If you look at a map of California, and follow along I-10 just south of Joshua Tree, you’ll see a small place called Chiriaco Summit. It’s a small stop in the middle of the desert and offers the only services between Indio and Blythe, California. Maybe 50 or 60 people live there. I’m one of them.
My partner Elaine and I manage a small campground here just behind the town, if you want to call it that, and the George Patton Museum. It’s a good life. A perfect home base.
Last spring we got rid of our cars and got a small motorhome. After spending five months in Montana we came back here to the desert last fall. It’s our only vehicle right now. We go to town once a month for supplies, but once we get back and get settled again we don’t go anywhere with it. Yet. We of course could, and no doubt will. Getting another vehicle is on my ‘to do’ list — being able to jump into a pickup to go up to Joshua Tree or wherever without having to pack up the RV would be cool, but for now I’m content with exploring my immediate surroundings on foot.
I have plenty of desert outside my door. I have the community to wander in. There’s the museum grounds. There are tanks and flags and signs and wooden crosses and antique vehicles all a short stroll away. These have been the subjects of my pictures lately. I’m out every day, and I’m keeping busy finding new ways of looking at the same subjects day after day. It’s good practice. A good exercise.
I wake up every morning well before sunrise. I start my day by fueling myself with coffee. Plenty of coffee. When the sun comes up I grab my camera, wake the dog, and we set off to see what our world looks like. As we set out we pass by our campground sign and flag. It looked pretty good this morning.