Monday, November 23, 2009

Zip-Tie Rims Along the Salton Sea to Markos' Birthday We Go!

"We are in a Holding Pattern until we get our rims"...echoes the phone in the other room. Logistics once again. Our second set of rims cracked, this time Rick alias McGyver used duct tape and an assortment of zip ties, enabling our family to travel several more days through the desert to the town of Brawley, CA. Here, "The Rock" coffee shop took care of us. Connections to a home for the night, fresh cookies, smoothies and storage of our bikes until our new rims come in...hopefully before the Thanksgiving/Christmas rush on the mail system. The rim manufacturer is standing by their product, apparently the rim problem for both sets was a factory defect. They are sending us the heartiest rims, built up as complete wheels, from Australia. In the mean time...a rental car back to San Diego, a gracious invitation from Mormor and Grandad K.O. to see family in Kansas City, and now... still waiting for those rims.

Sampson's spelling sentences:
1. We are going to be biking on our bicycles down the Salton Sea. The Salton Sea is a long, oval lake.
2. In Joshua Tree National Park we walked through the cholla garden and where we walked there were little broken off pieces.
3. There are Creasote bushes in canyons in the Colorado Desert.

Markos journal:
Nov. 16 Today we went down a twenty mile down hill and crossed over the interstate and went up a gradual climb. Then we went down a gradual down hill and went through a canyon that was twelve miles long. The canyon was called Box Canyon and when we came out we saw the Salton Sea.
Nov. 17 Today Dad broke four zip ties and he replaced them with fatter ones. While Dad was working we were playing and using rocks to ply up sand pieces and put dirt on top and made sand pizza.

Tarn writes:
Nov. 15 At the library we read one book. I only got a little time on the computer. (Mecca Public Library, California)
Nov. 16 We saw lots of fruit and the fruit were lemons. Red and green and yellow peppers and there were lots of grapes.
Nov. 17 We made sand pizzas today and we got orange Powerade.
Nov. 18 Tonight I held a white bird. In the morning we were at the library. I drew the most pictures. (Brawley Public Library, California)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Desert to Sea and back again

It's been a time of creative logistics. After three days back in the land of dry deserts, toting several days of water and supplies and searching out shelter from the wind, I picked up an e-mail that my Grandfather Parnell had passed away. Thoughts of him filled my head as we pedaled through the desert and Rick and I formulated a plan for me to be able to attend his memorial service. Fortunately, we happened to be thirty miles from an interstate highway. Logistics involved a hitched ride, a rental truck, the stowage of our gear with the Hill family at their ranch, a home for the men of our family with Brad and Amy in San Diego, an airplane flight for me, a ride with my brother Parnell's family, and then all the same in reverse. It means a lot to me to have been able to participate in the celebration of an important mentor in my life.

We're back on the bikes, now headed into Joshua Tree National Park. Geometric stacks of tumbled boulders and Fall desert wild flowers decorate our view. Thanks to the National Park Service literature, we're finding the names for all our desert cactus finds.

Tarn writes (he really is writing now!!!) We got a big gourd. I drew on it. We went on a hike and I got lots of stickers in my shoe.

Markos: Yesterday we biked to a cafe and a guy was sweeping in front of it. We asked for some water. Then he asked us if we wanted a cold drink and we said, "Yes." Sampson and Dad went in and brought out two beers and one Gatorade that was lemon lime and we drank it in front of the store. When we were about to leave he gave mom a pink bandanna and us a black bandanna and the cafe was called Slash X Ranch. Today we had blue corn pancakes for breakfast. After breakfast Sampson got his cavity filled and after that we had lunch and one hour after nap time we went on a hike. I got a cholla cactus ball in my shoelace and I found dead cholla cactus too.

Sampson's journal entries continue to detail our Disneyland experience. I will be updating the Disneyland blog entry with his extensive documentation of our day at Disneyland.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Our Road Family Expands

"Keep your expectations low, that way you'll always be happy," a joke Rick and I often make, actually the opposite of how we run our lives. We simply know things always work out. So Halloween is coming...where will we be?...for my sugar-starved children (especially Sampson), The thought of missing the bags of candy loot likely kept him up at night. Outwardly however, he appeared to be taking it in stride. We likely would be wild camping out in the desert when,.. Guess What! We pull up on a group of RV's out parked in public land. While we had just stopped in for some water, we find ourselves amongst a bunch of grandparents ready to take on our kids as their own. We scrape together some costumes from some miscellaneous desert debris (recycled remnants of a former mining camp) and three little goblins, or actually a ghoul, a monkey and a robot appear. Our RV friends have gathered all kinds of goodies: grapes, oranges, activity books, and of course the candy that anyone enjoying the good life seems to have around. Halloween happens whether you expect it or not. THANK YOU!!!

Markos writes: We went to a campground that had a pool that had a shower and when you swam under the shower it felt like rocks. Today we are camping in a big place that has lots of big trees all over like a tree fort and we found trees we could climb. It was fun. Tomorrow we will ride into Baker and get some food and water, then get on the bikes and ride through the Mojave Desert.

"Biscuit on a Stick" compliments of our RV family in Furnace Creek
Heat up the end of your stick in the fire and turn it round on a stick of butter. Firmly wrap a stretched out biscuit on the end of the stick, sealing up the end. Roast slowly and evenly over the fire until evenly golden and cooked. Slide the cooked biscuit off the end and fill the stick hole with jam, or cheese and bacon, or... whatever!

A side note...While formerly RV drivers had seemed to be rather anti-biker in general (as a whole RV's have given us the least amount of space on the road), our latest escapades with the seniors who inhabit them have been most enjoyable. Perhaps, like most things, getting to know the people and share experiences is the best education of all. RV's seem to be giving us more space already and perhaps the more RV drivers we meet, the more respect bikes will receive.