So, the story stopped with my day off in Ludlow. Ludlow had little going for it. Population – according to wikipedia was 10 and the median age was 80. It was however a truck stop and a ghost town on Route 66. There was an old fashioned cafe where I could sit down and relax in the afternoon with some food.
Then I headed on towards Amboy, and the part of the route everyone has warned me about due to its lack of services. It was gorgeous out here, and I have discovered many amazing things about the desert. One thing has really stuck with me, as most of my previous camping experiences have been in a forest – the desert is quiet during the day, but truly silent at night. During the day I can hear some birds, insects etc. At night though, the quiet is amazing. Getting to Amboy took about 4 days. I was lucky that people often stopped and asked if I wanted some water – and sometimes what I got was cold, making me swoon. The days were hot, and the nights chilli.
Going towards Amboy I passed the well preserved Amboy vulcanic crater.
Amboy has a population of 5 people, and apparently their water is extremely dirty. On my way in to Amboy I met Jim. Jim offered me some cold water as well as grape fruit juice, and we sat and talked for a spell. He has lived in his car for a while, choosing to travel between Amboy and Oregon where his family is. Jim had plenty of stories of the past and interesting people he had met. I loved our chat. He also told me that the water in Amboy came with health warnings, and that I could only buy small 8 oz bottles in the store – making me slightly worried – I definitely needed one or two gallons of water.
Into Amboy I headed – to check out Roy’s cafe and motel. Amboy is a ghost town, and Roy’s while ostensibly in the process of restoration is far from “restored”. It is a tiny store with not much there – although they did have the best darn root beer I have ever tasted. They did have a functioning post office though – something I thought was a hoot. Kevin – the store keep – was only able to offer me the non-potable water or I could buy the 8 oz bottles for a buck a piece – too expensive for me. I was thinking of getting the non-potable water and adding iodine tablets, when Jim pulled up. He asked if I had the water situation under control, and when I said no, he gave me a gallon. Thank you Jim – out here water is at a premium and must be picked up in Needles almost 80 miles away. A gallon jug, plus the one i still had on my cart would definitely get me to Tuesday when Nancy would arrive with water drop and food. I had definitely also hoped to find a shower somewhere in Amboy, by now it had been 10 days and I felt gritty to say the least, but that didnt happen.
After a half day lolly gagging in Amboy, talking to Jim and Kevin the store keep I headed back into the desert to find a night time spot, and found a decent one. Early the next morning I was awakened by someone loudly calling my name. Jim had found me, I wasn’t that well hidden. I had shown him yesterday that I had a bear bomb with me, so I think he wanted to make sure I wasn’t surprised. He had gotten someone else to give a gallon of water and wanted to know if I wanted it. Thank you Jim!
That morning I got a late start – a mistake, cause it was definitely heating up well into the 90ties again, and I had to take a noon break to not overheat. I did manage to climb a steady hill that Jim told me was a solid 4 miles uphill and at the end of that hill I found an amazing hiding spot in a gully. I attempted to take a picture of that long climb below.
The last few days my emotions had been rather all over the place and I was feeling raw and tired so an executive decision was made to take two days off. One to relax, and one because Nancy would be here with food and water on Tuesday.
Finally, Tuesday came around, and Nancy and Nancy’s son Eric rolled up with supplies. They had something else though that made me hoop and holler in pure pleasure. They had a giant cooler filled with regular water for washing. OMG, but OMG. And I was so well hidden in that gully. I filled several jugs of that blessedly cool water, got myself even more hidden behind some bushes, stripped naked and poured water over me. Ohh, the loud whoops were of pure, unadulterated pleasure as that fresh, cold water poured over me. My hair got washed and all other areas that needed washing got too. The experience of that cold water on my skin in the middle of the desert with the sun beating on me, and being well, sorry to say it, in my birth day suit, it was exquisite. Had I been alone, I might have stayed naked a little longer, but i was eager to catch up with Nancy as well. My hair finally feels soft again, as opposed to course, and stiff with dried up sweat. Nancy had brought a lot of water though – and I now have clean underwear and clean pants as well – such pleasure to put on tomorrow. Below a picture of me and Nancy with my food stash, and a picture of me, eating an orange, with the food stash. My hair is clean.
Then, she had brought so much food, I am not sure about packing all of it – but among her supplies were some fresh fruit. After washing myself stuffing apples and oranges in my face just added to the whole pleasure of the day. Dinner tonight started with crackers and tuna and ended with a huge pot of rehydrated hot soup. Yummy in my tummy.
Below pictures are just because I think they are pretty.