Posts Tagged ‘Black Rock High Desert’

The Long Way Home

September 7, 2013

The excruciating wait for the dust storm to end.

It was six plus hours of solid white out yesterday.

The triple time it took to get to Reno.

The family car has been having some issues and for a while it was not moving more than twelve miles an hour.

The long start to get out of Reno tonight.

And last but not least, putting the baby down to bed.

Who is not used to the feel of his real bed, the cats mewling at the door for attention, the hustle and bustle to unload the truck, the car stayed in Reno and a truck pulled the trailer and us back to San Francisco.

I was not going to write my blog tonight.

I am tired.

But I am also wide awake, surged up with adrenalin and what’s next?!

There is another reason too, I am doing a load of laundry.

I have nothing clean left, I wore my last serviceable outfits today in Reno.

I am at the family’s home in Cole Valley and the extra-large, bulky load is going to take an hour to wash.  I want to be awake, even if that means that I am up until 2 a.m. to swap over the load so that I may have clean underpants to put on myself in the morning.

The family kindly is letting me stay tonight and as long as I need tomorrow.

I am accepting the offer with much gratitude.

I cannot do much else.

On one hand I have no home to go home to.

On the other, I have plenty, but the logistics of figuring it all out are so escaping my playafied brain that I cannot put it all together.

The focus, as far as I can see, is to catch up on my e-mails, write this blog, change over the laundry, sleep, and in the morning first thing, go to the phone repair place down the street and have them fix my phone.

If they can’t then I need to get a new one on the ASAP.

I can not not have a phone.

No bueno.

“Oh, are you going to be one of those people,” an old friend from pre-highschool days said to me with some disdain when I asked for her number to put into my new cell phone.

I am absolutely one of those people, I wasn’t at first, but I became so quickly, my schedule has always been jam-packed and I am not a person who is wont to go home and check her messages.

And I have messages.

The Mister left me a message, back on the 20th of August, he’s finally coming up for air.

I liked the sound of that and I would like to see him, if only to finally air out my own feelings.

Something to the extent of, are we actually going to kiss each other again, because I want to, quite bad.  And I know he is a damn busy man, but maybe we can try to make some time to meet up more than once every other month.

I need to get a hold of my friend whose in-law I am moving into, I need to get the keys and oh, you know, move in.

How, when, with what vehicle, fuck if I know, but it will happen.

I just need to place the phone call.

I will most likely leave my playa stuffs here in Cole Valley and go gather my things in East Oakland and then collect them all and bring them out to the Sunset.

I am, fingers crossed, thinking maybe I can do that on Sunday?

Then I can take Monday to get household stuff, of which I don’t have any, but I won’t need much, at least to get me started.

My friend said she had a blow up mattress, so that will suffice until I find a bed.

I also have to contact the family in the East Bay and see what is going on with them.

I am not prepared to do any nannying until I feel like Tuesday, and I don’t want to commute over there.  Then again, Tuesdays I have always worked here, in Cole Valley, maybe that’s what has to happen.

Too much logistics, can’t go that far out.

Just keeping it to the right here right now.

And the gratitude.

That we fucking made it out of the hellish white out storm.

I really thought at one point that there was not going to be a break in the weather and we were going to be trapped for another night on playa.  We would not have died, but I think we were all quite ready to leave.

Really ready.

The dad braved the winds and the dust, after being stranded on the way to the depot and not being able to find his way for over an hour, on a Cushman while he was making a trash run.  Then the storm got worse and we stayed sequestered in the trailer for lunch.

I had fortunately gotten up early and taken photographs of the last sunrise I am going to see in Black Rock City for some time.

Sunrise

Sunrise

Last Sunrise

Last Sunrise

Sunrise, Black Rock High Desert

Black Rock High Desert

Fortunate as I made my coffee, drank two big mugs, wrote my morning pages, and finished my packing up of the Airstream Bambi.  I was done and ready to leave by 8:30 a.m.

