During our week out in the desert, we cooked, played some songs, bathed in the hot springs and took some naps. We both felt restless and wondered what we were getting out of our desert retreat, and if it was what we needed. Before arriving we had discussed our expectations and hopes for the break. I wanted some rest, some comfort and a lot of sun. I wanted to do some painting and sunbathing, and I hoped to find the inspiration and excitement I needed to continue on the journey. Sam wanted sunshine, campfires and to answer some inner questions he’d been asking.
It had been a difficult few months before hand, with being overworked, broke, and dealing with breakdowns with our cars and our RV. By that time we had broke down so many times on the side of the road, that I was used to breakdowns. I saw them as an expense, but also an opportunity to make lunch, maybe grab a nap (poor Sam the mechanic didn’t get naps, he had to work). Even when we were in the desert, our fuel pump was going out and giving us issues that we would have to resolve after leaving our ‘retreat’. Throughout our travels we were so determined to do this dream, that we pushed ourselves through the exhaustion, pain and emotional stress we experienced. So by the time we got out into the desert, we were tired, but we had been driven into a sort of mania, and it was very difficult to relax. We brought what we thought was enough booze for the trip, but drank it all within two days. Did we really drink all that?
Sam and I didn’t know how long we would be out there so we packed a month’s worth of food. We had many food stashes, and had filled the storage under the ‘dining room’ bench seats with dry pasta, canned fish, beans and soup, chips, salsas, cookies and lots more. In addition to all the food we also carried all of the music equipment we needed for our two piece rock band. Five guitars, two 50 watt combo amps, a 5 piece drum kit, monitor, and all the other odds and ends. Our over the cab bed area was housing most of the stuff along with a couple cupboards, a closet and the shower too. We really packed a lot of stuff in there, yet we had all the space we needed to be comfortable. You would never know we carried so much stuff. I’m rather proud of our clever pack job, and if I meet you, reader, when Sam and I are on the road next, I am more than happy to show it off.
The fourth day we were there a massive rainstorm hit, and if you remember, we had sprung a leak back in Newport we had yet to fix. It was a very depressing day, water was running like a faucet through the leak (which was directly above all our music equipment in the upper cab sleeper). We had our amps and other things taking up our walking space, and pots and pans catching the few, but furious, leaks. We had several overcast days after, and so we discussed our departure. It was already late September, and we wondered if the sunshine was leaving for good. On the day we decided to leave we had showers in the morning, and it was cool and overcast. We knew we had made the right desicion. We headed for the San Francisco Bay area in hopes of a little sun, to dry our our rig and lift our spirits. I remember how good it felt to leave, and how restless we had felt that week. We had some good times, and some rest, but it wasn’t quite what we were looking for. I suppose the highway has always been where we both have felt most comfortable. New places, new trees, birds, new ways to live. . . When we’ve stayed in one place for too long, it seemed to eat away at us. Change and new discovery is what we’ve found that really what keeps us happy (although we do need to learn how to take a break once in a while). But you know what they say, ‘You can sleep when you’re dead’.