Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Beatlick Travel Reports 15-16: Life on the Slabs

Feb 18, 2009 11:07 AM

Report #15

Second day on the Slabs. Thank God – sun – no clouds. It has rained off and on since we got here and it’s cold again. We can see our breath inside the van early in the morning.

I laugh at myself. At one point yesterday when it looked like it looked like the rain was setting in I panicked and wanted to get a motel room. Cheap I hoped. At one point I broke up the camp and drove back through Calipatria all the way to Brawley looking for a room. Sixty dollars a night was the best I could do. I had rejected the seedy motel back in Niland for $35 because some of the occupants looked pretty seedy.

I need to preface this by saying I have absolutely no cash to pay for a room. No cash until Friday and today is Tuesday. Honestly I have no intention of charging $120 on American Express but still I’m over there at the motel.

I looked at three rooms and finally came to my senses. The sun came out, the atmosphere dried out, and we decided to hit some of Joe’s money stash. We bought $30 worth of groceries, half of that went for an 18-pack of Tecate.

We went back to find our own little campsite still there in Slab City . So we hunkered down as the rain set in once more.

Report #16

Third day on the Slabs. The sun is out; the clouds are gone and it looks like things will dry out although the San Diego NPR station claims a cold front is coming in from the Pacific.

Well we are locked down here. It is really tight quarters in the van. Joe is such a unique and wonderful person. I never get too tired of his humor – he is so steady – so even and happy, so he is easy to spend time with. He spends his time reading and writing letters.

I spend my time writing my travel journals, listening to NPR on our hand cranked short wave radio and reading.

At night we amuse ourselves with a DVD player that we plug into one of the two portable batteries that we carry. When they run down we have to plug them into electricity for twelve hours. That usually requires a motel or campsite.

I’m pouring over the journals of Anais Nin 1931-1934. It’s all about her times in Paris with Henry Miller and June. Her diary has inspired me to write more in length journal style, not so much reporter style.

I found butane gas canisters for $3 yesterday at a True Value Hardware Store. That’s a dollar cheaper than Ace. I bought all they had. Coleman brand. It was still more than double what I paid in Las Cruces but I’m grateful to have them. We can cook in the van.

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