2.6 Desert Sunrise/Escapees

Five a.m. is not an hour to find me awake.  However, this morning, in the dark chill of the pre-dawn desert, I am finding the bees in my brain waking early to commence buzzing about the most recent events of my small life as well as the ones going forward

I turn on my furnace and slip back into my sleeping bag and face toward the picture-window of my windshield, fortunately positioned to frame the sunrise.

Most days the light comes as a simple slow motion of pale blue to tarnished brass to polished brass, and it’s up anatem, me hearties.

But this morning is a special treat.  The ebony of the starry night cedes ever so gently to midnight blue and the horizon hints the night sky has begun its leave-taking.  The black dilutes into blue that begins to define the edges of the jagged cinder-cone hills.

At the edge torn between the earth and sky, deep purple creeps onto the canvas.  Before long pink and lavender streaks are airbrushed onto the scene and the tempo of the light show quickens.

The colors fold and stir into a finale that last several minutes.  Then the gold comes tumbling in chasing the colors away.  The light turns white, the sky, blue and the lamp of day is lit.

And I wonder what message was written in the morning light show.

I have been thinking about the mountain man I met on the road to town two days ago and my good fortune yesterday finding his simple camp in a dry wash.  Look for his story in a future post.

Today is my eighth day at Trek Village.  The population has dwindled to four coaches, a number that will be halved by sunset.  I will leave today if only to drive a couple miles up the highway in search of another group.

A few days ago I joined the Escapees RV Club, tens of thousands of people who share the RV lifestyle.  Do not yield to the temptation of concluding the SKPs are a homogenous, if slightly more social, group of the great community of active RVers.   Many SKPs have clustered into one of the scores of sub-forums, a disparate constellation of affinities.  There are Christian Fellowship groups, Diabetics on Wheels, barbershop harmonizers, nudists, atheists, lovers of Disney, geneologists, amateur radio operators, students of alternative medicine. quilters, cross-stitchers, singles, and a GLBT group.  The group I will introduce myself to this day is the Boondockers, dry-campers, self-contained RVers who seek out spots with no hookups or services.

When I awarded myself a sabbatical from my conventional existence, I believed I was seeking a narrow, inward-looking year.  However three months into my Year on the Road, I am daily discovering a patchwork quilt of rich fabrics stitched together into an ever more amazing tapestry.

I hope you are having as much fun as a passenger as I am as a wanderer.

34 Responses to 2.6 Desert Sunrise/Escapees

  1. Karen & Herb says:

    Always enjoy your thoughts and words.

    We are heading that way….moving south today from Vancouver, BC
    You will all be gone by then. Nice to experience through your eyes.
    Loading up now so must focus on tasks at hand so soon I can ponder
    out windows and have no lists!
    Karen & Herb

  2. Karen & Herb says:

    I imagine you may be with the last of the boondockers……Treks.

    If Doug and Vera are there, please give them our love and we hope
    to see them down the trail in the months to come!
    Herb & Karen

    • allevenson says:

      Doug and Vera are still here just 50 yards away. They’ve decided their spot is nicer than where the Boondockers are. I want to go meet up with this group which will be new for me. I will stay here a few more days. Then back up to the Bay Area for a few weeks before returning. I will definitely stop in this spot again this winter even if I am the only Trek here–just to make sure our flag is still standing. Hope our paths cross one day again.

  3. tanya grove says:

    Sometimes it takes getting out and meeting others to truly see what’s inside yourself, and in turn, I think that knowing who you are contributes to a more genuine appreciation of the people you encounter in your journey. It’s one of those spirals that continues upward and allows you to grow as a person and be the happy wanderer you are. I am honored to be a passenger.

  4. Colleen Rae says:

    Al – I love the description of the sunrise. Very, very fine writing, compadre.
    You are really doing something that many people only dream of – journaling your travels. I know of what I speak as I’ve been there, done it, too. Not in an RV, which I’m sure has its own set of particulars and connections. One thing I discovered in my travels, is that people everywhere are fascinating, for the most part friendly, helpful, and worthy of being written about. Have fun, my friend.
    Chihuahua Enchilada (sequel to MM) will come out in print in a few weeks. It’s at the publishers now. It will be available on Amazon.com, kindle (at your astute suggestion), and some local book stores here in MI as well as my website. Will send you a copy when I get an address to send it to.

  5. Dave L says:

    Dear Mr. Levenson,
    We cordially invite you to accept our most coveted station of “Bard to the RVers.” While we have talked about and imagined a person so qualified, we have never, until now encounterd him. Today we feel fortunate, the mistress has smiled and should you accept, you will make this our pinnacle achieved, our barbeque done, our Budweiser chilled, our barefoot in cotton print dress.
    King Jayco and Followers

  6. Irv says:


    Thanks for sharing your observations about the arrival of morning. It made me flash back to many such mornings when I was in the Army, keeping warm in my sleeping bag and watching the new day start. The breaking of a new day is an under-appreciated experience. It happens pretty much every morning, and it’s free.

  7. Anne Fox says:

    For me, the only virtue of the dawning day is that someone like you is around to extol its great and complex variety of beauty. Otherwise, it is indeed too early. My same complaint about bird watching. If birds got up at noon, I’d be out there with my binoculars. Anne

  8. karen says:

    I remember a sunrise (a number of years ago), similar to the one you described, that helped me understand, fully, what the expression ‘took my breath away’ really means. Thanks for letting me share in your journey.

