I have often wished I had a better camera but tonite I wish I am a fabulous artist who can swiftly capture the stunning, intense beauty of dusk and night beginning in the desert.
Many of the english information plaques here talk about how surprising it is that ancient people sought to live in the desert and even more surprising that they survived - until white men came, that is (my addition of course - they love to leave out those minor details...) I think it is surprising how few seek to live in this gorgeous desert now.
Today I spend exploring Organ Pipes Cactus National Monument.
Before arriving at the park, there are several places along route 85 to pull over and spend the nite. Of course they are located at the edge of the Barry Goldwater Airforce base – Barry fuckin Goldwater of all people. What, did he buy the land for the military or what?
After going thru Ajo – named after the Ajo Mountain Range – and a teeny ‘town’ called Why, the huge National Park begins.
There are 2 camp grounds in the park – one ‘primitive’, i.e. no running water and at the base of the mountains; the other ‘modern’, i.e. running water and close to the visitor's center.
And there are several hiking trails and two driving loops.
I’m camping at the ‘primitive’ site, and not only because it’s $4 cheaper. I am the only human being here – that I know of. It is so very peaceful and beautiful. And especially no (other) tourists.
When the sun is setting, I attempt to take still pictures with the video camera Tessie lent me. My digital camera bit the dust two weeks before I left Berkeley… grrrr.
I’ll just have to attempt to paint with words. The sky is that eerie dark but light black when the sunshine is fading. There are two very black clouds back-lighted by the horizon, that have taken on the shape of a half cup of splattered cooking oil. The reds are brilliant and snuggle smoothly around the black clouds while stretching across the horizon.
The moon appears, a brilliant half circle ‘c’ of light hanging over the silhouette of a huge three-armed saguaro reaching to welcome the dusk and bless me.
I cook steamed eggplant and garlic, cut up the watermelon in half the rind, and make a pot of a hearty miso soup. I throw in a couple handfuls of rice and after that boils, another couple handfuls of lentils before adding veggies and miso.
I need to cook the cauliflower, spinach and black mushrooms. And I need to use up the tofu, now that the baby’s gone.
I chop cilantro and green onion. What I don’t use, I’ll dry out so it won’t spoil.
Moths are getting into the camper so I try to replace the weather stripping around the door but it won’t stick to anything but my fingers. I’ve had the roll forever and the glue has seeped out on all sides.
Plus the screen has tears in it – a by-product of a sale I did at Janet’s, rushing too much to pack up what didn't sell and something I threw into the camper, tore the screen…grrr. I guess I better try to get new screen tomorrow and replace the holy one.
I intend to get up as early as I can tomorrow and head across the border. The weather is so very pleasant, although it might get hotter as I travel farther south. It is still pleasant out.