Desert Oddities

I loved being at Roy’s, no matter how much it differed from my actual story.  I’m not sure why, though?  Why was it fun to walk around the church, the only person doing so, by the way, and why was it fun to try to see inside?  (ok, try to GET inside – but all the doors were locked.)

It’s the same fun I get wandering around a castle or a ruin or a battlefield in Europe.  I guess it’s a connection to history.  To stories or events that I found interesting.

Anyway, drove away from Amboy in a cloud of dush, a town owned by one man (something I must remember for another story).  No sooner had I got up to 100, then I saw things I wanted to take pictures of.  Weird things.  Things that I would use in future stories.

The shoe tree.  My goodness.  Considering the local population of Amboy was 1, there were a lot of shoes.  Why this site?  Why only one shoe?  Was there a reason?  Took a picture and missed not being able to talk to Margot about it.

I drove north towards the Mojave Desert national park. I doubted the countryside would be that much better but had time and wanted to look at this area.  The sun was out, but I could see clouds in the distance.  No matter, as long as the clouds didn’t bugger up any of my shots, I’d be happy.

As I entered, I stopped at the park sign and info center.  Read everything, even the part about making sure I had enough gas. I had a quarter tank.  That should be enough, right?

Stopped at every pretty shot and every interesting plant and sometimes, I just stopped to look at the rocks.  A completely different landscape than anything in BC.

But as I drove north, the clouds began to close in and man, when the sun goes, the desert gets kinda depressing.  Very dark.  Very grey.  Very bleak.

Stopped for lunch, but not at the photo place, (I took that because it was cool) and then I looked at the time.  2:40 and decided against what would be about a 6 hour drive to the Valley of Death.  For some reason, also had a headache.  Grrrr.

So home I went.

And into a desert storm.

Boy, when the rain comes, it really comes.  As I hurtled down the highway, the wind picked up and buffeted the car, then the rain came in huge, thundering drops, and then, then the lightning started.

Oh my.

I love lightning storms.

LOVE THEM.

But I tell you, driving in one, a whole different experience.  Wind hammered every car on the highway and gigantic, long streaks of lightning shot from the sky, straight down, zip, zap, lighting up the road and the sky with a great flash.

No one, and I mean no one, drove with one hand on the steering wheel.  It was all 10 and 2.  No one and I mean no one went over the speed limit.  It was 60 and I did 50 and I wasn’t the slowest one.

The odd thing though was I didn’t hear any thunder.  No loud cracks, no rolling booms.  It was the strangest thing to see lightning hit the ground about 40 feet from me and hear nothing.  Kinda freaky, actually.

It got my heart beating a little faster, especially when the lightning would strike just to the side of the road.  I won’t deny it, with the wind and the rain on top of it all, it was a little frightening.

But I drove through it, through 3 separate storms actually and made it without being hit by lightning or blown off the road.

And, as I came out of the storm, I saw a place I HAD to visit.

About Joe Cummings

Aquarius. Traveler. Gamer. Writer. A New Parent. 4 of these things are easy. One is not. But the journey is that much better for the new people in my life. A life I want to share with others, to help them, maybe, to make them feel less alone, sure, to connect with the greater world, absolutely.
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