From the Desert: What I Know Today

From somewhere in the Sonoran Desert…

This is what I know today.

  • It is thrilling to see desert big horn sheep in their natural habitat.

    Desert Big Horns

  • Don’t sit on a cholla cactus. It is painful.
  • Javalina are not always the most graceful of animals. I saw one slip down the surface of a boulder today. It was OK.
  • Little wild flowers in the desert are amazing and beautiful. They bloom in such an arid and rugged environment, last maybe a week or two and then are gone until the next good winter rain season.
  • Water is a must in the desert. No water equals little to zero life. Here in the Sonoran Desert there are tinajas (water tanks). The amount of water in these may be small or large and they maintain some amount of water year round. It is not always the most inviting water to look at.
  • If a person wants to find out what animals are in the desert, go to the tinajas. You will know. Almost every living animal needs water. The footprints at these tanks reveal the animal life around you.
  • Bees at the Tinaja

    Bees need water too. Be respectful of them. I am not sure which ones are killer bees and which ones aren’t. I am respectful.

  • The desert is cold in the winter.
  • Almost everything in the desert is poky, prickly and hurts. Watch where you walk and put your hands.
  • What looks like the easiest way down is not always the easiest way.
  • Carry hiking poles. They come in handy.
  • A compass is a good idea when I cross country hike.
  • Always bring a camera.
  • I know that I need alone time to recuperate.

I know that like attracts like. If I am unhappy, I attract those with issues. I do believe that what a person puts out into the universe they get back. This year I decided to push myself to be more social. Grief has isolated me, in some ways, and I decided that I might want to give some energy to becoming more social. Small groups are good.

I began to travel in southern Arizona in late January. The desert is an amazing, healing place for me. I have been meeting people. Really nice people. I am meeting them in group sizes I can handle. I have met Roadtrekers, R-podders, Pleasurewayers and more. I have enjoyed everyone’s company. I have seen some interesting vehicles and campers. Mostly, I have met nice people. Instead of staying inside my RV I walk the campgrounds and stop and talk to people. Meeting others is easy: all I have do is ask about their rig.

I also know, the longer one stays in one place the more you get to know your fellow campers and the people from the town, if you are near one. Roger and Linda were the campground hosts in the National Forest campground near Portal, AZ. I had fun with them for the almost two weeks I stayed there. We hiked and bird watched and talked. Lovely people who I now can consider a bit more than acquaintances. I hope to meet up with them again.

Ruth, is a solo Roadtreker. I met her at Chiricahua National Monument. She was coming in as I was leaving. Two weeks later I was camping on BLM land and there was Ruth. I felt like she was a kindred spirit the moment I met her. We are now talking about doing some traveling together. I look forward to that. I think solo travelers share a bond.

I first met Sandy and Pat at the White Water Draw Wildlife refuge. Six of us decided to camp together so we could see the sandhill cranes fly in the morning. I have now met up with Sandy and Pat three times. We seem to get along well. I am hoping to meet up with them again when I arrive in the Anza Borrego State Park this coming weekend. One thing I recognize when meeting new people is the natural curiosity we all have. We ask questions and tell stories, get to know each other.

The comaraderie of all the folks I have met is delightful. We share a common bond, travel and adventure. With many we share the Roadtreking experience. Each person I have met has encouraged me to explore the next human experience.

As I begin to make my way back to San Diego, taxes and the dentist await, I will treasure the time I have spent in the Sonoran. Life in the desert is magic, made just that much richer by the kind and wonderful people I have met. I will be back and hope to meet some of these folks again.

I look forward to continuing to meet others as my travels allow. A little bit at a time, with times in between to be silent and listen and just be. The combination of socialization and solo time is just perfect for me.

Javalinas-so homely they are cute





  • Carol

    Very nice article–enjoyed your reflections.