Ten years ago, Jim and I moved to Eureka on a whim. I knew it was rainy there, but I thought I could tolerate it, because I’d lived in San Francisco. But after a while, the rain forest was getting to me. The endless cold gray days, coastal winds and thick fog was wearing down my psyche. I constantly griped about what I knew I could not change; the weather.
So I started to have these fantasies about living in the desert. I wanted to feel the warm sun. Munch on chips and hot salsa and wash it down with cold beer. Sit next to a saguaro cactus and play my guitar. Go out at night wearing a summer dress, flip flops and a tan.
I thought that workamping here in T or C would convince Jim that living in the desert was a good idea. But after just one month, I’ve discovered that I’m too much of a wuss for this kind of environment.
The desert winds are making me insane.
Every day, wind kicks up around noon, embedding a fine layer of dirt on everything in the RV. I’m freaking out every time I see grit on my laptop. We can’t sit outside to work, and don’t dare unroll our awning.
With so much wind blowing things around, trash gets strewn across the landscape. Everywhere you look, plastic bags are stuck in spikey trees and thorny shrubs.
There is no grass here to keep the dirt down. Jerry is filthy again as soon as we bathe him.
I wear flip flops, but whenever I walk in them, tiny thorns get stirred up and stab me in the foot.
The lack of humidity sucks the moisture out of everything. My hands look like they belong to a very old woman.
Beer doesn’t stay cold for long in this heat, which makes you drink more. Which is starting to make me fat.
I feel very fortunate. Being able to check out different parts of the country for an extended time has been a huge reality check. Duh, the grass isn’t always greener (when there is grass, that is). I’m seriously done with this desert fantasy.
Save this kind of living for reclusive old people who only go outside to get in their air conditioned cars and head over to the golf course. I’m outta here.
But I’m still not yearning for another cold summer in Eureka.
Jim Says …
When Ted followed his own path around the world thirty years later on a BMW, and wrote Dreaming of Jupiter, we asked him the biggest difference he noticed in the world. He said the most unfortunate change he noticed was all the plastic bags. They are simply everywhere. Even across once desolate, pristine deserts the ubiquitous MalWart bag can be seen blowing. And there are plenty here along the once grand Rio Grande.