Lake Powell, AZ Sunset

Lake Powell, AZ Sunset

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Call of the Corral

Several days ago Terry & I were discussing the concept of “home”. We agreed that “home is where the heart is”. Meaning where ever we are together, we are at home. When we are with family and people we love, we are, in a sense, “at home” as well.

For most people, the concept of “home” is a particular place. It is the town or state where you are from. It is the house you have lived your married life in and raised your family in. Logical. Unless you are people like us. We were both seemingly born with very itchy feet. Neither of us has really staying in one house for any length of time in our lives. So for us, “home” has a different connotation. We have a “home” spot in each of the states or provinces where we have lived happily.

The nature of our business has resulted in our living in many different cities, states and provinces in the course of our seventeen years together. Being Rving full-timers for a few years, we have visited & explored many states. It's been great to get to know this wonderful country on a first hand basis. It also makes us more certain than ever of where we want to settle now that the worst of the wander-lust has worn off. We've seen a lot. We've experienced a lot. We now know that the Pacific Northwest is the area of the continent we like best, next to Hawaii. We'd love to settle in Hawaii, but we know that if we did, we'd both have to work till the day we die just in order to survive. It's pretty sad when you can't go home because you can't afford to live there!

After three years of being based in Arizona, we've decided to return to Blaine, WA.

Before leaving, we're spending our last few days at the one place we both agree is “home in Arizona”. It may seem a little strange to some people. It's miles off in the desert on the Utah-Arizona state line, south of a place called Lone Rock on the shores of Lake Powell. In fact, the photograph I use in the header of this blog is a sunset shot I took at the corral.
Magic Bus at the Corral 2-26-2011

No electricity. Rarely even a cell phone signal. No running water. Most importantly, it is wild country. There is nothing and no one here ninety percent of the time. Correction. No PEOPLE here.

As you drive south on the dirt road, aiming for the foot of a mesa a few miles down, you think you're driving through flat lands. In actuality, the place is a treasure trove of gullies, washes and slot canyons.
The peak looking south from the bus.

There's an old corral that we tuck the bus up beside. The corral sits at the foot of, and in the curve of, a big mesa. There's a point just southwest of the corral and if you look closely, about two thirds of the way up on the right side, there appears to be a set of eyes. I tell Terry that it is Mother Earth watching over us.

Ranchers lease the area from the Bureau of Land Management and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Park Service. So we often have night-time visitors … cattle. They rub themselves on the bus, leave poop landmines, sometimes lick the salt on the sides of the bus.

We have other neighbors. There are lots of coyotes. They gossip long-distance and sing coyote songs to us in the night. Have you ever heard a coyote chorus? It is one of the most beautiful things you can hear in the night. Of course we have to keep an eye on Lady so she doesn't get snatched by them! She sleeps with me, so she's safe at night unless she has to make a potty run. At those times I go with her to keep her safe.

There are kangaroo rats that seem to think the most fun thing in the world is to get into the RV and explore … at night … which drives Terry crazy. At least the little desert ground squirrels haven't gotten in on it in the years we've boondocked here!

Jackrabbits, jackrabbits, jackrabbits everywhere! In years past Lady & Darlin' had daily jackrabbit hunt and chase sessions. The jackrabbits ran them ragged! They never even came close to catching one, but they got lots of exercise and thrills.

Then there are the quieter, more mysterious neighbors. Not seen very often, but they're definitely there! Lots of tracks and poop evidence. What are they? Deer. Pronghorn antelope. Bobcats. Cougars. Bighorn sheep.

Going walkabout in the desert and slot canyons is a real education. Watch your feet! We've only seen a very few rattlesnakes. But there are lots of scorpions, ants, lizards and horny toads!

Most people's concept of the desert is that it's a dry, dead place. Not so! The desert abounds with both animal and plant life. Sage, yucca, creosote, fourwing saltbush, myriad grasses & cacti as well as many other plants we don't know by name.

Aside from all that, you may wonder what draws us here. It's the silence. The lack of civilization. No traffic. No radios. No people talking, talking, talking. You can actually hear yourself think here! And while you're thinking you hear the music of nature. The sighing of the breeze through the plants and canyons. The plant branches rustling. The conversations of the ravens, crows, hawks and sparrows. When the weather turns nasty there are wonderful lightening shows with the crashing symphony of wind and rain.

Ravens love to come have silly conversations with us. Remember the old musical toy called “Simple Simon”? The machine would play a series of notes and you'd have to figure out how to repeat it exactly. Ravens LOVE that game! The range of sounds they can make is amazing! Or sometimes they'll just pretend to be having a real conversation with you. I talk. They respond. These visits can go on for hours if you let them.

There are flashes of beauty everywhere. This time of year the indigo buntings are passing through. Never heard of them? Go look them up in Google pictures! They're beautiful. There are what look like natural bonsai plants everywhere. Twisted, stunted and tortured by the wind and weather.

And the night sky is the icing on the cake! There is no ambient city light and no snoopy neighbors. So we put all the shades up and lie in bed, watching the stars, the moon and the clouds dance across the night sky. The night sky is so clear you can see the Milky Way! The stars seem to be close enough to reach up and touch.

This is where I find a lot of the stones I tumble and incorporate into jewelry. There are so many layers of time exposed here that I am amazed at all the different kinds of stones I find. Quartz, sandstone, granite, turquoise, chrysocholla and many more I can't name.

Yes. We are looking forward to going “home” to the Pacific Northwest. But we will take with us many happy memories of our home and friends in the desert.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and leave me a comment. Constructive criticism and conversations are always welcomed.