It’s now been over four weeks since I crossed a line that put me in the desert. The last time I visited a desert, it was for only a week at spring break, and I was 14. This is the first time I’ve spent any considerable amount of time in one.
It’s another check off my dream list. I’ve lived in forested areas, along the ocean, in a prairie, and now in a desert. I just have mountains left to go to complete that particular dream – one of these summers I’ll work in the mountains.
How does it measure up? Well, for starters it’s a lot less barren than you might think. Or at least, what I always thought as a desert when I was younger. I’d read enough other RV blogs before this that I had an idea what I was getting into before I got here and it wasn’t a complete surprise, but it’s still startling to take a walk around the campground in July when the highs are typically in the 90’s and spy eight different kinds of plant in bloom. It’s dry enough here that I wonder how these weeds manage it. High pollen times in other places I’ve lived are the spring and fall, but there has been pollen alerts for Mt. Carmel pretty much daily since I got here.
The dry took adjusting the first couple weeks I was here. My nose was so dry it hurt, dry and irritated enough that my snot was bloody. Luckily that phase is over, and now I’m thoroughly enjoying it. In South Carolina or Georgia there’s no way I’d be sitting outside for long this time of year, even when the sun goes down it stays muggy and then the bugs get unbearable. Here it gets down into the 60’s most nights, I can sit outside and read in the morning and evening and at night the A/C goes off and the windows get flung open for the chorus of crickets and refreshing breeze. Again this may be a TMI moment, but I don’t need to shower as frequently here – I don’t get as sweaty.
When it rains, it rains. Southern Utah doesn’t have four seasons, but from what the locals say it does have a monsoon season, and we’re either in or near it now.
The weather pattern reminds me of SC in the summer in a way. There’ll be a chance of thunderstorms a few days a week in the afternoon, and they’re the pop up thunderstorms I was use to in the south, just more widespread. Because the air is dryer the rain needs to be heavier to make it to the ground, so sometimes it’ll look like it might rain, but it blows over.
All in all, while it might be hot I’d rate my summer stay in the desert more pleasant than the deep south, although I’m not sure that wouldn’t change if I was lower than 6,000 feet and highs regularly made it into the 100’s.
Oh, here, have some bison. Zion Mountain Ranch has a bison herd (and serve buffalo meat at their restaurant. Coincidence? I think not) and there are several new additions to that herd this year. They’re much easier to photograph here than they were at the Badlands, being watered up by the ranch and more use to people.
Tomorrow is another day off and while I have an appointment to get my laptop fixed (finally, yay!) I’m hoping to have time after that to stop at another natural attraction on the way back. Which one? Well you’ll just have to wait and see!
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