Monday Feb 3, Dateland out into the desert

Dear All, It is over 50 miles to walk from Dateland to Gila Bend. So I have had to develop strategies to make the walk from Dateland to Gila Bend safely. I decided that I could try to get a ride from Spot Road. I walked a mile past Spot Rd and then back again. Because I needed to get more miles in but I didn’t want to get stuck in-between exits. A couple agreed to pick me up at Spot Road in 1/2 an hour. I waited and waited for 1 hour walking in circles to stay warm, because the temperatures dropped drastically and the winds increased exponentially. I gave up waiting and decided I needed to be proactive if I was going to get a ride back before dark. Kind of hard to be proactive about getting a ride when you are all alone in an isolated area of the desert or so it seemed.

I had seen an RV in the distance. I was nervous that it might be one of those situations in the desert where you see a building in the distance but when you come up on it, it is an old weathered shack with the roof and some of the walls missing…but I took the walk out into the desert to the mystery RV. When I got near I could hear a generator running and saw that it was not a Ghost RV. I knocked on the door and a kind gentleman answered the door. His name is James. James asked me a lot of questions he later told me that was to be sure that I really did need the help.

I didn’t know it but James had a car on the far side of the RV. I said to him you can’t help me because I need a ride back to Dateland and I knew it takes quite a bit of time to get an RV all set up so I felt sure James would not be able to help but maybe he would be able to call someone or help in another way. He laughed and said that he had a vehicle on the other side of the RV and he would be happy to help me get back to Dateland.

On the way back he talked about his love for the solitude of the desert. He said that in the city he doesn’t feel the depth in his prayers that he feels in the desert. He feels the quiet and intimacy with nature brings him closer to God. I could identify with what he was saying because walking in solitude is a meditation for me. I think that is why I can do my long walks because I am not in a hurry or rushing. I am walking quietly, present with my steps, each one. Some folks think to meditate is to be unaware of your surroundings but this is not so. I feel the sun on my back, I see the ant carrying his food back to his nest, I smell the sweet dusty smells of the desert. I ache, I breath, I step.

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