Warm Beer in Hot Weather is No Way to Live

Cactus Lincoln National Forest New MexicoTime for another reality check.

Ten years ago, Jim and I moved to Eureka on a whim. I knew it was rainy there, but I thought I could tolerate it, because I’d lived in San Francisco. But after a while, the rain forest was getting to me. The endless cold gray days, coastal winds and thick fog was wearing down my psyche. I constantly griped about what I knew I could not change; the weather.

So I started to have these fantasies about living in the desert. I wanted to feel the warm sun. Munch on chips and hot salsa and wash it down with cold beer. Sit next to a saguaro cactus and play my guitar. Go out at night wearing a summer dress, flip flops and a tan.

I thought that workamping here in T or C would convince Jim that living in the desert was a good idea. But after just one month, I’ve discovered that I’m too much of a wuss for this kind of environment.

The desert winds are making me insane.

Riverbend Truth or Consequences NMEvery day, wind kicks up around noon, embedding a fine layer of dirt on everything in the RV. I’m freaking out every time I see grit on my laptop. We can’t sit outside to work, and don’t dare unroll our awning.

With so much wind blowing things around, trash gets strewn across the landscape. Everywhere you look, plastic bags are stuck in spikey trees and thorny shrubs.

There is no grass here to keep the dirt down. Jerry is filthy again as soon as we bathe him.

I wear flip flops, but whenever I walk in them, tiny thorns get stirred up and stab me in the foot.

The lack of humidity sucks the moisture out of everything. My hands look like they belong to a very old woman.

Beer doesn’t stay cold for long in this heat, which makes you drink more. Which is starting to make me fat.

Plastic grocery bags stuck in treeI feel very fortunate. Being able to check out different parts of the country for an extended time has been a huge reality check. Duh, the grass isn’t always greener (when there is grass, that is). I’m seriously done with this desert fantasy.

Save this kind of living for reclusive old people who only go outside to get in their air conditioned cars and head over to the golf course. I’m outta here.

But I’m still not yearning for another cold summer in Eureka.

Jim Says …

Hey! I wanted to use that bag image to talk about our friend, the adventure motorcyclist Ted Simon who wrote Jupiters Travels about his four year, around-the-world trip on a Triumph.

When Ted followed his own path around the world thirty years later on a BMW, and wrote Dreaming of Jupiter, we asked him the biggest difference he noticed in the world. He said the most unfortunate change he noticed was all the plastic bags. They are simply everywhere. Even across once desolate, pristine deserts the ubiquitous MalWart bag can be seen blowing. And there are plenty here along the once grand Rio Grande.

13 Responses to “Warm Beer in Hot Weather is No Way to Live”

  1. Uh, hey Dave, you don’t have a car, and you’re not OLD!

  2. “Save this kind of living for reclusive old people who only go outside to get in their air conditioned cars and head over to the golf course”

    Uh, HEY!

    dAve in PALM SPRINGSSSS :-

  3. Oh, Jim and I are seriously considering the home-in-two-places situation. I mean why not? It didn’t really occur to us that people do this, until we got to the East Coast and saw how many Northerners fly south for the winter. What a great idea!

    We are thinking that maybe a small place in the upper Midwest or somewhere like Montana in the summer, and another in Texas for winter.

    If we could’ve afforded land in Humboldt’s sunny microclimates, we would’ve jumped on it. Even now, any decent size of real estate is out of our price range in CA.

  4. Well, Eureka is only one small part of Humboldt County and probably one of the colder, windier parts. Out here in the Dow’s Prairie Banana Belt the weather is MUCH nicer. Maybe you should consider Willow Creek. Nice dry heat in the summer and the Trinity River near by. Gets too hot, come on over to the coast, like the folks from Redding do. Now THERE:S a place I wouldn’t want to live. Ugh.

    Sunny here in Missoula today with some snow still on the mountains. Oil Painters of America opening weekend was a blast and well worth the trip.

    Have you thought about Montana or Wyoming? Killer beautiful. A little sticky politically if you’re a progressive, however. And there are those winters. I’m way too much of a weather wienie for that, but it sure is a nice place to visit. Housing prices around here are way better than even Humboldt County, which is still California, however rural and downtrodden we are compared to, say, Marin.

  5. I think the perfect solution on the dilemma on where to live is to live in a couple of different places at different times of the year. We’re on Antelope Island on the Great Salt Lake. I could stay here for a few months of the year. It’s been one of the nicest places we’ve been. Who says we have to live in one place all the time? Animals are migratory, so why can’t we be? 🙂

  6. Is there a perfect place to live?

    I agree with Rene, I couldn’t live in Eureka – and I’ve only been there a few times! I’m not sure I could live in the desert full-time either (although I’ve thought about trying), just no place too windy and dusty – YUK!

    Florida doesn’t do it for me either – too flat, too humid, too many bugs, hurricanes, and what about the crocs?

    OK the whole northern part of the country is O-U-T – the winter’s are too cold.

    The east and the south are out due to the humidity and hurricanes – it makes me so lethargic and uncomfortable…

    So where does that leave?

  7. I couldn’t agree with you more! We have been in the desert since January – either the deserts of TX, NM, AZ or UT. While we love some of the aspects, we too are tired of the wind, the dirt and the affects of dryness on our bodies. We’re still thinking that we’d like to live in this area – somewhere. We’re thinking maybe another time of year when the winds don’t blow as much would give us a different impression.

  8. Oh you are so right Chris, I can’t imagine anyone here would win a beauty contest!

  9. HAH !! The desert blast furnace and plastic bags. You guys are too much.

    When I was a So Cal’er, our folks had a place in Yucca Valley where we used to play on occasional weekends and holidays. It didn’t take long to learn that they don’t call it a desert for nothing. The wind driven sand would peel the paint right off your car and pit your windshield irreparably. And the heat? Fugedaboudit !!

    And that was before rampant plastic bags and plastic bottles. All we had was wind blown rubbish, paper bags, beer cans, fast food containers, etc.

    Finally, don’t expect to live there long and enter any beauty contests. Having dried apricot ears and beef jerky hands isn’t very attractive. Woof !!

  10. I have not spent long time in the desert before, so will be interesting to see how I feel about living in that kind of condition~

    I recently bought two ChicoBags from a local market and clipped them to my purse to take with me all the time, it really make reusing your own bags easy!

  11. Dear Jim,
    My husband and I work at the Fort Pierce Farmers Market every Saturday. I am happy to report that more and more customers are carrying reusable shopping bags and refusing plastic bags! I also see more and more people carrying reusable bags around Publix while they shop! I think people are becoming aware that they can take positive actions to reduce pollution, preserve natural resources, and save money too!
    Dear Rene,
    I hear you! I was raised in NJ and grew up in beautiful horse country just minutes from the Jersey shore! But, winters were gray and gloomy – just downright depressing! Since we moved to Florida in 1991, I have come to realize that I was born with Florida blood! I can’t take the cold and gray days, they get to me after awhile! Summers in FL are hot, but at least the sun is shining! Spring, Fall and Winter are beautiful!
    Keep up the good work guys! Great blog!

  12. Boy that’s sad (the bag thing). If you want ot be extra special depressed the bag counter on my site says that 166,223,553,636 have been consumed this year.

    http://www.reusablebags.com/ is where I got hte counter and the figure.

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