I’m poised once again for take off, but first a little backtracking.
After a couple of days at Caliente, I ambled south towards one of Nevada’s amazing places, Valley of Fire. I had really good intentions of going to the park, but it didn’t happen. I did drive past it, does that count? After a blustery, high wind welcome it moved back into hot temps. I languished in the bus most days after work that didn’t involve errands, hanging around the fan. I read a lot. I got a hair trim and braids done. My mail caught up with me.
And when I wasn’t doing those thing, I was preparing for my certification exam for work. I passed it, after two previous attempts that were negated by the fabulously locked down company laptop. They graciously sent me a bare laptop that allowed me to access the testing platform, appear on video for live proctoring, and finish the darn thing! So now I am both certified AND certifiable :). This was apparently a BIG DEAL in corporatelandia, because I received a free dinner, compliments of the company president, plus three days in a nice hotel as a bit of cash bonus. Quite nice, a fluffy bed, regular access to unlimited hot water, and a Dunkin Donuts in the lobby. Pretty close to nirvana for me. I have simple needs these days. Since I was in a casino town, I decided I’d have a limited bit of fun by way of the penny slots. A gambler I am not. I set a small budget, trading one guilty pleasure for this one. And then, I won. I played one machine for all of about forty five minutes. I put in six dollars and won nineteen cents. Underwhelming, that. So I put in four dollars more, and won seven dollars and fifty cents. Then I went wild and put in a twenty, ten dollars shy of my entire budget for the night. And then it happened. The machine went a little wonky and I wasn’t really sure what was happening, so I asked the lady beside me what to do. She excitedly helped. Then it just went crazy. In the end, I won a bit over two hundred dollars off of that twenty dollar bill. That’s when I discovered how easy it could be to get hooked. My sassy little run of beginner’s luck made walking by those machines the rest of my visit very, very difficult. My brain said, “It could happen again, what’ll it hurt to try?” “What if you did that every day, how much more would you have?!” I really, really wanted to play again, but I did not. I did however, get new wipers for the bus since the one of them shredded and disappeared into the desert highway victims category.
From the casino into the craggy desert further south I went. I’ve had a nice couple of weeks here, close to town, but quiet light-free starry nights. I saw the Leonids from here, and hiked to a little cave on Thanksgiving morning to offset the gluttony of later in the day with friends 🙂
Now it’s time to drop even more deeply south and head into the Quartzsite area. I’ve started running into friends from last year already, which is just rather startling when you consider the massive amount of people camping and the amount of land mass the BLM locations cover! And these are random run ins, not planned on any way.
I’ll leave you with some heart rock photo art I did.
The wheels of the bus go round and round…
~SE, heading out tomorrow