6 shots and counting break the nighttime stillness… tucked up in Pumper in our secluded Bureau of Land Management site in the Utah desert, we both held our breath as a pickup truck roared up high beams shining on us… never in our wildest dreams could we have predicted the gunfire! Some Utah yahoo getting his kicks but it did not seem like fun to us… in these parts guns are very real confirmed by many roadside signs that have been blasted by gunfire! They say Mexico is not safe… LOL, but we were thankful for the warning shots and after some deliberation (like who really wants to crawl out of a toasty bed) we headed into town to try to find a spot to camp. Later still we know our ‘friend’ came to town and stalked us just to let us know… Nice show of strength! I am sure he would have been shocked to have known it was just a couple of old-fart hippies in the bus and not some punk 20 something’s smoking up, as is often assumed!
Really who would want to kill us or worse spray Pumper with Bullets! Nasty thought!!
Chalk that up to: … well you can’t always be running into the best of humanity although most times it seems that way.
So recovering from the shock of it all and to top off all the excitement that we did not need, Steve managed to back Pumper up into another vehicle, yikes!! Fortunately just a wrinkled bumper and thankfully no damage to the other guy but Pumper now has a rather dramatic war wound to go with the road scars from 2 years of extreme driving. Oh well if that’s the worst of our troubles! Kind of pales to the idea of being used for target practice!
How excited can one be… the guy almost totally launched himself from his car in full motion as he cheered like his team had just won the World Cup, at the sight of Pumper rounding the bend. Normal response for the Pumper Loving set!! All makes for a great start to our day as we pause and smile and think how blessed we are and how can we not be “Living The Dream” and soaking up every ounce of shared LOVE there is.. Plenty to go around!! As one guy asked us today “Did you win the lottery?”… Nope just a couple of “Vagabonds” living the simple life… No air conditioning or heating or much else in the way of luxuries. No fancy electronic gadgets – roll-down windows and lots of dust t’ boot!! Yes we actually have car doors that require a key to open them!
So Since leaving Cabo San Lucas almost a month ago our total “accommodation” cost: 1 night at a National Park for $15! Unavoidable, but did offer to share the spot with a world touring cyclist!! Only 1 paid shower for the devilish indulgence of $2 but no chance to share the “His” and “Hers” facilities, so it actually cost us $4!!
All snuggled up on our “Free’ desert camp spot with acres of desert to ourselves… a full moon, a mountain backdrop, a majestic sky and Universal Blessings!! Today a lizard actually sat on the Cairn on the trail and pointed the way through the canyon. No we are not losing the plot, we just delight in such treasures!! … Wahe Guru!!
It is simply amazing how one can survive quite adequately really on a peanut butter and banana sandwich even a cucumber and Tomato delight and oh do they taste great after 12 miles on a tough dusty trail with plenty of rock scrambling… a cup of coffee on the camp stove and we are set!! No big lotto win here… But then again maybe we did hit the jackpot!!
(P.S. We have had more than one shower just to make sure nobody goes into panic mode but we do have some lined up as far away as Munich, from a couple we met in Beverly Hills. Can’t wait for that cold beer promised with it. Europe here we come!!!)
How did we get to Utah already? On yet another Bureau of Land management sight, a campsite for those from far and wide. Campfire tonight with folks from Germany and the Czech Republic. (both having driven Africa!). It has been a whirlwind through California, Nevada, and Utah meeting so many most wonderful people on our jaunt around the amazing National and State Parks in this neck of the world, a month or 2 is not long enough. We have hiked our buns off atop mountains, in canyons, and everything between the 2. We have shivered near the snowline, and sweat in the daytime desert heat, across the most breath taking landscapes and awe inspiring and intimidating terrains imaginable. Zion, Bryce Canyon, Escalante, Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Yosemite, Arches, Canyonland, Mesa Verde… the list goes on!
Hiking in these parts leaves you feeling connected with a might and higher power as you wonder at the awesomeness of creation!! Our poor aching legs force a respite between a few of the more strenuous hikes, an occasional chilling day to ponder the likes of Angel’s Landing in Zion, or the Syncline Trail in Canyonlands to name just 2.
Chance encounter with a friend we met in Cabo, and an opportunity to catch up with our great friends we met in Papantla, Mexico 2 years ago, Antonio and Jessica with their adorable 4 year old twins, just back from Thailand.
Lynda and Barb, who made it very tempting to return to Laguna Beach to visit. (My Angel will be with me always).
Rob and Diana fellow VeeDubbers, who scooped us off the Vons parking lot for a home cooked meal and a shower… Awesome, comparing notes on their native country that we love: Colombia!! Diana the VW Club is waiting for you!! Drive Colombia guys!
Zion Brion had us over for a BBQ and songfest with some of the talented and eclectic locals.. along with the “Un’ schooled, ”Fire Throwing”, Kenna.. Gosh the vibrancy of life and out of the box thinkers that you encounter!! I’m working on my basic Fire throwing routine… HaHahaaa!!!!
Finally we have to mention Zoe and her father who are cycling from California to New York on a recumbent tandem bike (Zoe being all of 9 years). You inspire all of us, live and reach for your dreams and don’t let anything or anybody stop you!
So how do you know you are in Utah? A) The bikers zip by in their leather gear and they are not “Hells Angels”. B) The families are for sure predominantly much larger and I am sure we have spotted a few multiples not to mention some very Traditional “Clothing”. C) You can purchase no questions asked your own hand gun at the age of 18 (Rifle at 16yrs), but D) Not drink till you are 21.. Try finding booze in this state!!
But between the blessings we also count our blessings as we are chased off a property by some gun totin’ threatening “rebel” with just 2 or 3 teeth in his mouth. Note: observe “No Trespassing” signs… They mean it here, and as we are preached to by the property owner, “… they do shoot in these parts!!!” We just wanted to take a look at the VW graveyard!
Then there was the detail of the Traffic Ticket that Steve scored for pulling an illegal U-Turn, not a misdemeanor, an infraction we understand. No thanks to the un-forgiving cop totally un-moved by the foreign plates or the vehicle. I guess we are going to have to suck that one up… no bribes allowed!!
‘Venice beach’ 30 years on is more eclectic and out there than one recalls. Santa Monica was a highlight to stop by and indulge in some Naam Yoga and Meditation and just the sheer Spiritual HIGH!!
Then there is Pahrump, Nevada, where prostitution is legal and you can auction your virginity. Apparently $250,000 is the going rate. The whore houses there have an airstrip for their customers to arrive in style
We are getting our heads around the logistics of heading to Europe next month via Ontario to get licences, tags, and credit cards renewed, and of course to visit our loved ones and friends. With plenty more miles on the horizon time to do some preventative maintenance on Pumper, and a new set of tyres and shocks all round. Another couple of weeks between Utah and Colorado and then a quick dash across the ‘Middle States’ before we load Pumper aboard a ship in Baltimore bound for Southampton. We will have been through 45 states in the last 2 ½ years by the time she sets sail.
We have 350 ‘Dreamers’ registered on our site and since capturing statistics in January 2011 we have had almost 21,000 hits on the website. Thank you all for your love and support, and we sincerely hope you will continue to stay in touch and continue our dream with us.
Peace and love… from the land of rocks … and more rocks.