Saturday, February 3, 2007


 When you live in a tiny trailer, crappy weather feels permanent. I spent a day and a half in an 8x8 space reading and working on a laptop not connected to the internet. It felt like a week. 

I could have driven to town to be in a different space and get on the internet, or to get other things to read, or to rent a dvd, but that really isn’t consistent with the spirit of this journey of mine. I did not come here to live like I do when I’m at home. And frankly, at home I don’t start up a vehicle every time I want something that is not available in my immediate area. 

There were also practical reasons for me to avoid leaving the POD during the last several days of bad weather. The road I would need to drive almost 10 miles each way when I leave and return gets very slick and messy in bad weather. My truck was already a mess, but packing even more adobe mud into the undercarriage doesn’t seem like a great idea, especially when it is not necessary. And it would be possible to actually have an accident or get stuck. There are some stretches of clay that are crowned and get incredibly slippery when saturated. I’ve seen a few vehicles get stuck in the ditch, and the truck has wiggled around a couple times on those wet stretches, even in 4-wheel-drive. And then of course there is the cost of going even without mishap.

Beyond all those reasons is my desire to live in a more zen existence and therefore to council myself—this time is not ideal, but bad weather passes.

That has turned out to be true. This too did pass. I woke up Friday morning with a large moon shining in my eyes. Stars were visible from horizon to horizon. When dawn came it was clear. The desert, which loves moisture, looked fat and satisfied. There was thick, frosty ice on the truck’s windshield. But I scraped it, loaded up the truck and got going early. I had a list of things that weren’t frivolous or unnecessary, and I wanted to get to pavement before the road thawed. Along with my laundry, water jug, and grocery list I loaded up the Surly. 

I parked in a Pima Community College parking lot on the west side of town at mid-morning, pulled on lycra (including legwarmers—it was sunny but less than 55°) and rolled out to climb over Gates Pass toward the low desert beyond the Tucson Mountains. My legs felt fresh after two days of forced rest. It only took about half an hour for me to summit Gates Pass and zoom down the western side. I found an almost deserted road (McCain Loop Road) that rolled up and down through the Saguaros in Tucson Mtn Park then exited the Saguaro forest to the west and rolled down a long gradual descent on Mile Wide Road. I headed west until the road turned to dirt, followed the dirt until it turned north, then turned around and headed back up. I went south to the Ajo Highway and followed that east back into the Tucson basin and rode surface streets back up to the Pima Community College. About three hours, never felt the need to remove the leg warmers, but it was so wonderful to ride in sunshine. It was wonderful to ride. 

I got back to the truck around 2:00 PM, spent the rest of the day running around getting things taken care of, like laundry, groceries, a shower, then returned to the POD as the sun was setting. Surprisingly, the road was still pretty wet even though the sun had shown on it all day. It’s gotten really beat up since I’ve been here. 

The evening was so sweet and pretty, I felt compelled to mount the lights on my bike and go ride for an hour or so. I had a really nice, really easy 90 minutes on the bike. Then went back to the POD and ate dinner, watched an episode of South Park on my laptop, and hit the hay. 

Back to the life I came here to live. Yeah baby!

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