There are pros and cons to just about anything in life and that definitely applies to living in the desert southwest. First let me start by saying, the desert is not for everyone. For some folks it’s an acquired taste, there are those that fall in love, and for others they never quite get used to it.
As a former Midwesterner, I was always fascinated by cacti. So moving to the desert southwest in the 90’s was an anticipated adventure, as was the city itself….Las Vegas. I embraced all the new sights, flora, and creatures native to the southwest. Lizards aren’t exactly a common sight in northern Illinois.
With a decided lack of moisture, the desert gets dry and dusty. Add in some four-wheeling activity and the dirt really starts to fly. During our lengthy stay in the desert boonies near Quartzsite, Arizona, we experienced a regular dose of desert dirt.
Yes, the dirt and dust would definitely be the number one thing I dislike most about the desert. The extreme heat would be a close second, but then again, we try not to be in the desert in the summer.
We left Quartzsite last Friday and have been happily set up in a Regional Park on the north side of Phoenix. Ah, it’s nice to be hooked up to electric and water. Our first day back in civilization was spent cleaning. I vacuumed, then I vacuumed, cleaned the vacuum cleaner, and vacuumed some more. I took a shower followed by another shower then gave the dog two showers. I’m still not sure if we’ve rid ourselves of the buckets of desert dirt, but at least it’s a start.
I did clean routinely while boondocked but the dust just kept returning. My laptop and printer are black with a smooth finish…..no match for the desert dirt. The dirt won hands down. A wet rag was used every third day to wipe down everything inside the rig. I’m not sure why I bothered because it wasn’t long before the dirt was back making my attempts futile.
Yep, boondocking isn’t for sissy’s or especially anyone who’s even a tad O.C.D., but the vast, open terrain is a draw….a unique beauty.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t share some of the pluses the desert southwest offers; sunny skies, the most unusual and interesting vegetation, massive amounts of public land for our enjoyment, no mosquitoes (no need to hurry and close the screen door for flying insects – few and far between), the most gorgeous sunsets and sunrises (even the Florida fans in our group struggling with the desert, couldn’t argue with that).
At first glance, the desert may seem baron or even dead, but never have I experienced an environment more alive than the desert after a rainfall. I’m in awe of the plants and animals that don’t just survive but thrive in this harsh terrain.
Desert dwelling? I love it. It’s not for everyone, but you won’t know unless you try!
“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences”. – Eleanor Roosevelt