Monday, June 29, 2009


“You’ll be safer in a campground, especially with Moona,” says my mom before I leave. I promise to travel in the safest manner possible, not my normal style, but maybe things are different when traveling with a small child.

We pull in to the Rye Patch State Recreation Area in Nevada last night, and take the only camp site left. Surrounded by RV’s and those super intense camping operations some people have, I feel slightly rebellious with my nylon tent, and neglect to put on the rain fly. So tired, after yesterday’s emotions, and yet sleep is difficult in coming. And I remember to encircle the tent with protection, then finally drop off. To awaken maybe an hour later, to the swirl of police lights and the shocking screams of sirens. Next to my tent. I think perhaps that since I hadn’t paid my ten dolla camping fee, they are coming for me. Not so, but when six (SIX) squad cars show up, I have to wonder at the safety of the supposedly safer choice of campground. Hard to say what operation was developing in the RV two doors down from us, but suffice to say that the Nevada State Police were not pleased. We pull out as early as possible this morning, and I rethink decisions that are classified as “safer” and decide that my own intuition is probably the wiser guide. And what is this obsession with “safety” anyway? Krishnamurti said that we trade our freedom for security. Pondering if this is really such a good deal after all.

Thirty miles into the outback of the desert, we find Kyle Hot Springs deserted and much too hot for a soak, although pouring the near-boiling water on each other becomes a fun game. Moona is much obsessed with cleaning her flip-flops, which I scorn until getting back into the car, when she leaves no muddy trail, unlike her mamma. Any day that includes driving on a road called "Bloody Cyn" works for me. Quote of the day is “Mom, are we on the other side of the world? And indeed, it looks that way.

Onward, miles and miles. T. Rex and Simon and Garfunkel do right by us today. My p-style does as well… little gadget that lets a person with female parts pee standing up, without undressing. So convenient, and it also confuses gender signifiers. Stopping at Nah Soo Pah Hot Springs pool, and following the screams of kids to find it. Diversity surprises me. As does the “Able Plumbing” tattoo in four-inch block lettering across a burly dad’s back… with the six inch inked toilet below. Jon later tells me that there is a great pride in the blue collar work ethic here in Idaho.

More and more miles. 600 today in total, and most at high speed. Plunging through the Idaho hills and oh lord, so soothing to the eye. Moona sleeps, after our first squabble of the trip over the Polly Pockets doll. I feel a race with the sun, to find Arco and Jon before darkness hits. And just as we do, Moona awakes and is in final-phase meltdown. The itchy mosquito bites, low blood sugar, too much car time… all she wants is home. And I ask if she would prefer to drive another half mile to Jon’s, or nine hundred miles home, and she chooses home. I pushed her too hard today.

And I don’t know if I found God today, but I saw some things that make me think I’m on the right trail. Free hot water, flowing onto the Earth. The plains meeting the mountains. The word “Verdant” coming into my mind as the most apt descriptor. Candles and a sweetly made ancient huge four poster bed in the cabin we’re staying at. A new friend buying milk for my daughter. God in every step and star, the Milky Way.