It’s been a pretty hot week hanging out in the middle of the desert in Slab City. The average outside temperature has been 110°. The temperature in the van stays at or below the outside temperature during the day, but stays hot during the night even when the desert cools. Surprisingly, I’ve become pretty adjusted to the heat and it barely bothers me anymore. Granted, I’d still love it to be 80° or below.
Last Saturday night I checked out The Range to see what kind of music the residents of Slab City perform. I’ll admit, it wasn’t the greatest thing in the world, but it was better than nothing. At least half the people there were pot heads, so I’m sure it was a better time for them. The Range is open every Saturday evening for anyone to come up and showcase their talent. You don’t even have to be good!
I left after about an hour and walked the short distance back to the open gravel area where I had parked my van. The night sky is absolutely gorgeous here and I stayed outside for a bit enjoying the stars and listening to the music from The Range. It sounded a lot better from a distance.
I’ve spent the majority of time either watching The Office or reading. I’ve gone through three books in the past week (A Wrinkle in Time, The Great Gatsby, and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry) and started two others (Walden and At the Water’s Edge). It’s nice to finally be getting some reading done, but only two of the books I’ve read so far have been actual books; the others have all been digital books. I brought an entire stack of real books with me and my goal was to get through them all before this trip ends. I’m not doing that well so far.
My internet out in the desert isn’t that great so I haven’t been able to use Duolingo to practice any Spanish. I have, however, started working on my sign language. I bought a book on it over a year and a half ago, like many of the other books I have, but never really focused on it. So far, I can sign my numbers up to 30 (the book doesn’t go above that), know all of my alphabet, and have the signs for 11 colors memorized. The book also contains 1,000 words that I slowly need to start working on. I’ve been interested in learning American Sign Language since 2005, maybe 2006, when I was in Baltimore with my friend Steve and he randomly started signing to a guy on the street one night.
I’ll admit, I have not been practicing the guitar that much. I think there’s only been two nights, at most, in the past week that I’ve practiced. It’s been so hot and sweaty that it’s just not something I wanna do.
I watched some of the meteor showers the other day. Most of the ones I saw were barely glimpses, but there was one really awesome one that had a huge trail streaking across the sky. For some reason a lot of people were out that night driving around, including what I assume was the local sheriff because they were shining a spotlight around and it was really quite annoying.
Here are some pictures from sunset a few days ago. Despite being a sulfur-smelling desert filled with a hundred or more little shanty houses, it can be a quite beautiful place.
I’ll probably stay in this area until Tuesday and then I’ll be heading to San Diego to hopefully do some hikes or something with my friend Janice and then meet up with Szilvia on Thursday to start the second part of this trip.