Tag: Roadtrek (Page 1 of 2)

One Useful Item

Two months in the desert this winter led to many fillings and emptying of our water bottles. A thin green scum eventually grows on bottom and lip at the top, but the bottle brush my husband thought to pack in our Wren camper works quickly and thoroughly.

Don’t Drink the Water

Some cities are reusing gray water, so perhaps that is why we are now buying water at a dispensary like this one outside the water store in Santa Cruz. I first noticed the chemical taste when we stayed overnight in Santa Barbara, which does reuse water. Then met the same unpleasant taste in Santa Cruz. I was advised not to drink the tap water and shown where to buy a sturdy 3 gallon container and steam-distilled water.

Not sure of the process, but the taste is great and the price is .60/gallon. It’s cheaper at the grocery store. Never thought I’d be buying water and have spoken out against the plastic bottle waste created by those carrying around individual bottles. Our system and those with large household, refillable containers are doing better, but still, the fact that the water at the sink is basically undrinkable is a sad state of affairs. New York City, hang on to your treasure of good tasting water.

Earthquake Humor

For three weeks in December, we moved out of Wren into a tiny attached housing unit with lots of light, a full kitchen and comfortable bed in a section of Santa Cruz called Pleasure Point. It’s famous for its waves and attracts surfers and those who love to walk or bike the boardwalk along the cliffs to watch them. The houses quickly become more modest as one walks away from the beach. Here among short streets packed with small houses there’s a neighborly feeling. We’re advised that our doors don’t need to be locked when we leave and as strangers, we get friendly smiles and hellos when out and about on foot.

I’ve had many pleasant interactions with one stand-out. It happened on a mild evening graced with a full moon. After dinner my husband, dog and I headed outdoors for a stroll. Around the first corner we met a man coming from the other direction on tiny Yucca Street. We nodded to one another, and then he asked had we noticed the moon and the ring around it. We murmured something about its beauty, and he said, “Means it’s going to snow or be an earthquake.” Then walked on into the night.

It never snows in Santa Cruz. I laughed in relief that this brand of dark humor is not confined to New England, but flourishes here as well. Great way to regard the real possibility that one will die in the sudden crashing of tectonic plates along the fault lines we’re perched above or in the tsunami that would follow it.

Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz CA

Camping among Giants

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This photo was taken at Nisene Marks State Park just south of Santa Cruz in Aptos on a hike with Jerry and Bess. I’m wearing four light-weight layers because the trail we used is quite flat and the day was overcast and in high-fifties only. The Sequoias are loving this cool, damp weather, and I’m loving their deeply-grooved bark, their lofty heights, the green of their needles on the branches, and red of the ones that have fallen at their base to cover the forest floor.

We camped for a week in Big Basin Redwood State Park in the hills outside of Santa Cruz, then moved to a private campground in Felton, CA, among the redwoods for another four nights. Two of those days were rainy, so we got to appreciate days when the sunlight does eventually filter through the crowns of the giants to where we are far below. The young redwoods are a mere 150 feet tall, the elders 300 or so. Those who stay and live among these trees clearly love them and the micro-climate they create for other plants and animals.

Welcome Rattlesnakes

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This warning is posted on the office counter at Country Cactus RV Park in Tucson. I read it carefully, twice, and did use a flashlight at night. Did not want to step on a rattler enjoying the warmth of the asphalt after the sun went down or one just passing through. I felt sure I’d survive a bite, but not sure my forty-pound dog Bess would. I did not come across any snakes the week we stayed there.

Better than a Mother’s Scolding

Part of living in Wren has been learning to close each cabinet drawer, no matter how small, immediately. Because quarters are so tight, one is sure to bang forehead, elbow, or temple on the corner of the heavy-duty cabinet door.  Those hinges do not give when struck by part of the human body. Although I still catch myself occasionally, the pain of impact has improved my ratio of closed to left-open dramatically. Did mom ever succeed in getting the kids to shut the drawers and doors after they found what was wanted?

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The Road is Life

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There’s a tiny farmer’s market on the east side of Tucson on Saturday that includes a food truck worth standing in line to be served from. And I did for at least half an hour. No idea really it was so pleasant with children, grandparents, vendors, gem cutters and locals to eavesdrop on.

Time enough to read the menu and the specials and make a perfect choice, the southwestern grilled cheese sandwich with tomato and peppers. Gooey delicious and mildly spicy, generous and inexpensive. As Kerouac says we are all on the road. Let’s make it worth how hard farmers, merchants, musicians, writers and the rest work to support us, including a long wait for slow food.

Fungi Fungi Everywhere

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This member of the Amanita family, Concorra, was seen in abundance on the weekly walk at Big Basin Redwoods State Park outside of Santa Cruz, CA., the week before Thanksgiving. I was lucky enough to be camping there that day and on a small group hike of seven hours with three docents from the area. We had the joy of spying so many fungi up after a recent and unusual rain in the coastal redwoods. Sometimes on the road you just hit it right.

Simple Joy of a Camper Kitchen

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A tasty sandwich like this with snappy pretzels and real mayonnaise is whipped up in a few minutes without the hassle of cruising for a place to eat, a menu selection and the down time between decision and delivery. Bonus: price is about $2.00 a plate with fresh greens and a pickle. This is liberating!

Getting into Wren

It took me a few thousand miles perhaps to figure out how to remember which foot to step up first when entering from driver’s side or from navigator’s side of the van. Great relief to discover that all it takes is putting the foot closer to the van up first, then the other foot naturally goes on second step and one’s feet do not wind up entangled and the rest of me unbalanced when I try to sit down. Who knew?

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