There might have been a good bit of cheering in the bus as we crossed over the Colorado River, out of California and into Arizona.
California wore us down. It’s not a place we like. As my daughter put it, neatly summing up some nebulous feelings I was struggling to describe — everything is dead in California, there’s no flowers or butterflies, I love flowers and butterflies.
I actually wrote 2,500 words on what I don’t like about California, but I deleted it in favor of this. I prefer to focus on the positive — California and all the problems we encountered there… it’s all in the rearview mirror now.
We got the bus back just before Christmas. We’d only been back in it for a day when we all came down with the flu. All five of us similtaneously. That’s never happened before and it was every bit as miserable as it sounds. Luckily we were able to hole up at a campground in Victorville and wait it out. When we pulled in I figured we’d be stuck for the weekend. It was two weeks before we pulled out. A rather miserable two weeks I might add, I didn’t take a single picture Christmas morning, I’m not even sure I was out of bed for more than an hour. It was not fun.
After about a week we finally ventured outside again. The kids road their bikes a bit, had epic coughing fits and then rode some more. There’s nothing quite like that first day outside after a bad illness.
By New Year’s Day we were feeling well enough to get our proper New Year’s meal together. Or sort of together. Collards are hard to come by out here so we settled for Kale, closest we could find in this desolate, dreary part of the world.
When we finally did get back on the road the bus purred across the desert and even the kids hardly raised a complaint when we did back to back five hour drives. They were just happy to be out of California. It’s warmer down here too, a little anyway. Warm enough to get back to our usual stuff, sitting around campfires, walking around looking at petrogylphs and digging in the dirt.
It’s good to be back on the road, it’s good to be home.