Challenge: Using prose or poetry, write about Friday the Thirteenth. Or, write about anything in July (including the U.S. Independence Day). If you live in a country that has a major celebration of some kind in July, please share it with us.
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Until I sat down and started thinking about this post, I never realized how boring July can be. Let’s see…
I got married in July -- already posted a photo-essay about that.
I almost died in Death Valley in July -- already posted that story.
That only leaves me with talking about my current Independence Day celebration when Greg (oldest son) and I went camping in the Mojave Desert.
It was destined to be a not-so-good trip when Greg got here on Tuesday morning and didn’t have the chili ready. We had to go to the store, buy everything, and then he had to make it. While he was chopping the onions, he sliced into his finger and bled all over the kitchen counter, floor, and onions.
Typical of our camping trips and our run-ins with Murphy’s Law, we forgot a number of things and other things just went wrong.
I’m going to change this into a mini-photo-essay to show you how our days went.
We returned to Afton Canyon for this trip and we were wondering if we’d run into Ted and Lucky again. On our first trip, Oct 2005, we ran into two male nudists at that same campground. They weren’t here this time, so we set up camp. I have to include this picture because Greg was rather put off by it. When he sliced his finger open, I asked if he wanted a band-aid, he said yes, and I got one out without showing him what it was. Here’s Greg messing with my GPS showing off his Ronald McDonald band-aid.
Here’s a picture of the campground, looking north from our space.
And, what would camping be without taking a nap in the afternoon. Hmm, those cement tables and benches are sooooo comfortable.
Here’s dinner cooking with Greg in the background.
Here’s another shot of dinner (the chili) cooking.
Here’s a shot of the camp space on the second day.
We see so many bats when we’re camping and I never manage to get a picture of them. Both nights, as the sun was setting, bats flooded the area. There were, literally, hundreds of them flying around our camp space. We had been covered with flies and horse flies all day until the bats showed up and then there wasn’t an insect to be found. I ran two videos for several minutes and the bats were just blurs zipping around. I finally snapped this one picture and accidentally got a picture of a bat in there.
Greg is almost always right about what animals we see, but I have to disagree with him on this one. He said it was a Brown Nosed Bat and I couldn’t find any reference that said they inhabited the Mojave Desert. The closest match I could find was the California leaf-nosed bat (Macrotus californicus). The jury’s still out on what we actually saw those two nights.
Finally, here’s a picture of a typical sunset on the desert.
The second day was a total disaster. We ran out of ice and beer. When Greg pulled the pot of chili out of the car, he asked me if it smelled all right. I sniffed it, said, “Smells okay to me,” and we put it on the fire.
Within seconds, Greg called me over and said, “What’s that stuff?”
I looked, stuck a fork into the “stuff,” and said, “That’s mold.”
We have done this so many times that it seemed strange to us. We’ll cook a pot of chili for dinner one night, put the top on, let it sit through the day, and then cook it again the second night and we’ve never -- until now -- had any mold on it. Hmm, guess the temperature and humidity were just right this trip.
Greg and I love the desert and, every trip, try to stretch our trips out as long as possible. That Thursday morning, we were sitting at the table sipping our last couple warm beers and Greg mentioned that he really wanted a Slurpee or Icee or Slushie, or whatever else the things were called.
Okay, I’m sitting here at nine o’clock in the morning in ninety degree heat with almost no humidity, sipping a warm beer and…
We packed up, drove the twenty miles to the first place that offered one of those iced drinks, and finished them before we were twenty miles down the road.
All in all, it was a pretty typical camping trip for us. The only problem was that we didn’t take any fireworks with us and there was nobody else around to shoot any off so our Independence Day celebration was somewhat restricted in that area.
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As always, I'll leave you with a picture of the desert that Greg and I love so much.
We always have people asking us why we would even consider camping there. They add that there's nothing there.
Once you learn the ways of the desert, you find life everywhere. Yeah, a lot of it is deadly, but you only need to learn how to survive.
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