It’s certainly been an interesting year for me out here in the desert. I’ve been managing this campground here at Chiriaco Summit since about the first of the year. It was also my first summer spent in the extreme heat that the desert is so notorious for.
I learned a few lessons about coping with that blistering heat, mainly that as important as staying hydrated is, water alone isn’t enough. After a couple of months of 100° plus temperatures, you’ve sweated out a huge amount of salts and electrolytes. Water doesn’t replace them. By mid August we were almost laid flat from electrolyte loss but didn’t recognize what the symptoms meant. We did a little research and the light came on, and it was a pretty simple fix to get back on our feet. A capful of apple cider vinegar, the real thing and not the artificial stuff, in a cup of water several times a day along with a bit of sea salt is one of the best ways to replenish lost electrolytes. After a couple of days, back to normal. Lesson learned.
The biggest change, and the most exciting one has been getting together with Elaine. After almost twenty years of being a solitary and single old crank, and being one out of choice, and fully expecting to stay that way also out of choice, to hook up with a woman was a surprise to say the least. We’ve known each other for about three years now, and the light finally went on for both of us. She’s a wonder… she’s been camped out here in the desert, in primitive conditions, for over three years and prefers to live this way. Best of all, she wants to be with me. As solitary as I’ve been, when this beautiful woman decided she wanted to share a life with me, all I could say was welcome to my world. Only a fool would have it any other way.
We’ve combined our camps into one, and are trying out different equipment over the winter months to see what works out the best for whatever we may decide to do. We may stay here and keep this as a home base, or we may decide to go more nomadic next summer and explore more of the great American west. In any event, we’ll be here through the winter and spring and then see how things unfold.
This is the new tent we set up as a main lodge — it’s 15.5 x 16.5 feet, has two rooms with provision to make it into three, and it has 7 ft. ceilings. It’s a beauty.
It’s going to be interesting and exciting to see how this new life we’re putting together unfolds. But oh, what a life it is…