Cold Shot

First, an appropriate soundtrack.

Everyone on the Quartzsite Facebook groups has been freaking out about temperatures dipping into the 30s overnight this weekend. This morning I woke up to 35º outside and 40º in the van. Certainly, it’s not optimum. It’s not even comfortable. And it’s colder than what we designed the van to be able to handle.


This was my reality a year ago. Much colder temperatures, feet of snow, and being at the mercy of the worst plow guy in the world. (This particular day he showed up earlier than we were told he would. Tell me this isn’t intentional.) During those short, cold winter days, with the Olympian Wave 3 running full blast and our hands in pain from handling cold metal, I was dreaming of weather even as warm as I’m experiencing now.

Plus, that’s as cold as it got. As soon as the sun is up, it warms up quickly. I cranked up that same heater and removed my windshield cover (the van faces the sunrise) to collect as much passive solar heating as I could as well. Making coffee also added to the warmth inside. Within an hour it was warm enough inside to turn off the heater completely.

One of the most important lessons I learned from 2021 is that everything’s relative and things can always be worse. So when I see people complaining about temperatures in the 30s, I have to laugh to myself, keep quiet, and move on. Because this is my blog, though, I can say whatever I want, so I’m venting to you.

It’s not that bad. Yes, this is not the desert warmth I signed up for. What am I going to do? If I drive 80 miles to Yuma, as far south as I can get right now on the Mexican border, it’ll be just 4º warmer. We’ll still see highs in the 50s today, which is a far cry from New Hampshire. Plus, after a few days of this, highs will be back in the 60s and 70s, with 40s and 50s overnight. We did design the van to handle 40s and 50s, so it’ll be fine.

Maybe I didn’t completely avoid winter like I’d hoped to. But this really is just a brief cold shot, not six months of winter like I had in New England. If winter only lasts a few days with no snow to shovel, I’m perfectly fine with that.

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