Monday, August 3, 2009

Dry and Dusty

I forget how beautiful California is sometimes. Living in San Francisco, it is easy to take for granted the romance behind the fog and trees and ocean, but a good portion of California is dry, dusty, and breathtaking in its own right.

As I was driving down yesterday, I passed by what from far away looked like a Star Wars prop farm:

I arrived in one piece at the campsite (or rather, kampsite), and it was completely packed. I've never been familiar with RV culture, but everybody did a good job of setting up "home" - complete with christmas lights and outdoor table tents. I set up my tent:

After dinner, I settled in to read next month's book club selection. Jacques decided to help:

This morning I woke up to a very loud animal growl. I completely panicked, because it sounded like it was right outside my tent, and it sounded like a hungry bear. Turns out the campsite is near a wildlife preserve, complete with lions (in cages). I would have known this had I seen the many signs posted about the campsite, but I was so unnerved by the flyer on rattlesnakes they handed out that I spent all my time looking at the ground.

Today's 450+ mile drive involved a little detour into the Mojave National Preserve. There are joshua trees dotted about, and a lot of the landscape (including the mountains) is reddish-brown, except for the Kelso Dunes:

Incidentally, anything by Lee Hazelwood is perfect desert driving music. Soon I was in Arizona, and enjoyed the 75 mph speed limit fully. But I wasn't my usual maniacal self (maybe I reserve that for when Randall and Craig are in the car?) because I saw no fewer than six cars and a motorcyclist pulled over for speeding.

Sadly, I am behind on several of my road trip goals:

1) I learned all the words to only one song today - "All My Little Words" by The Magnetic Fields. This I blame on the fact that whenever I drove through an area with a real radio station, said station was ALWAYS playing that Taylor Swift song. I also have to say, if I never hear that waking up in vegas song, I'd consider the rest of this road trip a complete success.
2) Learning how to whistle. I can't whistle. My brother could probably whistle an entire opera. He's also the only one in my family who doesn't need glasses. I don't know what that means.
3) Cookie challenge training. How have I not eaten a single cookie in the last two days???

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