Friday, September 24, 2010


Double Rainbow in New Mexico - no pot, though, and no gold...

All right.  Let's start out with a few cliches.  You ought to be used to this by now :

"Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home."  - J. H. Payne

"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in."  - Robert Frost

"A man's home is wherever he prospers."  -  Aristophanes

"Home is where you can say anything you like because nobody is listening to you anyway."  - Anonymous

Ah.  I like that last one best, since it describes this blog so well.  When I am here I am at home.  Anyway, favorites are a matter of reciprocal loyalty.  And judging from the comments section,  Anonymous is by far my most faithful Reader.

Home.  Today I am writing in one of them about driving one of them back to another one of them.  Texas.  Though were it not for a doctor's appointment for surgery on my hand, I might wander further west, toward that ocean inappropriately called the Pacific, along the shore of which there is every chance I might prosper.

That would be another.

When you buy an RV, you become a man of many homes, and returning eventually seems much like setting out.  You may also become chronically confused about where you "belong".

Like most people, I settle for thumb rules.

Today I staggered out of bed with my eyes glued shut, reached around blindly and yet easily found my glasses, managed to get coffee started without fully waking up.  Then I took a short walk - crunch, crunch, crunch - out into the nearby desert to take a whiz in the full bare sunlit glory of boxer shorts and sandals, without getting snakebit or freaking out any neighbors.  A place where you can get away with all that is a rough definition of home.

It'll do for me.

But I have promises to keep, so it's back to Texas.  Naturally I prefer the scenic route.  I saw a place on the map called "Natural Bridges", and nearby the "Valley of the Gods".  How could I resist?

South of Monticello I ran into fog and rain.  Clouds actually floating just a few feet off the ground.  The sky was inauspicious.

Natural Bridges National Monument is a small place, with a narrow one way road running round to the various sights.  Limited parking at view points.  The campground was designed for tenters, but was stuffed full of small RVs.  I barely got through there in my 22 foot Daze and 16 foot trailer.  All in all, not a place for big rigs.  Be warned.

Speaking of which, the Ranger there warned me away from the road south to Muley Point.  It was a good paved road, he said, except for about 3 miles of gravel switchbacks.  "Right along there it is only nominally a two lane road.  And the drop is spectacular."  But I have been many close places in the Daze, so I was confident we could make it.  Only 3 miles of it.  Besides, I like the sound of "spectacular".

When we got there it started raining hard.  There was a "last chance" turnout.  I hesitated there a while.

The Valley of the Gods?

Then I started down, hoping not to meet another fool like me.  The drop was sheer.  The road was wet.  I was very aware of the weight of the brakeless trailer behind me.  Half way down I made a shaky stop to take another picture.

Whew.  Made it.  No gods encountered on the way down, either.  Nor in the muddy valley below.

I can live with that.


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