Photo Friday: Across the Sonoran Desert

by jdroth on 01 May 2015 · 0 comments

That’s right: It’s been another week during which we haven’t had time to post an update other than this photographic summary. Despite our best intentions, we just haven’t had time to write or edit photographs. That’s a good things, though. That means we’re getting out of the RV and living life.

Last Friday, for instance, we took a vacation from our vacation. As hordes of young adults descended upon the RV park for the weekend (they were all in town for the Stagecoach country music festival), we left Palm Springs to visit Kim’s cousins in Oceanside.

Becky and Ken were outstanding hosts, putting us up in their spare room for a couple of nights, giving us a tour of Oceanside and neighboring Carlsbad, and staying up late to talke and laugh. Ken, who is a professional musician, did his best to convince us that we ought to buy a ukelele. It’s easier to play than a guitar and it’s more portable. (An important consideration when you live in a motorhome.)

Ken Kinley, showing us how to play ukelele while his dog watches.

The next morning, the four of us ran errands. That included a quick stop at a local thrift store, where Kim found a full-sized crockpot for only seven bucks. We were a little worried about its size and weight (see the above comment about space in a motorhome), but we bought it anyhow. It seems like a great way to cook in bulk while we’re out exploring the country.

In the afternoon, Kim and I explored the small heart of Carlsbad Village, stopping for fish and chips, buying a used James Michener novel, and walking on the shore of the Pacific for the last time in a year.

Taking a farewell stroll through the Pacific Ocean.

In the evening, we met more of Kim’s cousins for dinner at a local Mexican place.

On Sunday morning, we hopped in the Mini and headed home. First, we drove up Palomar Mountain so that we could indulge in a bit of geek heaven. We took a tour of Palomar Observatory, site of many important astronomical advances over the past 75 years.

Geek heaven: Palomar Observatory

Originally, we’d intended to leave Palm Springs on Monday. But we both decided we needed at least one down day during which we had nothing planned. So, we extended our stay. I spent the morning changing the oil on our rig; Kim lounged by the pool, where she got to know some of our neighbors. I joined her in the afternoon.

Kim and her new friends, joking in the pool

On Tuesday, after thirty-three days in the state of California, we left for greener pastures. Metaphorically speaking, that is. Actually, we drove east into the Sonoran Desert, crossing from Palm Springs to Phoenix. With hot weather on the horizon, we didn’t stay long. We met up with even more of Kim’s cousins, then slept overnight in the parking lot of a local casino. It was noisy and hot — but free. (This is commonly called “boondocking” in the RV world, which refers to dry camping in free locations without connections to water, sewer, or power.)

One of these things is not like the others...

We didn’t sleep well on Tuesday night. The rumble of the diesel engines was just too much. We woke early and made the short hop south to Tucson, where the temperatures are cooler and the landscape more attractive. Here we’re enjoying the company of Kim’s uncle Dan and aunt Lynda. We spent most of Wednesday sitting on their patio and talking about life. As we did, Kim and I had an shared epiphany about what our next adventure might be.

Getting philosophical with Dan and Lynda

Thursday morning, Dan and Kim drove to pick up another uncle, Dan’s brother Stan. At 87, Stan is the oldest member of the Edwards clan. He spent a couple of hours on the patio with us, sharing family stories from his youth. Listening to him, I became even more convinced that somebody needs to collect an Edwards family history. It’s a large group, and they have lots of interesting stories.

Kim chats with her Uncle Stan

Going forward, out plans are a little nebulous. We’ve just about run out of Edwardses and Stevenses to visit. We’ll see Kim’s mother in Colorado, but aside from that, it’s time for us to spend a couple of months on our own. We aim to explore the American Southwest before making our way east to Minnesota. But how will we do that? Where will our path take us? We’re not exactly sure.

We’ll spend another couple of days with Dan and Lynda. Next, we’ll move to Cottonwood, up near Flagstaff and Sedona. While there, we’ll meet up with Bret, one of our good friends from Portland. (He’s in Phoenix for business, and it’d be fun to have dinner with him.) But beyond northern Arizona, we have no plans. Except one: We want to slow our pace so that we’re better able to incorporate both exercise and journaling into our lives. It’s time to see what living full-time from the road is really like…

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