Tales of Open Road

Mojave Crossing

... Sunrise on Tuesday was a sight to behold.

Tales of the Open Road, by Bill Jodrey

Sunrise on Tuesday was a sight to behold.  The sky was totally mottled with small, patch-like clouds of brilliant pink.

On Monday I had walked much farther than usual but some days are like that when one is hitching rides instead of driving.

The sun on the desert was very hot and at nightfall I was far from the town so what to do was simple.  With no other choice, one steps a few paces off the roadway, lies down on the sand, and goes to sleep. People have been sleeping on the ground much longer than in beds.  It only seems unusual if you have not done it recently.  There is, of course, the added inconvenience of all the tiny life forms that live on the ground and I suppose their curiosity causes them to explore your ears and nose and other places, too.

Actually, I got a ride on the tailgate of a pickup truck and the driver dropped me off at a mineral spring a few miles down the road.   He, of course, knew about the insects and he laughed.

Probably not many people who read this article have slept on the desert sand but you can believe me it is crawling with life which found its way into my ears, my nose, my hair, and my clothes.

The mineral spring was only about fifty feet off the road but I could see for miles around as I shed my clothes in seconds and sluiced myself until I was free of all my hitchhiking bugs.  And then I started on my underwear which I put on when clean, but wet, because an occasional car or truck just passing or stopping for a drink got a lot of laughs when I explained what and why I was doing what I was doing.

Five of the drivers who stpped offered me money and I thought it would be impolite to refuse such a thoughtful gesture.  So, all in all, I got eight dollars.

Finally, I and my clothes were clean and dry but I decided to wait there to get my next ride.

My next offer  of  a  ride was from a government officer of some kind and I had no choice then  so I rode to the next city where one adventure ended and another began.  It happens every day.

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