Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Off the Grid



There's nothing I love more than being off the grid.  Isolated out in the middle of nowhere, connecting with nature while I disconnect from the rest of the world, especially Wifi.  It rejuvenates me.  But (as with most things in life), there are certain conditions.

We arrived in the middle of nowhere in the Mojave Desert by RV, the most fuel-abusive, environmentally unfriendly vehicle outside of a tank.  (I haven't actually compared the fuel efficiency of these two vehicles, but I'm sure this is accurate.)  Also, I'm traveling with eight other people, so it's far from being isolated.  We drove through towns in the desert with smaller populations.  And when I say "we" drove, I mean my husband.  He didn't let me drive because he doesn't trust me with a 30 foot vehicle.  Which was a really sound decision on his part.

Let me just go through some preliminary rules we established the first time we rented an RV.  First and foremost: NO ONE POOPS IN THE RV.  Because the only thing worse than being cooped up in a small space with 5 other people for a week is the experience of someone lightening their load 2 feet away with the only a flimsy door for protection.  Secondly, no one showers in the RV.  The shower serves as the wet bar for the trip.  And happy hour takes precedence over hygiene.  Plus, if all 6 of us showered there'd be no water left to cook and wash our hands with.  We only take showers when we pay to stay in real campsites with public bathrooms, which is every other day or so, depending.  But, when we're camping off the grid, boondocking, you cop a squat by a cactus and put on an extra swipe of deodorant (or two).  Also, don't forget to buy Febreeze at the beginning of the trip like I always do.

We're somewhere in the middle of the desert, parked right next to a cliff for the night.  Because, why not?  There's no one here to tell us not to.  In fact, we haven't seen anyone else for miles.  And we also haven't had phone service for miles.  Which was exactly what we wanted.  We opened a bottle of wine and watched the sun set over the mountains.



BLISS.

Until we went to bed.  An extremely small bed.   So small that every time I roll over I whack my arm into the adjacent cabinet.   An extraordinarily small bed in an RV with five roommates (including a teeth grinder and an incessant snorer).  That's when the wind picked up.  And you know how everything can be great during the day, but when you wake up in the middle of the night you start to worry about everything?  Especially when you're awoken by a chorus of snoring, teeth grinding and a wind so strong you think you're going to get blown off a cliff.  That's when anxiety turns to certain doom in your mind.  Did we (and by "we", I mean my husband) put the parking break on?  What if someone suddenly gets life threateningly ill and we need to find a hospital in the dead of night?  And then we drive over a cactus and get a flat tire.  How far would we have to hike to get phone service to call an ambulance?  Do they even have ambulances out here?  And if we all die after exhausting our supply of trail mix, water and wine (of course that would be the first ration to go)... how long would it take before someone discovered our dead bodies?  And would we be picked apart by vultures or some other desert creature?  After a few hours in the dark contemplating all the options, I decided it was probably just more efficient if the parking break was off and we just rolled over the cliff. 

When I'm off the grid, I've got lots of time to think.
And over think. 
Which isn't a good thing.
No matter what Thoreau says to the contrary.

1 comment:

Jeff said...
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