I just experienced the most simplistic form of life. Time stood still but yet passed by and before I knew it three days had passed. Before that, I found myself in a jaw dropping scene for two days. Life has been a whirlwind of activity and to be truly honest, up until two hours ago I had no idea what day it was and couldn't even begin to guess.
We left San Diego Friday morning. Clint, the owner of KOA San Diego, comped our stay for the week. We were spoiled and knew it the whole time. I cant thank him enough for the hospitality and generosity. Besides living in comfort, I loved my time working with Olivewood Gardens. What they are doing is really neat and is very beneficial to the San Diego area. Not only did they fully utilize our strong backs and youthful age, but taught us a lot too. Throughout this journey, I have learned a great deal about gardening; both it's benefits and tastiness. I probably won't produce as great tasting or looking produce as Olivewood, but I'll sure try someday. Besides working, we found some time to play too. Stewart and Kathy, our camping neighbors, not only fed us some delicious meals but got us on the water too. We kayaked the San Diego Bay and it was one of the more intense kayaks I have ever done. I got to kayak around the USS Midway, a retired aircraft carrier. The shear size of the boat was amazing. The strong wind brought on some very choppy waves and rain. It made for a challenging return across the bay.
We thanked Clint for his generosity and as we were leaving he made a recommendation of where we should go next. He mentioned the Imperial Sand Dunes in Glamis. We would be passing through and what he described sounded interesting, so we thought we would check it out. I really have no words to describe what I saw. I don't think I have ever seen so much money in one area. Miles of motorhomes and rigs lined the roads. My thoughts and images of dune buggies were shattered. They are called sand rails and are worth upwards of $80,000 to $100,000. People spared no expenses when it came to this hobby. Glamis is basically the mecca of sand dune recreation. There is nothing else like it anywheres. As we drove through in awe, a lady named Monica jumped out and offered a spot for us to park. We had no idea the real estate she offered us was amongst the best around. In her words "I liked your bus and your bus is the only thing that got you this spot". Go bus! We made some connections and were able to get rides in these crazy machines, one of which had 850 horse power. Driving the dunes is an art. You have no idea what's on the other side, be it another motorist or a straight drop. I appreciated our drivers and their knowledge of driving in the dunes. Our neighbor Doug let me take out his custom ATV around the dunes. I grew up with ATVs so this very much excited me. The possibility of killing myself or wrecking his ATV went out the window when adrenalin entered the scene. We all drove to "the hill" where seemingly everyone went to. Hundreds if not thousands of people and dune vehicles lined the bottom and top of a massive dune. Yet again I was in awe of what I saw and never knew anything like that existed. My time in Glamis was incredible and so much fun. I will never forget that slight detour north to experience it.
We left Glamis and headed a little farther north to a place called Slab City. I didn't know much about it except that it's in a desert and it's completely free living. As we pulled in Saturday night it was dark and we didn't know where to park so drove for a bit. We stumbled upon a place called The Range. Saturday nights everyone gets together and plays music and just enjoys each others company. We parked nearby and joined the festivities. Through this we met two folks named Matt and Emily who invited us to park at their camp. We all walked around together on Sunday exploring the area. Slab City was about a square mile of squatters who call is place home. Everything from really nice RVs to run down tents littered the horizon. There is no running water of electricity, so you left to fend for yourself. I have never experienced time standing still as it did for those three days. I don't know what we occupied our time with, but the days kind of melded together with the coming and going of visitors. Some residents occupy their time with crazy art projects while others pass their time just visiting folks.
The craziest part of the last five days for me was going from somewhere with so much money to somewhere with so little in an hour. The two areas we visited were night and day different. Money was the focus of Glamis while money barely existed at the Slabs. We left the Slabs feeling very dirty from five days of dirt and sand. We opted to get a RV site to clean house and body. Derek and I gutted out the bus and did a full clean. Dirt found its way everywhere. Even after my shower I didn't feel quite clean enough. Both events of the past few days have been truly incredible and makes me really realize how awesome of an adventure this is. Our next step is driving. Austin, Texas is on the radar and we need to be there in the next ten days. This year we are setting dates we need to be places to keep us moving. We have some ground to cover. Yikes.