Walkabout: Day 13, Mile 2255

November 1, 2016 ~ Tuesday

6a Morning Pages ~ Phoenix, AZ

I will try to get in all three pages today, but I don’t feel as though my schedule is my own. I am visiting family, my mom’s side, and I will be seeing them at their convenience. I think that this is right, as I am only here for a few hours today. I will not spend another night. The family is just how I remember them. Dirt poor, but proud and loving. God, how do I love these people?

My hike yesterday was fantastic! Gorgeous, dry desert terrain with faint pinks and violets and turquoise sands. Two deserts are encompassed by Joshua Tree National Park – the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert, each with their own distinct species of plants and animals.

I saw a coyote on my first day, trotting across the street! I fumbled with my camera phone but managed a decent shot of him.

I saw a couple of jack rabbits, lots of tiny lizards and raven, and a couple of other types of birds.

One side of the park was teaming with the Joshua Tree, other other side with the jumping cactus. I forget now the exact name of it, and I don’t want to stop to look it up.

The hike led me through desert sands, weaving over rolling hills that looked like dunes, steep dunes and hard as rock. I scrambled over boulders, and various species of cacti lined the path.

Eventually I hiked into a canyon in which a thick of palms resided, hidden. They called it Lost Palms Oasis. There was no water.

I slept the night before in a wide open space between a criss-crossing network of back country roads. There were at least a half dozen each of RVs and other vehicles dotting the landscape. The sun rose in pretty hues and colored the mountains purple. I am so grateful to have found this place!

I woke up at 3a, pretty wide awake. I slipped on my glasses to see the starry sky. I had my moon roof open and was sleeping with my head just below it. This weekend was the Night Sky Festival. There was a new moon and few city lights to compete.

The view took my breath away. I could see into the sky for miles and miles. Fat, bright orbs and tiny pin points and dazzling dust filled the darkness above. I have never seen such splendor. And prominent and glorious floated Orion.

I have been mesmerized by Orion ever since I was a child, and never before has the hunter appeared more majestic. So clear was his form, I could even see the nebula under his belt. I wanted to take a picture, but my camera phone could not capture it. I stared and stared, wishing the sight to be emblazoned in my memory.

I hope to get a Facebook post out today. The hard choice is always which photos to include. I was able to get so many beautiful shots. I feel like putting down my pages and working on that now, before the house is bustling and the coffee is flowing. Maybe I just will.

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