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Desert Survival

[whitespace] IF YOU answer yes to the following questions, then you're ready for the desert.

  1. I don't mind a little heat.
  2. I don't mind a hell of a lot of heat.
  3. I am on a spiritual quest.
  4. I love geology.
  5. I can live without sushi for a week or two.

The desert doesn't suffer fools--be prepared to rough it a bit. There are no cappuccinos in Barstow! Here's a basic checklist.

  • Bring your own corkscrew, stemware and wine. Small desert communities are strongholds of American beer, and we're not talking microbrew. The only wines are wines you don't want to drink.

  • Load up on bottled water at an AM/PM market and sip it all day long.

  • Bring loose clothing, a hat, two pairs of sturdy shoes for hiking on rocky trails and a bathing suit.

  • Bring watercolors as well as a camera--the colors and shapes of the desert will bring out your inner artist.

  • Always travel with a notebook--the desert induces self-reflection.

  • Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!

  • Binoculars

  • Incense

  • A playmate--you'll need something to do on those long afternoons when it's too hot to go outdoors.

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From the April 28-May 5, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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