Part of the reason we can be on this extended trip is because we are able to work it around my 9-5 job. So, after I my workday ended, we packed up and jumped back in the truck. Halfway between Tucson and Anza Borrego is Painted Rock State Park near Dateland, AZ. It was a short 150 mile trip, but we arrived in the dark due to our late departure. So, we were driving in the middle of nowhere down a dark country road with "dips." Dips are what they use instead of bridges. The idea is that it is just a dip most of the year, but when it does happen to rain, it is impassable. Well, despite that fact that it hasn't rained in Arizona for awhile, one of these dips had a significant amount of water in it. We towed the Gray Whale through the darkness and saw the water just before we hit it. Fortunately, it wasn't that deep and we didn't hydroplane when we hit it, but it thoroughly scared us. Now we know to always be cautious around dips. We found out later that sometimes the farmers leave their irrigation systems on at night and flood the roads.
We found the campground (if you can even call it that) and settled in for another night of boondocking. We now knew that our batteries would take us through the night, so we were much more relaxed than when at Rockhound. These primitive sites are so interesting to me because you just find a spot you like and pull in. Since there are no hookups you just face whatever direction you want, park, unlock the door, and you are all set up. In the morning, I worked for a few hours while Troy and the kids hiked to find some petroglyphs in the park. (These are collections of rock etchings made by Native Americans hundreds of years ago.) When they got back, it was a gorgeous morning, so they spent it playing in the rocks making rock people of each other.
Meanwhile I was working in the Airstream. We were in the middle of nowhere and I was able to get not only cell service but pretty fast internet service for my laptop. This is possible because of our internet set up we purchased from Millenicom. It allows us to get a cellular signal almost anywhere, boost it, and rebroadcast it to create a secure network in our Airstream. It will run 5 devices and the speeds are as good, if not better, than the service we have back home. Our plan gives us 20 GB of data per month. Right now, we have no idea how much usage that translates to, so the first few days are an experiment to see how much data a typical workday chews through. As of right now, the device has been extremely useful and never failed to find a strong signal.
After securing everything inside, we jumped back in the truck and headed about 20 miles down the road to Dateland to get gas and a "world famous" date shake. They actually have a grove of date palms and make shakes (among other things) out of the dates. They are so sweet that all 4 of us shared one shake.
We arrived in Anza Borrego State Park and Troy promptly contracted some stomach virus and spent the next 2 days puking, aching, and feverish. During his bout of sickness, I developed a severe toothache and could not eat anything on that side of my mouth. This wasn't exactly how we had imagined our first trip to this amazing desert.
My name is Stevyn. I am a wife, mother, and exercise physiologist with one foot in the world of travel and one foot in the world of fitness. Learn more about me here.
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