  9. Such wonderful discoveries. I’m so glad you are on this adventure.

    Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers

  10. Evelyn Washington says:

    Al, you are an impressive wordsmith.

  11. tennjournal says:

    Low on my Bucket List is RV trekking. But Al, with your entrancing stories, the idea of living in a rolling house had just moved up 100 places.

  12. I really loved the way you captured the morning light.

    I woke up for this first time this morning in my new house in my new neightborhood and took a walk through the rose garden in the cold fog to Grand Avenue. It stirred a similar feelings.

    Time to go take another talk! Got errands to run!

  13. Aaron says:

    What a crescendo for a morning coffee. I saw it, even though I didn’t.

  14. Vernon says:

    Al, I’m with your every word. I lived in Arizona for years and camped all over. Night, day…ever on the ground in a sleeping bag — me and my wife and five kids.

    the beauty you caught is so various no cliche can capture the desert’s magnitic attraction — if you are a part of it, like you are…well nearly, being inside.

    It’s a rich depth you have in you. a growing.

  15. BB says:

    Somehow I didn’t get any photos with this post. Hmmm? BB

    • allevenson says:

      Pix to cdme. There are hundreds to sort and edit on the 4 GB chip in my camera. I am undable to d/l them to this old clunker of a laptop. After my newer one developed terminal crash, I order a brand new MacBook Pro which did not arrive before I took off for Quartzsite. The new toy waits for me back in the Bay Area where I will arrive in about a week. Give me a few days to get the new box up and running, the pix loaded and tweaked and then photos embedded in the last three posts. I have notes for several other posts, I have not posted only because pix are important to them.

      I will notify everyone when posts get updated to include photos.

  16. Sunrises as you describe erase, suddenly, no clutter in your life.

  17. Scratch the last. I meant, erase the clutter in your life.

  18. MaryAnne says:

    as a visual and word person I am touched by your word painting of the AZ sunrise. I will definitely be getting up early to enjoy one when I get to Tucson in a couple of weeks in my 27 ft. Winnebago Itasca Cambria. I’ll be meeting a friend (and H.S. classmate) who was kind enough to forward your journals to me and I am one more RVer who is enjoying your journalism gifts/talents. She and I will be a week or so at Canyon Ranch and then head up to Sonoma so I can visit her turf.
    Please add my addy to your “readers list” as I’m a neophyte in the RV world and still in my first year of RV adventuring.


  19. Linda Brown says:


    Do you and your friend in the “dry wash” know about flash floods in AZ? Please camp on high ground.

  20. JSib says:

    Hello Al, I’m enjoying your reports. I read a couple to Mother. She immediately brought up how she and my Dad toured all over the So West in thier van and stopped at KOA’s for showers and doing laundry. Your situation sounds a bit more romantic and comfortable. I hope the RV is gliding along smoothly and trouble free. Just keep traveling. Old friend Jim

  21. Gorgeous photos. You are on the adventure of a lifetime. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers

  22. Colleen Rae says:

    Wonderful photos. Thanks.

  23. MaryAnne says:

    Gorgeous, Al,

    I can’t wait to get there. Am pulling out tomorrow, will visit Abq. a few days and then be headed to Tucson……hopefully it’ll be back to warmer temps by the time I get there.
    Thanx so much for sharing these great pics.


  24. Al,

    We are at the ranch this weekend. Patty bought me an iMac for my birthday, what a joy. I have been a PC guy forever but finally went over to the dark side and like the sailboat guy that went for a ride on his buddies power boat, I confess “I am enjoying it.” We are also enjoying being passengers with the wanderer. Thank you for the post.

  25. karen wittgraf says:

    Something is not right here. You wake up to gorgeous morning sun and I wake up to 5 feet of snow covering my world. Can’t escape the sight of the big grain bin, however.
    I envy you and appreciate seeing another world. Carry on, Karen

  26. Karen & Herb says:

    Great job incorporating the photos within the already delightfully captured
    prose. I read the first go around and with the photos, remarkable.

    We are here on the ocean…..not in our RV but, stories and visuals like
    yours makes us long for the road…..we’ll head south in a couple of weeks…
    can’t wait to see a few sunrises, sunsets of our own. Not so shabby one the
    other evening here in Florence, Oregon.

    Be safe out there…..
    Herb & Karen….the Canadians from Vancouver, BC

  27. Gloria Reid says:

    Your excellent photography is exceeded only by your talented writing. Thanks for bringing us all into your great adventure.

  28. Kathleen says:

    Hello Al,

    Where there are bees there is honey as sweet as the beautiful colors in the Arizona sky! Keep showing us your golden horizons and how they weave into the beauty of the earth and how it keeps us at peace.

    Kathleen in Alameda

  29. Alexa Aho West says:

    Am enjoying your postings, Al, and was glad to chat for a few minutes with you around the campfire in Quartzsite. You mentioned bees at the beginning of your day. Do you know the poet Antonio Machado? He wrote about bees in his heart making honey out of all of his past mistakes. May you keep making honey out of your travels.

  30. AL PEDERSEN says:


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