Winter in the Desert

One of the best benefits of a house on wheels is dodging shitty weather. I don’t care where you live, part of the time it has bad weather. Where I grew up has about sixty nice days of weather spread across spring and fall and the rest of the year is absolutely miserable.

If you want to avoid winter, most of the best places you can drive to are deserts. Deserts have a lot of beauty. Great vistas, starry skies, and top-shelf sunsets. However, the plants in the desert are all psychopaths.

If you get a cute little piece of green vegetation in the edge of your shoe it feels like a very tiny, but very real, dagger stabbing you in the foot. Don’t get me started on jumping cholla (pronounced choyah), and remember how excited I was about tumbleweeds? I put up an entire blog post almost completely dedicated to tumbleweeds and their life cycle. Saw them in all the John Wayne westerns and I think I literally went “OOO! A TUMBLEWEED” the first time I saw one.

Then I learned they drop tiny little caltrops. You could fit several of them on a penny, but they always have a point up and are nearly as hard as steel. If you walk through them they will pierce the hardest rubber sole and then you sound like you are walking on cleats when you hit the pavement. I don’t know how many I pulled out of shoes and dog paws, but I am certain it was at least a three-digit number. I still say something when I see tumbleweeds, but it isn’t excited and it isn’t polite.

It was mostly warm, but I grew weary of the desert before we left. Glad to be among trees in the mountains again today. Shanti nearly wept for joy when she walked into the soft none desert grass.

We had a lot of good times. Some amazing hikes, and so much good soaking in hot springs. I am sure I will be glad to return next year, but for now, it is very nice to be among plants that aren’t doing their best to murder me.

May peace find you.

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