine. A shrine to everything that is clean or going to be clean.
We step into a new world, the world of Don Gordo’s Launderland!!!!
It’s now around 11 a.m. and hotter than the dickens outside.
“C’mon, Bridgie. You’re coming inside with me. I don’t care if you’re allowed or not. Be good and maybe it’ll be okay.”
I do believe that little girl understands me.
She’s the best little laundry helper! You know those metal carts with the poles sticking up? I push one of them back and forth across this huge laundromat (and I do mean HUGE), from washers to dryers to folding table, rinsing and repeating several times.
Bridget walks alongside the metal cart ahead of me like a highly trained seeing-eye dog. Like she’s done the laundry thing several times before and it’s no big deal.
“You are such a good dog!”
I’m the only Anglo. Everybody has black or grey hair. I hear a mix of English and Spanish. A male singer belts out in Spanish one passionate love song after another across the hum of machines and the clank of their doors. I fold and I fold and I fold . . .
Anyway. . .
I pack the PTV with clean laundry and Bridget and I travel another 22 miles home.
Later I take a cold shower (no hot water at Corvina Beach Campground) and boy, does it feel great!
It’s described as follows:
“August is on his way to Yellowstone to go camping, but his RV has broken down, leaving him and his small part–Jack Russell terrier, Woody, stranded in a one-horse desert town.”
Could a book suit me any better? Let’s see… a national park, an RV, camping with a terrier, and the desert. It’s described as “heartwarming” which raises a red flag with me. Story lines and dialogue that drip with sap make me cringe.
I take the big risk of spending $1.99 (kindle edition price as I write this) and order the book.
Well, I finish Take Me With You and I recommend it to you. It’s not sappy at all. Very realistic dialogue. Easy reading. It surprises me how much I cared about the characters.
The author, Catherine Ryan Hyde, also wrote the book that was made into a movie of the same title called Pay It Forward. You may be familiar with that one.
A campfire at sunset.
At dusk while walking Bridget on-leash through Corvina Beach Campground, we encounter a fellow camper we met recently. We both share our amazement at the vividly pink sunset of yesterday.
“I’m about to start a campfire on the beach,” he says. “Wanna’ join me to watch the sunset?”
It turns out that the conversation is more engaging than the sunset. Those cotton ball clouds joined together into a thick mass and blocked the light of sunset. That’s okay. I haven’t sat next to a campfire with someone in a long time.
Bridget impresses our new friend with her manners.
“She isn’t the yappy kind, is she,” he remarks, stroking her under the chin.
The fire burns down to embers and we exchange “good nights.” Bridget and I return to the Best Little Trailer — and clean bedding! — by the dim light of the waxing moon.
THANKS FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!
NOTE: If you like to keep up with comments, several new ones came in under the previous post shortly before I published this post.