Summertime campouts: dusty boots and collecting branches for a cackling fire that usually is maintained until about 2am when everyone has had too many beers and too much whisky to care. We curl up in Mexican blankets on the sand and roast sausages with the hum of Credence Clearwater Revival or The Scorpions in the background.
It usually takes about 3 hours or so to get to our desert hideaways – not taking into consideration the breaks for roadside sandwiches and a cold beer in the parking lot while we refill on gas.
Cracked, chapped lips. Thin white t-shirts. Warm air on flushed cheeks. A thin layer of sand cakes my skin. Everyone usually comes prepared. The two of us still manage to run out of gas on the long stretches of winding desert road where all you see are boulders and Joshua Trees for miles. It wouldn’t be an adventure if the last gas station for 50 miles hadn’t been closed. They siphon gas from another motorcycle into an empty beer can on the side of the road so we can keep riding.
We continue down endless stretches of worn pavement; yellow divider lines faded and the occasional pothole. We finally arrive to our favorite piece of land in Anza-Borrego, a sandy area shaded by Single-Leaf Pinyon Pines. We set up our tents and unpack before darkness settles in.
We sleep in a small lean-to style tent strapped to the side of his motorcycle. It’s just big enough for me to curl in the corner next to him while we sleep. The sun sinks from the sky, but the nights are warm. The wind quietly rustles the branches around us as we sit together resting after a long day, laughing together around the fire. We are exhausted and dirty, but we are happy.
Coyotes yip and howl in the distance. A full moon floods the desert with light, allowing us to stay up later as the fire dwindles and smolders into the early hours of the morning.