Sandblasting Day (Apr 25 2014)

LoneRock23.JPGWell, what do you know. The critters are gone. Maybe I scared them away at Wahweap. Or they found a better home.

The day begins well – relaxing with coffee and talking about where we’ll go on the kayak today. After breakfast of yogurt, strawberries, bananas and fig jam, we walk up to the entrance to pay our camping fee for the night.

When we get back to Sprockets, however, the wind starts seriously picking up. And picking up the reddish sand in big dust swirls. I can’t sit outside – it’s in my hair, eyes, ears, nose. And if I leave a door open, it’s inside Sprockets. Gritty dust all over everything. Sometimes it dies down and lulls you outside, only to blast you with sand moments later. This is a scruffing I’d rather not endure.

LoneRock24.JPG“We can’t go out on the water in this wind,” Big Dog says.

“We can’t go out at all,” I add.

After lunch (rice fried with ham and 2 eggs, hummus and crackers) we take the dishes up to the big restroom structure. Big Dog wants to shower. We both want to brush our teeth. When we get to the building, I think it’s hot enough to shower in the outdoor shower but it’s a misty spray that wets you down and when the wind comes… brrrr! No way can you get into that. But I stupidly tough it out enough to wash my hair only to find out that the water is too alkaline and the water not abundant enough to rinse out the soap scum. I feel worse than before.

I do manage to wash our dishes in the tiny bathroom sink, though, with slightly muddy-looking water.

“We have to move,” says Big Dog. We look down at poor Sprockets getting sandblasted on the bluff above the lake.

LoneRock25.JPGLoneRock26.JPGThe parking lot near the bathroom structure seems alright. We don’t know if we’re allowed to be here, but one van’s been here overnight. It’s probably as windy but at least there’s less sand to be blasted. As we look out to Sprockets, we see a mini sandstorm pushing across the ridge every time a gust hits.

We quickly pack up, deflating the kayak enough to shove into Sprockets and move away from Sandblast Central.

The parking lot is reasonably level and close to usable water!

Our neighbor in the van is an old Korean War vet with a fluffy dog that looks like a stuffed animal, a teddy bear. The disabled vet’s name is Jim and his furry friend is Pepper. They don’t seem to mind company at all – we all gab for a long while, sitting outside on chairs with the back of Sprockets open to create wind blocks.

Jim seems like many others I have met: men and women giving up on human relationships and making their “significant other” a dog or a cat. This must be a New American Phenomenon. Men seem to have one dog. Women can have several cats. I can totally understand.

We sit around all day, reading old newspapers, before I kluge together a dinner of canned corn with ham, pasta with fresh tomatoes and parmesan and a bit of arugula.

A young-ish French couple in a rental mini-van have joined us in the parking lot. They’re from Santa Barbara and we get to see their rig, a “Jucy” rental. It’s quite ingeniously designed to stuff the most into a limited space.

JucyRentacar.JPG
A “Jucy” camper at Death Valley

Jucy is one of the hipper, newer rental campers that we are seeing more and more of, like the Escape Campers with their street art paint job, and Wicked Campers.

LoneRock27.JPG

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Author: ontheroadwithsprockets

I've been traveling since I was born -- the first big trip was before I was two, across the Pacific, from my native Japan to Los Angeles on a cargo ship. There have been many journeys since then, through many continents and cultures.

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