• Michael Phillips

Baja day 5

The daily routine is done. Life on the road is without structure, rules, or any exact plan, really. So I’ve decided to apply my own daily regiment to a time of wandering. After waking up before sunrise for shooting there is the morning coffee and RV cleanup, with some music or a podcast to keep me company. Then a 20 meditation (I’m up to Pro level 5 on Headspace, yes I know how ridiculous that sounds). Following meditation is a light workout with weights, pushups and stretching. Mind, body, soul… trying to cover all bases before hitting the road again.

Sounds perfect, right?? Yes, at times it is. I push myself while looking on at beautiful scenery, enjoying the peaceful time, not a care in the world. At other times, I get positively stressed. Yesterday was a tough one on the road. I drove with the moonroof and windows open, passing through an ever changing desert landscape. My eyes pretty much stayed fixed the road. The one lane narrow roads keep driving an exercise in caution. Should I not be paying attention for even a moment, that’s when it gets hairy. And when the RPod shuffles off the road for that moment there’s a lot of bumping and shaking till things normalize again. She does take a pounding on these wild Mexican roads. And then there was this one particular bump…

My eyes caught this beautiful field of saguaros and I was frantic to find a pull off spot. As one came out of seemingly nowhere I pulled over with too much enthusiasm and BOOM! I pulled the e-brake and had a look into the trailer. Broken glass covering the floor, my custom cabinet housing my kitchen appliances was in pieces. Everything else in there was ajar and clothes and dry goods lay everywhere. With humor and patience I cleaned it all up, got my beautiful panorama shot within the cactus gauntlet and went on my merry way.

Upon arriving at my next boondock destination I came upon new surprises. My screen door was hanging strangely and the door refused to open. Once prying it open the refrigerator was inexplicably beeping. The kitchen faucet gave no water (just after filling my fresh tank). And the slide out would not slide out. A world of stress came pouring in. Zen had been lost!

A few hours of work, research (that means YouTube videos and a couple of whiskeys) proved fruitful and, although I am not someone I would call ‘handy’ or educated in these matters, things got fixed. While my confidence may have been temporarily shaken, a sense of pride returned.

Friends and family have an incorrect view of my cavalier approach to travel. They think I have no fear of travel. This is very untrue. Being stranded due to a mechanical failure or RV mishap is a fear I live with every day. Every day I get to my temporary destination is a relief.

At the moment the wind is whistling through the cactus wonderland that is my campsite and it’s time to move on the coast, the beach awaits. I promise to myself to be vigilant while keeping the relaxed, happy go lucky mood that makes this time so special.

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