Morning rises over Picket Post, and Pippa and I bask in the growing sunshine entering through the open side door.
Direct morning sunshine applied liberally to the face upon waking does a world of good. There is something psychologically powerful about rising with the sun. That’s a lot of energy, rising into the sky! I imagine myself tied to that big star, and let it lift me out of my bed. It seems to move with great purpose in the morning, and it helps me set my own intentions. After some purposeful morning stretches, my next intention is coffee.
I haven’t picked up my propane tank from the kind shop-keeper yet, motivating me to meander over to my neighbour’s rig to see if he has any means to boil water. He isn’t really equipped for cooking, but offers a can of sterno, that almost does the trick. He in turn gets a cup of almost-coffee and we are both almost satisfied with the barter. The conversation is much better than the coffee. Another neighbour comes by, bringing maps of local trails. An hour passes before we go our respective ways.
The wind picks up, and I remember (with an internal cringe) that there are three days of rain forecasted. A a wave of resistance rises and I begin thinking of escape, but have no cell service, which keeps me from looking at the weather forecasts in neighbouring areas. This gives me a moment to consider the situation.
The recent cold spell had a lot of us in the south-west seeking warmer temperatures. I was definitely in that group, travelling to Baja in seek of gentler weather. Now, I am doing the same with rain.
I actually love weather of all kinds, but three days of rain when camped in a minivan can be really challenging. Especially if it’s cold. Staying warm at night is not a problem – I have a 12 volt mattress pad heater I can use if needed- it’s the rest of the hours that are challenging. And rain in the desert often comes with strong winds that make cooking outside almost impossible. So, it’s a lot of “van time,” and possibly no warm food at camp.
I think of the positives. I’m near a great town. I can go to the local library, visit art galleries and hang out at one of the local restaurants. Pippa is content to sleep on rainy days and it’s easy to snuggle her into the kennel in the van when it is cloudy and cool. One of the restaurants is open into the early evening, so I could spend a bit of time there before bed. Enjoy a bowl of hot soup if need be. There are clearly no shortage of interesting people to visit with. Maybe this is a good opportunity to try out my wet-weather-weathering skills.
I decide to hunker in to the challenge and try to think about it a different way.
I remember I received my Tail Veil last week, while I was at Lake Alamo. I’ve been looking at this product for two years, but it wouldn’t ship to Canada so I ordered it when I arrived here. I retired my “King Camp” canopy to make room for the new addition, which will allow me to use my van more fully while in Canada, as it is both a bug screen and an optional rain fly, allowing me to cook without the van filling with biting bugs! Also giving a private area for changing or other business 🙂 I’m thinking now is a good time to put it up!
But it’s not. I give it my best shot, but the wind is just too strong to get the rain fly up properly, even with my neighbour’s help. You really don’t want to mess with a desert wind with a new nylon tent. The netted part worked great though! It’s going to be fierce protection against black flies and mosquitos this year at home in Nova Scotia. I don’t need the netting here though, so I decide to take it down for now.
For another hour I try setting up a tarp shelter instead. I’m trying to create a small space to set up my table and chair so I have an alternative to sitting in the van when the rain comes. But the wind, once again, disagrees with my plan. I can’t find my extra bungy cords, the tarp I kept is too small, I’ve forgotten the best knots to use for tying to trees, and I feel frustration growing.
I also realize I’m growing frustrated about my lack of cell service where I am, especially with my daily writing project in full swing. I’ve been fussing with tents and tarps for three hours and now I feel an urgency to get to town and finish my writing for the day. I’m once again entertaining the thought of leaving this area to find a dryer zone.
However, on the way to town I notice two bars of cell appearing just around the corner from where I am camped, a bit closer to the main highway. I pull in, and sure enough, I am able to send a photo by text. This is my blogging litmus test. Success! I also notice two portable toilets nearby! Double success! Having a bathroom when it’s raining is also very helpful.
I am aware that the scales have re-balanced once again and enough of my needs are met that I can settle in for the ride.
Back in town, I am invited (literally, right off the street) to visit an art gallery on the Main Street. The locals seem to be able to spot a fresh visitor in an instant and love sharing their town. The gallery-keeper is great fun, the art is lovely, and in keeping with the way connections happen through a domino effect, he wants to arrange a meeting between a local artist/ childrens’ book author and myself. He’s sure we must meet, which seems to suggest I must stay.
Superior isn’t finished with me yet. Let it rain!