Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sabbatical Day 1

I am in a teeny rustic cabin in the wilds of the Mojave desert.  It is very cold; last night was below freezing and very windy, but I was warm and snug in my old but oh so very reliable Kelty down sleeping bag.  It's rated for 20 degrees F, so extra blankets were unnecessary.  I did have to cover my head, though.  Oh, it was warmer in the cabin than outside.  Probably in the mid 40s.  I slept just fine.

Water is terribly expensive in the desert, and so, I am doing my best to be a good guest and conserve. This goes beyond flushing every other pee.  Rather than running the water until the solar-heated hot stuff could reach the tap, I made more hot water than I needed for my morning oolong and used the rest to take a cat bath.  It's too bloody cold for a shower and wet hair, anyway.

The mistake a lot of folks make about the desert is that it is hot all of the time.  It is both extremely hot in the summer and very cold in the winter, which is why only the heartiest flora and fauna can survive here.  With that heartiness comes an unusual beauty that few take the time to see.

I hope to capture some of that beauty today.  I am heading out to Joshua Tree National Park to sketch in the Joshua Tree Forest.  I'm not the first to do so, but I want to bring my perspective of the twisted, fronded, overgrown lillies to the world.  So, I'm going to finish my tea, now, and get moving.

This is me, standing up in the loft sleeping area of the cabin.  People taller than my 61 inches would have to stoop.