Thursday, 8 October 2015

And now it all just blends together.

I was a little unwell for most of the week...Not to put too fine a point on it, I came down with a UTI... a urinary tract infection, which is very common for women on the playa and not a total surprise, especially seeing as I'd had the not so great couple of days of not watching my water intake.  Plus the playa is really not a welcoming place and the PH of the dust alters things, there's no real way around it.  But I wasn't at my physical best and couldn't really be too far from a pee-place as I was trying my best to flush the bad out of my system and stuff.  (Cranberry capsules for the win!)  Max was so good at taking care of me... making sure I had a drink always at hand and that I was actually drinking it.  It was also super handy that I felt so comfortable in their space and that they were ok with me using their toilet so that I could pee in relative comfort and not have to wait in the heat in the potty lines.  (It honestly is the little things that make such a difference.  Especially if you're not at your best on playa.)

There was also the dust.  This was a very windy and dusty year and so we (Max, his room-mate and camp mates and friends and even Connor at times, and myself) just hung out in their camper, out of the dust and chatted.  These random, fun, silly, sometimes deep conversations about who knows what.

I was happy.  I couldn't stop smiling.  And if I wasn't sitting cuddling Max, I was staring goofy-eyed at him and inching my way back across the camper to him.

Not that it was all that cool in the camper, what with keeping the windows and doors shut from the crazy wind and dust storms.  Every once in a while I'd get overwhelmed by the stuffiness and have to pop out, find some shade and mild blocking from the wind just to get some air.  Or, I should say... some "air."

At one point one of the shade shelters in their camp got caught up in a gust of wind and we all pulled on gloves and ran to help take it down so it wouldn't cause any more damage.  That's how intense the wind can be... this structure was solid, well put together, hadn't been moving in the wind at all... totally surrounded by other campers and rvs and trucks and shelters and BAM!  Just like that it was thrashing in the wind.  Thankfully no one was in the tent under the structure at the time or there would have been injuries.  It took about ten of us about as many minutes to take what was left of the structure down and that made me start to worry about my own camp and our ... edge of the city shade structures, with absolutely no shelter from that heavy wind.

I got antsy, and felt the need to go check on my camp and Max asked if I wanted him to come with me and I did.  We biked, hard against the wind, dust whipping into our skin, out to L street and along to my camp.  Which was empty.

I thought for sure Connor would have been back to check on things but neither he nor Sarah were anywhere to be seen. (I'd been worried about Sarah in the whiteouts but hoped she was ok.)  Luckily, things weren't ripped apart like what we'd just gone through but our shade shelter was looking sketchy and the winds weren't dying down so Max and I started to take them down as quickly as we could before they turned into kites or smashed into someone or something else.  As we did so, Sarah came running out from the tent trailer of one of the neighbours where she'd been taking shelter all day and I found Connor asleep in the back of his truck.  We got the tops off the shade shelters and made sure our tents were solid and took down a few more things that were flapping a bit too wildly.

The neighbours had lost their camper's awning to the wind and a few other structures had either come down or been taken down.  We also had huge sand dunes that had blown in to our area and when I went to check on my tent, there was a thick coating of dust over everything.  More dust than I've ever had in my tent. 

Which made me, once again, appreciate that I was staying with Max and just how much of a difference a camper or RV can make in the desert.

I later discovered that I'd actually missed closing a second zipper on the tent and so there might not have been quite as much dust if I'd caught that my first night in.... but I didn't, so there was a LOT of dust.  A lot!  Which is why it's a really handy idea to cover your bedding with extra sheets, so you have clean bedding no matter what.  I also cover my bins and my travel bag with sheets so they stay relatively clean.  Although with this amount of dust and wind and days of whiteouts... there wasn't really much "clean" happening!

So yeah, I was unwell, but not sick (if that makes sense) and knew that either I'd kick it, or it'd be an uncomfortable car ride home (with me peeing in a bottle or something) but with the help of cranberry capsules and fluids and staying close to home base and Max watching over me I started to feel better, if not perfect, after a day or two.  Which was a relief (for both of us.)

And it was dusty.  And windy.  Because they go together.  Duh!  My dustiest year by far, and apparently one of the dustier years in a while.


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