The last month has been cloudy and rainy, which is not particularly conducive to creating electricity with our solar panels. And at some point, one needs to refill the 90 gallon water tank. Or plug in and recharge batteries. Since we are working, and cell service is a necessity; we sometimes have to cave and find someplace that facilitates one or more of these needs.
We recently were reminded that we need to view these stays as more of an opportunity and less of a necessary evil.
This week, we stayed at a California state park campground. As is usually the case, it was clean, well maintained and not cheap. We were able to get some work done, top off the water tank, drain the grey and black water tanks, and get rid of trash. We didn't have hookups, but there was enough sun (even in these winter-short days) to keep the batteries charged up.
However, these logistical niceties weren't the bonus.
Those of you who know me well know I'm pretty introverted. Over the years, my career has forced me to adapt, but my natural inclination is to avoid most interaction. So I'm constantly amazed when a simple "Hi" to someone camped nearby results in conversations about shared goals, shared life experiences and the realization (to me) that we are not alone on this nomadic path.
This last week, we met two of the coolest nicest couples. Each are in different places in their path, one couple is retired, another is much younger and figuring out how to balance nomadic inclinations with a career. We came away from both conversations energized and excited to find more people who are trying to experience as much as they can. Time kind of disappeared as we talked, and talked.
I won't name names here, but we will do a double take at every white Sprinter and every Honda Ridgeline we see.
Another thing that's been interesting to me is seeing, between Facebook and Instagram, how many people are on the same orbit as us. We've run into people we follow (and vice versa) and almost every day we see that we have literally crossed paths with others we follow, without knowing it. Especially here in the desert, within the Death Valley/Joshua Tree/ Anza Borrego axis we've missed social media acquaintances by days, hours and even minutes. In a way it's frustrating, as it would be great to actually meet these people, but it's also kind of reaffirming how many of us are recharged by the same sunrises, sunsets and far horizons.
It's clear that a few days at Anza Borrego wasn't enough. I camped there often as a kid, both with my family and in Boy Scouts. It was cool that things there haven't changed so much that it wasn't familiar. We need to go back and spend more time in the backcountry , where the coyotes are closer and there are no lights to dim the stars.
We leave the Mojave tomorrow and will head west to the coast. We are looking forward to seeing the ocean and seeing good friends.
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