Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Second Entry on the Road to El Dorado

After our Wal-Mart tour through Southern California and into Arizona, we needed a break from sharing our narrow bed in the back of Danny's van.
A dear friend in Mesa gave us a shout out, for a week we rested indoors. We enjoyed the company and tried to find work at the local Renaissance Festival, for the chance to spend time with friends and work. Things did not line up for us, despite the desire and motivation we felt. We were encouraged to move to greener pastures, so we focused on spending the time there with friends.
We hiked to a waterfall outside Superior AZ. We ventured to the Petroglyphs in Apache Junction. We visited with the neighbors where we stayed. I held a thirteen foot dwarf reticulated python owned by a mortuary student who was just moving in. We met a grandfather dealing with a brain tumor. We visited, laughing and swapping tales in the sun. No one focused on a cellphone. It was wonderful.
Realizing the Tuscon Gem Shows are happening now, we decided to explore them. We had new friends from Quartzsite to find again! New friends to make!
Our two vehicle caravan parted from my dear friend after hugs and gratitude were shared again. The warmth and love wrapping my heart with renewed strength and peace.
We drove out to BLM land after sunset. BLM land, for those who are unaware stands for Bureau of Land Management. BLM land exists in each state, there are areas for public use and free or reduced rate camping with a special permit. You can usually camp there for fourteen days, it is primitive and you bring your own water. Pack in and carry out- please do not litter.
We stayed just beyond the AZRF faire site, having stopped for groceries on our way. I met Errol Coder, fellow author and friend at the store. Errol took my jewelry to sell at a social gathering on the faire ground after the weekend. While we were at the store we ran into a handful of friends, got hugs and gave them- unexpected pleasure. We joked that if we just waited long enough, we'd probably catch all our friends there.
We drove onto the BLM land, decided to camp near the road to leave quickly this morning for Tucson.
Danny Lord enjoying our fire on BLM land camping in Apache Junction, AZ

The moon was silver and round as we gathered rocks and built a fire. We watched the flames dance and traded stories. It was an odd sensation to know hundreds for friends were falling asleep less than a mile away and we couldn't walk by to wish them good night. We were amused by three trucks flying American flags that went driving past into the BLM land on a late night off road adventure.
We heard owls and cars, coyotes were silent. We fell asleep to a quiet night.
We woke to sunlight and the sound of vehicles. Danny sat up suddenly. He looked out the window of the van. He said it looked like people were gathering for a race. He was right! I looked out at ten or more vehicles with buggies in tow! About twenty people were milling around talking and smiling.
I walked over and greeted them as a truck with two four wheel ATVs drove by. Two dirt bikes roared in the distance. The world had become off road enthusiast heaven! The large group I met were middle age adults headed to the canyon country to have fun. They joked they'd only race if it was to a plate of pancakes, which made me wish I had pancakes to offer! They were very fun to meet, they were out enjoying a gorgeous day!

The gathering off roaders getting ready for pancakes or adventure! 

We caught the end of the gem show this evening. Danny was stunned by the size of the stones and the variety. We are headed to stay with another friend here for a few days, tomorrow we go back to explore further. Danny lived here in the seventies so we plan to explore Tuscon to find the changes and appreciate what the city has become!