My second night in the desert outside of Gila Bend during my normal sleep transition hallucinations an old woman banged on my window and told me to get out. Later in town I learned on the edge of the BLM Wildlands (part of the Sonora Desert National Monument) where I was 'camped' a woman had run a store on the 8 highway. She was murdered and her store burned 50 years ago. Her name was Nila or Nera or something like that.
The rules stated that you could camp for 14 days and then you had to move at least 25 miles. Although I had been surveilled by drones made to look like birds, nobody had bothered me. But I was sick of digging and didnt want to break any rules, so on day 13 I hired a mechanic from town to pull me out. I gave him $100 and a fruit punch and with his classic Jeep Wrangler he had me out and onto the road in 30 minutes.
I moved the rig to an abandoned watering corral and set about finishing some of the work I had started on the RV. I made a motorcycle ramp from the boards my friend had brought me. He had been passing by doing a delivery and brought me a shovel and some 2x6 boards. They worked well until my power steering belt came off and derailed the alternator belt. I used some washers and an extra nut to re-align the pulley with the motor and a new belt and was ready to go. No rattlesnakes for two weeks, but dog found one my last night. I heard it hiss and rattle, pulled dog into the trailer and searched for bites. Went looking with my Sig Sauer cocked and poked the bushes with my walking stick. Couldn't find it.
No harm no foul I suppose.
The truck barely made it over the hill into Yuma. No way it will make it over the next hills into the west unless I get it to stop vapor locking. Backfiring only under load up hills. The bus full of exhausted migrant workers I had passed earlier in the day passed me as I struggled, hazards flashing, to put 'Dateland' behind me into Yuma Foothills.
Spent 2 nights in a Walmart parking lot. My motor mounts had shredded, probably from the abuse of thrashing out of every new desert rut my tired tires dug. Eventually the motor got so cockeyed that my clutch pedal got stuck and I couldnt get into gear. Celebrating my white trash heritage I made a clamp out of some Lowes fence post U bolts and made it to an Indian Reservation where you can camp for $110 for 3 months. My neighbors here are older, a few of them with PTSD from Nam and one who doesn't seem to feel that he killed enough 'gooks'. Between these people on the edge and the Craigslist Mechanics I've spoken with, there is an entire layer of America wrapped up in Recreational Vehicles and a barter economy loosely related to the US dollar.
The only market in this small town is run by Koreans. For some reason I find that hilarious. But the ground beef and Miller High Lifes they sell have been so hitting. Tonight I learned you can take lipton Onion Gravy powder and just mush it into ground beef and burn it and make just about the greatest meal ever.
The American Canal is here, so watering the dog and cleaning my tools has just become free. I don't care for chlorine and fluoride so I've been drinking nothing but bottles of purified or distilled water for the past few years. Walmart sells a gallon of water with minerals added for a buck, meant for babies. For some reason they also have a version of this water for babies, who don't have teeth, with added fluoride. Wrap that around your head. The American consumer is sick.
When I was still stuck in Gila Bend my scent must have become very provocative. The bugs must have come for miles. I couldnt use a headlamp at night or some indiana jones shit would be circling my face and decorating my beard. What evolutionary reason is there that moths and flies and other bugs are so attracted to lights and flames? I welcomed a praying mantis who mounted an african carving totem I have in my window. He set up shop and cleaned his antennae for an hour. With what little zen I could muster I watched him and ignored the other bugs. But with their provocation and the signal from the rattler, I left that desert behind for this new one.
The gulley I parked next to has a huge beautiful meandering tree. Some kind of pine. In its boughs there is a perfect hammock, padded with pine needles. Shade.