Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Desert trip

Art Boy and I took advantage of a rare overlapping day off to drive into the desert together. (More accurately, Art Boy drove, which proved to be an adventure in itself due to the high wind advisory in effect over much of our drive.) We headed to the town of Mojave, looked at the map, and decided to make for Red Rock Canyon State Park a few miles north. Oh my, it was lovely. Very dry and very windy, but dramatically beautiful.

We stopped at a visitors center and chatted with a friendly ranger, who said she drives to Ventura to surf and reminisced about the days of her youth, when it was safe to sleep on the beach. "Now you can't even afford to live anywhere near the water," she said. "It's sad, it really is. But I've got the desert." She directed us to nearby Nightmare Gulch, where "The Mummy" was filmed, and to a nearby spot where, she said happily, "Waterhole 3" was filmed. "You know, James Coburn," she said. We nodded; we knew James Coburn. We were unable to find the exact "Waterhole 3" site but walked around near there, and also near the entrance to Nightmare Gulch, before the howling, chilly wind drove us back to the car.

I was disappointed, upon our return, to find that the film is actually called "Waterhole #3" and is not the third in a sequence of "Waterhole" films. It does, however, apparently feature a joke in which rape is described as "assault with a friendly weapon." Yes, it was an educational day.

Anyway, you can see Art Boy's pictures here. He was gentlemanly enough not to include the photo he took of me in the high wind, in which I appear to have spent three weeks in the desert smoking peyote (or eating it or whatever one does with peyote... we'll learn that on the next trip I guess).

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