Cave Troll Plots Escape from Mars

Okay, maybe I’m taking these metaphors too far. But a travel blogger who finds herself stationary in a near-lifeless desert and then gets stuck in her bedroom, thus reducing her world to a smaller sphere than her readers’, has to resort to colorful language.

The good news behind all the flourish is that this cave troll is emerging into the sunlight and finds she hasn’t turned to stone. Yes, I finally tested negative for Covid-19.

I’m still “foggy, rather groggy,” as a Phish song goes, and I haven’t even felt like walking off our campsite yet, but the negative test is motivation to recuperate slowly so it’s sure.

(I see from this photo that the scar tissue is visible from where I smacked myself in the mouth with the power drill while adjusting a weight-distribution bar on the trailer hitch this past fall. I hope that’s the only unwanted physical remnant of these past few months. Plus, if I’m just now seeing this, maybe I should get a mirror.)

The Plotting Part

As it would be mighty idiotic timing for Tracy to get sick precisely as we’re getting back on the road, we’ve delayed departure for one day (oh, the pain!), and I’m continuing to isolate as I wait for consecutive negatives—from both of us. The to-do list for going mobile will take a couple of days, anyway.

Today Tracy’s going into Yuma for the last time to fill up with propane (again; it’s still cold at night here) and grab our mail and do all last-minute errands. Then he’s got a day’s worth of organizing the bed of the truck so he can fit all our outside stuff back in there.

This campsite photo is evidence of all our crap; I took it during the only time I’ve ever seen the campsite without the actual camper on it (you can see our tire tracks at right). Tracy had just pulled away to dump the black tank, and I’d stayed back for the first time ever (you know, sick). What a weird sight, like all the negative space has been revealed.

Tracy’s got to put the bike rack back on the front of the truck and remount the bikes, plus a million other labor-intensive and brain-taxing tasks to get everything put back, like a giant game of Tetris. But one with a few additional pieces, and they’re all covered in dirt.

Speaking of dirt, if I’m still testing negative and feeling better tomorrow, I’ll take on the puzzle of getting the inside of the trailer cleaned and ready for the road. Normally, I clean a little each day (this is not me being weird—dirt congregates and multiplies in a small space), so when I finally emerge from the bedroom, I’ll need to shake this trailer upside down until at least some of it falls out.

I think we’ll leave Banjo here. She’s so dirty we’ve been calling her “Pigpen” after the Peanuts character: she’s surrounded by a cloud of dust, and don’t even try to pet her. This is what her fur looked like when I gave it a try. Hint: she is normally black on top.

Even if you vigorously de-dirt her, she’ll apply a new layer within minutes just by lying down. Tracy keeps telling her he’s going to throw her in the ocean, but we have to live with her until we get there at the end of March.

The Escape Part

Knock on aluminum, we’ll be at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument on Wednesday for a week. It’s more desert, but less beaten up by people than here and full of delicate (and sharp) life. I can hardly wait.

Our friends Doug and Melanie kindly vetted the campground and hiking trails for us last month, thanks, guys! 😉 I doubt I’ll be hiking, but it’ll feel great to be somewhere else, and Tracy will love the hikes and birdwatching, according to our man-on-the-scene, Doug.

I’ll content myself with looking at his photos again—I stole the one above from his stash. (Don’t you wish he were this blog’s photographer? Melanie makes a great subject for perspective, too.)

I’ll update again before we leave, if only to provide myself with a retrospective of Imperial Dam LTVA. I’ll need to remind myself of what I’ve enjoyed here so it’s not just Covid I remember. It hasn’t been all Troll Life for the past two months … right?

Or, maybe I’ll just move on!