A Month in a Minivan: Day 15

Today I hung my wet clothes on a bush.

My Desert Laundry System

It’s the first time I’ve ever done that. Not a big deal, I know, but it seems to represent a change that has happened since moving into my van. (Hm, that’s interesting, I just chose to say “moving into” instead of “travelling in”… something else has changed I think)

For seven months I’ve had recurring ideas about how to best dry wet clothing. For the longest time, I chose campsites with trees. Which didn’t take much effort  back home. In fact, just try to find a site without  trees in most areas of Canada!  With such a glut of trees to choose from, I strung parachute cord between two trees whether I needed a laundry line or not, every time I set up camp.

Somewhere along this journey, probably coinciding with reaching a treeless desert, I decided I must need some sort of laundry-line system, that didn’t require trees. Something specialized. Some sort of collapsible, RV friendly, fold out something-or-other that would make drying laundry a breeze. Every time I was in town, I’d search for such a thing, and feel, quite intensely, that it was essential I find it.

Today, I realized that while three months have passed since beginning this urgent search for such a gadget, I have dried wet clothing and towels from my partially opened van windows, my antennae, over a traffic barrier in a parking lot and today, in a bush. Apparently, new solutions arise as needed.  I think it’s time I give up my search. Clothing is apparently quite capable of devising it’s own drying system, without human interference.


Today was a grand adventure here at Alamo Lake. On the advice of a local, and with access to a trusty ATV, my friend and I set out for an afternoon at “Mud Canyon”.

Directions were, as local directions usually are, “loose” and went something like:  “drive a ways until you hit the old ranch, take the first wash across the road, and go a ways. You’ll see it.”  We stopped often to explore the desert along the way, which is now coming alive with the beginning of spring rains.

The Ocotillo are beginning to bloom!
Beauty Along the Route

After lazily meandering and exploring for about 45 minutes we began to earnestly seek the canyon, realizing we had no idea what exactly we were expecting to see or how we would know when we found it.

An hour or so later, we had seen much beauty but I was not convinced we were likely to find a canyon, beyond the one we may already have been in. I was ready to determine we should call it an afternoon.To which my friend replied, with wisdom (it turns out) “But what if it’s only five minutes before the miracle happens?”  I’m quite sure this is recovery language, and it makes me smile.  I agree to five more minutes and set my internal stop watch. My bum is beginning to go numb on the ATV.

At 4 minutes, 59 seconds, the miracle appears.

The Miracle!

Our patience is rewarded with an adrenaline-sprinkled  exploratory hike through deeply cut washes into an amazing cave in the hillside.

At times, we need to scramble over rocks and slide through thin narrows to carry on. There were a few “should we keep going” consultations, and a mutual decision to reach the end.

Once inside, we whisper; a natural response when one feels they are in a sacred place of some sort, or perhaps not wishing to create a disturbance to the environment.

We hear birds in the cave, and see signs on rodent poop on the floor.

My lessons today?  Cothing will find a way to dry itself. Locals know far more than Trip Advisor ever will. And adventure will happen  approximately five minutes after you have determined it won’t.


8 thoughts on “A Month in a Minivan: Day 15

  1. Thanks for taking me along the way. My dog,Wallis and I will be on the road summer of 19. I’ve got one grandson left to set free first. I’m sure we’ll run across each other one day. If you’re in the Texas Hill Country and need a driveway to park in for a few days, give me a holler

  2. Loving you blog. Look forward every day to your adventures. I am currently undergoing chemo so my exploring days have ended, but only for a little while. I will be back out there as soon as I can. In the meantime I am cheering you on. Go girl!

  3. “If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed..,” in about five minutes. P83, THE BIG BOOK

  4. Thanks for linking your blog to the FB group. “Five more minutes” is a thing at our house too
    Safe journeys

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