Return to Imperial Dam

It’s been a hectic several days. I’m glad to have made it back to Imperial Dam to settle in and stay put for a little while. This spectacular sunset greeted me the evening I got back. Wow. Birgit and Tom have been here the whole time I’ve been away. With my consent, they moved into the campsite at the tip of the peninsula where I’d parked my first time here. I wasn’t using it, and this way they wouldn’t have somebody we don’t know going in and out past them constantly. I parked myself in the spot they’d taken upon arrival, directly across the vault toilet. It’s not very busy here, so almost no one except us is using it.

I’ve been able to deploy and enjoy a few things I picked up in Palm Springs. My camp chairs gave up the ghost just as I was leaving Quartzsite, so I bought a replacement. Right next to the chairs, I saw the roll-up camp table I’ve been wanting to pick up all winter. It folds up small enough to stash behind the fridge and gives me a good outdoor flat space that isn’t attached to the van. This morning I sat through a couple of work meetings with the reservoir in the background, making my co-workers wonder if my Zoom background was real or virtual. I’m evil and enjoy teasing them like that.

Finally, I splurged for a 3-inch foam topper for my bed. Either the futon is getting harder, or I’m getting softer. Probably a bit of both, actually. Anyway, it’s much more comfortable than it was, and I’m sleeping better than I used to.

Lister was an absolute jerk for most of the drive here from Joshua Tree. He spent the majority of the time yowling his head off, probably because I had the audacity to put two boxes of unused firewood I’d bought on his floor. But since being here, he has been absolutely thrilled. He’s spent most of his time exploring the trees and beds of pine needles next to the van. I honestly think he’s missed trees while we’ve been in the desert for the past few months. Yesterday, in fact, he completely missed dinner time, he was enjoying it so much. I had to walk over and open a can of food in front of him to get his attention.

This was a pretty awful sight yesterday morning. The smoke was coming from the LTVA and was clearly somebody’s home on fire. Between the local Facebook group and ham radio crowd, I’ve learned that nobody was hurt, but the camper van that burned was a total loss, as well as everything in it, even the owner’s wallet. I know that feeling all too well and am hoping there’s something I can do to help now that I’m fairly well off after my own close call with a fire that jump-started this journey.

I’ve spent the past couple of days catching up on work, catching up on posting here, and enjoying sitting still for a moment. The weekend is here, and I plan to enjoy exploring the area a bit more on my bike. I also need to start figuring out a plan for leaving this area before it gets too hot. The first couple of nights this year that I’ve been able to leave the roof vent open overnight were quite enjoyable, with the constant flow of fresh air. We just had a few days in the 80s, though it’s back down to the 60s during the day.

It’s slowly warming up, though, which means I’ll need to get moving out of here sometime in the next few weeks. I’m not sure whether I’ll head up the California coastline, take an inland route, or even cast my previous plans aside and just move to higher elevations here in the southwest. Some of it will depend on how gas prices behave over the next few weeks. If they skyrocket, I might not want to drive as far as I’d previously planned. We’ll have to see. At any rate, I don’t have to make those decisions right now, and can probably get away with another month or so in this area before temperatures start to get uncomfortably hot here.

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