Saturday, February 21, 2009

Beatlick Travel Report #17: This Moment is Perfect

Date: Feb 20, 2009 12:17 PM

Report #17

I’ve got some folks to look up here on the Slabs. Jamie Givens a good friend of ours back in Nashville gave us some names of some of her old friends out on the slabs. In the years we’ve known her there has never been a remote ghost town, hot springs, or lake side that she hadn’t already been to first. She is a true world class traveler, a wandering Sadhu, before she hit Nashville back in the 90s.

We left the Slabs this morning to foray around and found a good library in the adjacent town of Calipatria. I pulled to the curb where there was an incline that put my van at an odd pitch. I thought twice about parking there – a wispy memory of an earlier bad experience in my old van passed through my mind - but I ignored it and turned off the key.

Sure enough when I returned from the library I couldn’t get the van started. It took all of my and Joe’s strength to kind of bounce it up and down till we could maneuver it and push it out onto the street. But we did. He pushed, I jumped in and popped it into secand, and off we went. That problem hasn’t happened again. Next I found butane canisters and life was rosy again.

I do fight to stay calm sometimes and try not to worry. I can ruin my best endeavors by fretting over things that might happen – could happen, should happen. Like losing half our operating capital because the renters moved out of my mother’s house. That has happened, but I know more will come along.

So I struggle to not negate these beautiful moments with negative thoughts because THIS MOMENT is perfect. We are so lucky to be following a dream like this – unencumbered – we are eagerly awaiting the mail which I had forwarded to Niland.

Almost two months worth of mail – not expecting bills – I do all banking and billing on line. A lot of expenses like storage and mailbox rental I paid for one year in advance.

I’ve learned you can get mail forwarded to any post office, general delivery, once without filling out paper work or being charged. It will take four days for the mail to get to Niland from Las Cruces .

Happy Trails

Beatlick Pamela

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.