Monday, May 16 (continued)
I had mixed emotions about coming back to Sawtooth Canyon Campground. When I started boondocking in January, I’d decided somewhat arbitrarily that I didn’t want to visit the same camp twice in the same year. There are so many great places to see, and to me one of the points of RVing is to broaden one’s horizons.
Arriving at a camp not knowing exactly what to expect is part of the magic. Coming over that last hill or around that last bend is like opening a Christmas present. Not yet have I felt letdown upon arriving at a new place. Some are better than others of course, but they’re all unique and that uniqueness makes them special. Going RVing is a great exercise in appreciating what you have, in making the best of a situation.
Coming back to a camp you’ve been gone from less than two months, that anticipation isn’t there. It could have felt tired, like something revisited too soon to be able to appreciate it. But when I pulled in I was relieved to find that it felt correct. It had been about a month since I’d been dry camping (Walmarts and truck stops don’t count) and getting away from the crowds of the San Francisco area was a relief.
Besides a single tent camper, the place is empty. Last time I was here I was in site 3, which ended up being my second favorite site. But this time my favorite, site 14, is open. Besides being level and having good separation, it has a rock with a window in it. I’ve been waiting to get this picture since I discovered it: Cas and Bertha through the window.
For newer readers, Sawtooth Canyon is a BLM campground midway between Lucerne Valley and Barstow, CA. It has 14 sites, is a rock climbing destination, and will be a pay campground soon – but until the paperwork is cleared it’s free. Which is a fantastic price for a beautiful place like this. There are no services aside from pit toilets (garbage is pack in pack out), but the scenery is hard to beat if you like rock formations.
The peace and quiet is great. In the evening, a band of clouds to the north provide a point of interest in the sky.
Tuesday, May 17
The sight of rain clouds fills most campers with dread and usually I’m no exception. But today the rain barely makes it to the ground, the land to the north and west sucks most of the moisture out of the air before it arrives over the desert. Instead I get pleasant temperatures and a fun sky to photograph between stints of work on the computer.
Around 4 pm it finally sprinkles for about five minutes. I get a picture out of my office (dinette) window at the prominently featured window rock under gray skies. If you still have to work as a full-timer, having a view like this makes it a lot easier!
The clouds blow over later in the day and the sun comes back out to say goodbye.
Wednesday, May 18
A winged visitor makes an appearance at camp in the morning, perched regally on the top of the window rock. C’mon, turn your head so I can get a good photo…. yes!
As the day heats up, Jessica and I retreat to the shaded picnic table for an afternoon siesta of lizard watching and reading, respectively. Fluffy white clouds form and pass overhead in waves, offering a great opportunity to zone out and watch the sky. Near sunset, the changing colors make them even more interesting.
A bunny freezes on the evening walk, hoping it hasn’t been seen. I get a photo a moment before it bolts into the creosote.
Thursday, May 19
Today, I took Jessica home to her new foster family. She seems happy with them, and they seem more than happy with her. I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up being her forever family.
It’s a day for contemplation. This camp is a good place for it.
Bees buzz around the last of the yellow creosote flowers, their unique tangy smell thick in the air.
On sun-warmed rocks, lizards of several types make their beds. Birds, invisible in the brush, sing the occasional song. Otherwise the breeze is the only sound. That’ll change tomorrow when the weekend crowd starts arriving.
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