Banjo Visits Mars, Again

Our long-planned spring trip up the Pacific Coast begins with reservations in San Diego soon (but not yet), so we needed a stop west on the way there. Why not revisit Mars (aka Imperial Dam LTVA)? Our seasonal pass is still valid, and we can get mail and packages here, plus a handful of other perks, so here we find ourselves, again.

It’s just as barren and windy and practically lifeless as when we left, and I have a lot of pictures of Banjo here for you because we’re inside a lot, so Banjo is the most lively being around. And that’s saying a lot, since she looks like this most of the time.

. We’ve had a few ”adventures,” though, that I did not get photos of.

  • Me accidentally flooding the trailer by leaving the bathroom sink drain closed and then turning on the water pump after a day of bumpy travel—without first checking to see that all the faucets were closed. (Spoiler: the bathroom sink faucet handle had bumped up while we were on the road, so water poured out of it into the closed sink and then into the entire trailer.) Oops. Grr. Damnit. Big Bummer. I hope I didn’t do damage to the undercarriage, but we will see.
  • Us running into LTVA friend Gary as we were pulling in and he was pulling out to head back home to the MidWest. As in, we’re pulling off the side of the road to make way for a big Class A, and we ask, ”Could that be Gary?!?” Yep. Downside: we don’t get to hang out with him here. Upside: He pointed us to a primo empty camping spot where Banjo can sleep outside in the sun undisturbed.
  • Tracy replacing the water pump in an awkward spot under the oven (the original one had a small leak, unrelated to my flood). Go, Tracy!
  • Me going on a bike ride that turned into an epic adventure that nearly did me in. I wanted to meet yoga friends, Christine and Brian, down by the reservoir so we could spend a hot day in the shade, but I ended up riding along the rocky road, then thinking a better route would be ATV trails (not), then in desperation the burro paths, then in further desperation along the muddy coast of the reservoir. After 50 minutes of pushing my bike up rocky hills and carrying its heavy, muddy self down them (all while wearing a bathing suit coverup and crocs) in 85-degree direct sun, I made it to the secret spot by the water, only for Tracy to drive up a half an hour later in the truck. Oops again.

We had a fun afternoon with Christine and Brian, though, well worth the almost-dying part. They stay here every winter, then go home to their land on a lake in Minnesota for family time every summer.

We hope to enjoy a happy hour with them before we go; their canvas tent should be shelter enough in these absurdly strong winds that began the day after our timely retreat by the water.

Banjo wants to lie outside in the sun despite the wind, but she keeps getting up to find a better spot, like every two minutes, so we made her come inside and just look out the door. She does not approve.

There’s nothing but wind for the rest of the time we’re here, but we have errands to do in Yuma and some cell signal (and that anticipated social happy hour), so bring it on.

This feels like the final rest before we start the Big Trip next week, moving about once a week for eight months—when we settle down again next winter, this time in south Texas. (I’ll post about our winter plans another time, plus note that this map shows only some planned stops and not our exact route.)

This looks like an adventurous eight months, though, yes? Stay tuned!

4 thoughts to “Banjo Visits Mars, Again”

    1. I am so sorry. What’s up with us that we can’t just stay on the road, no matter how illogical it might look on a map?

  1. I’ve done the bike thing twice. Once Ken and I walked the tow path from harpers ferry to Brunswick, not knowing how long it actually is. We were both so desperate for a ride back, that we called Peter for help! It’s a terrible desperate feeling especially in the blazing sun!