Went to the desert over the weekend. Well I went to what is left of the desert and where we camped out is now part of a park ran by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management). The area surrounds a dry lake called El Mirage and the lake bed is used by assorted fans of this vast flat surface for racing, sailing (with wheels), jeeps, motorcycles, gliders, normal airplanes and those not quite normal. As of October 1, 2008 the BLM started charging for entrance to park. They had been building a fence around it for several years and the rumor was some day they would start charging and now the day has come. I am not certain when the word BLM came into my vocabulary but among desert riders it was a very hated word then.
And there is my portable mobile hair dispenser who thinks the desert is maybe paradise and she rides shotgun seat or floor depending on her mood. Her name is DeDe, two Ds and she got that name by being a desert dog. She came into our family via a cardboard box that was placed in front of Stater Brothers market in Phelan which is located south of El Mirage and used to be the only store of that size for a zillion miles around. Myself, my son and his friend had stopped at the store for supplies and it was a few weeks before Christmas and I am a sucker for puppies. Her first ride was from the store to El Mirage where we went riding dirt bikes for the day. She probably had her first can of dog food (actually two small tins in the back of a Chevy pickup) and had just been weaned. When she was a wee pup she was a cute little ball of fur now she leaves her hair on the boat, our carpet, the van and anywhere she lays down. DeDe has been to the desert many a time but this trip was the first time she had so many buddies and friends to play, bark and chew with.
Before we left the flat lands to head for the desert we had to climb the feared toll road mountain that divides plastic southern Orange County from the mighty Santa Ana River that runs next to the fastest jam free 91 Freeway. Several wagers were made my the mutant teenagers than the VW van would never make it over the dreaded toll road mountain and the wages were even higher than it would never, never climb over the mountains to the high desert which is between 4 or 5 thousand feet at the summit. I tried to explain than the van was born close to the German Alps and would scoff at these small California mountains and indeed it did. We went flying over the toll road at 42 mph pedal to the floor and crested the summit going over into the desert at a brave 44 mph carrying a full size motorcycle parked inside next to the stove and kitchen sink. And nothing was removed or altered to carry it inside the van.
With several families sharing stories, excellent food, my daughter's Margaritas, and an unending supply of fire wood for the fire DeDe simply refused to get in the van when it was time to go home.
Since I use the word zillion as a simple plural I must guesstimate the number of flies inside my yellow rolling pent house with an upper floor bedroom to be more than a mere zillion but a zillion zillion (that is a zillion squared to those math majors) and the small stubborn flies refused to leave or be blown out by the violent winds that came through my wind wings when I reached 65 mph going down the mountain grade. We are already planning our next adventure to go motorcycling riding and next time will remember to bring matches, cork screw, and fly spray.