Solace atop a Dry Wash

Last I left you, dear readers (I’ve always wanted to type that), we were scrambling for a place to stay near St. George, Utah, south of impending snow. I was feeling rundown with errands and problems and no exact direction.

Not surprisingly, Tracy found us an exceptionally gorgeous campsite—and free—about an hour and a half north east of Las Vegas, where we’re detoxing from humanity.

An app we use to find campsites, Campedium, has a new feature: webcam video from a truck leading you through boondocking roads you otherwise might find dubious. We watched footage of dudes driving all along this area: Poverty Flats Camping, Snowbird Mesa, Sandmine Road. We tried them all.

We got here early in the day, drove from one dirt road through to another, and picked a site right on the edge of a steep dry wash on Sandmine Road.

The campsite is just a dirt circle in the desert, but alongside this beautiful canyon created from rushing water washing away the desert land down to the hard, smooth rock.

We walk the wash each day, pointing out the layers of sedimentary rock way above our heads, plus the cacti at the end stages of fall above, on the mesas.

As Tracy says, everything in the desert is trying to bite you. Banjo is learning to step carefully.

We were looking for a spot to rest and relax as we make plans, but we found a geologic wonder. Banjo gets to lounge in the sun unescorted, we sleep with the window shades open (for the most part), and the sunrise is so bright on the mountains that we almost have to avert our eyes.

Damn near perfect.

Three days with no plans to go anywhere, plus a wind warning that might keep us inside for another day. Just what the doctor ordered.

Unless we can find an Airstream service center (yes, again) with an opening right away, we’ll stay here as long as our tanks hold out. After the holiday weekend, we’ll check out the nearby hot springs, a ghost town, and a state park called Valley of Fire. I kind of feel like we’ve found the valley of fire right here, but if there’s more, I’m all in.

Ukulele Segment

Once again, this is for the scenery only. I’m sitting beside the trailer on our first night here, looking for an excuse to show off the sky. Skip through the beginner playing and singing, I do suggest.

But look at that cloudless sunset. The waning moon, and Venus bright below. Who could blame me for staging just about anything to show that off.

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