Sunday, November 21, 2010

11/9/10 Day 37

     We got up and packed up fairly early, so we would be ready when Tom came to get his keys back.  This wasn’t necessary though, as Tom was running late.  We didn’t mind, however, because there was a balmy breeze blowing.  It felt nice to let the warm sun wash over us as we sat on the terrace and waited.
     Tom showed up eventually and we snapped a picture with him before returning his keys.  Then we headed to Albertsons to stock up on groceries for the trek to the next stop, but first we snagged a late breakfast at Yum Yum Donuts.  The roads and freeways were actually pretty easily navigated and were not permanently gridlocked despite our preconceived notions. 

     We stopped at a rest area for lunch after crossing the border into Arizona, and Virginia looked in some of our campground guides to find our stop for the night.  We settled on a Land Management Area near the Cholla Cactus Garden because it was only several hours away and it was right off the highway AND it was free.  It was dark when we got to the entrance, which was simply a dirt road leading away from the highway exit and into the Mojave Desert.  A couple of miles out we found the camping area, which was just a circular clearing on the rocky ground.  There were no picnic tables or toilet facilities and the only signs of human life were a junk pile, a stone fire circle and a few empty and broken beer bottles scattered in the red rocky dirt.  
     We had to use the headlights on the car so we could see to set up the tent.  When we were done and had shut off the car, losing our only source of light other than our headlamps, there was nothing to do but eat our leftover donuts and read until we felt sleepy.  It was pretty chilly as we slumbered that night and I had a feeling we wouldn’t want to spend anymore nights in the desert with only a tent to shield us from the elements. 

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