But first there was a trip to make to the Commissary for one more breakfast and to sit with the family and discuss how camp was going to get broke down and how to manage the baby’s nap and sleep schedule while this was happening.

A plan was laid, but like all best laid plans, it was for naught.

An act of God intervened.

Here is camp before the storm hit, lit in the soft glow of the sunrise.

Camp

Camp

On the left the family vehicle that was to provide such trouble getting us to Reno.

On the right, the Soccer Mom, which had to be dropped off to the mom’s assistant who was going to drive it to San Francisco.

Behind the family vehicle, their container, which was packed full and scheduled for pick up.

Then the Cushman which would be dropped off to Ranger HQ.

There was the Frontier Trailer to empty, clean, and transference of all family stuffs to the Bambi, which fingers crossed would be hitched to the BMW and then just in case, there was the Ford F-150, not pictured, that was on playa being used over at Heavy Machinery, but cleared for the family use if needed.

Boy was it needed.

That’s a lot of stuff to take care of, without a dust storm.

Home Base

Home Base

It was however, quite doable.

Everything was pretty much packed, sorted, and organized.

It was just a matter of logistics.

Imagine the entire family’s dismay, then, when the white out hit.

The baby was just getting up from his morning nap and the papa had been outside sorting and breaking down the camp.

Mama was having a last-minute sit down with her assistant to clarify some last issues and needs.

I was inside the Frontier organizing baby gear.

Then we got walloped.

Mom got back to camp, dad got stuck in the Cushman less than a 1/4 mile away, but as there was no visibility, it took him an hour to make it back to camp.

The awning on the trailer was ripped to shreds and spent the next six hours flapping and banging into the trailer which shook and was soon stuffed with the dust that was screaming through the air.

We holed up inside, ate a lunch, held our breaths, each thinking, this will pass soon, but as the hours dragged on and the conditions stayed the same, morale quickly sunk.

A nap was taken by the family, I plugged in my head phones to my lap top and watched a video, with an eye constantly pulled to the front, white and occasionally to the back, white out, window.

Around four hours in, the papa decided to get out there.

I have never seen a more determined person.

He sliced down the awning, rolled up the canvas and stashed it in the container, when the metal frame fell on him, I hopped up and braved the weather to help him secure it to the trailer.

Look at the two white poles supporting the awning in the above picture.

Now imagine that you cannot see a person standing across from you.

Complete white out.

The dust stung and slapped and within seconds I was coated.

I felt like I was hanging on for dear life.

Papa secured the metal frame on one side, we slowly swapped places, then he got the other side.

He shooed me back indoors, where I got one look at myself and saw what I will look like with gray hair.

I don’t know how it all got done, but it did, and the stuff was all transferred, the trailers packed, it was frantic and scary and frustrating and for a good part of it I just stood to the side holding the baby.

Then, the three vehicle caravan, the Bambi connected to the BMW, the Soccer Mom mini van leading the way, and me just behind, in the Ford truck, slowly making our way through the white out.

Took over an hour to get off playa.

Complete white out.

We all stayed connected via radio, in fact, because the BMW was acting up, we kept in radio contact the entire way to Reno.  I followed behind the Bambi, which at times was able to go the speed limit, but then for no particular reason, other than the dust having fucked up the electrical system of the car, it would slow to 20 mph, then 15, then 12.

Then the dad would pull over, let the system rest, and re-start the car.

A trip that typically takes under two hours, took more than four and a half.

You can surmise how tired we were pulling into the Pepper Mill after midnight.

It was a long day.

And I forgot my laptop in the truck after we had checked in.

I could barely get myself in and out of the shower, let alone write this blog.

In fact, I am going to wrap it up now.

It is late, the laundry, while not nearly done, there are three weeks worth of clothes to do, this load is almost ready for the dryer.

And this lady is ready for the bed.

It is way past my bedtime.

And there is much to do on the morrow.

So much.

 

 

 

 

 

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