We spent the past day and a half looking for needles in a haystack (our friends in the desert) and too many hours driving blindly (also in the desert, in Bouse, maybe Parker?) looking for a store to buy a new one.
And we can't call him because our phone's broken. So we depend on the Internet. Which we use only sparingly because our batteries are weak because the motor home's not doing its job of charging them.
We finally find a phone store up the road in Blythe, CA., where we also find a couple who live in the Quartzsite desert. Their knowledge combined with e-mails from our friends lead us to the right desert door. But our friends have moved on because there's a storm brewing and everyone knows you don't stick around in the desert when a storm comes to town.
We drive away, too, with a new phone but the same sick battery problem. So we head to Yuma, down on the Mexico/Arizona/California border for a repair shop, where they've left the gate open for us to pull in and park for the night.
We get there. We sleep. In the morning, we go, in our car, away for the day while the repairmen tend to the motor home.
We walk along the Colorado River, enjoy lunch and grocery shop, all the while we watch the sky darken, feel the wind pick up speed. Another storm. In the desert.
We're told to expect flash floods with those high winds.
Time to get out of this town, too.
We pick up the motor home and leave, aiming for Tucson. The wind and rain follow. A sprinkle at first, then a deluge. Blinding rain. Belting wind. It looks foggy. But it's not fog. It's dust and sand and pebbles. Whacking us. Smacking us.
The night turns black black black, The wind pushes and shoves and jostles us. Kicks us again and again. We're hurled left and right. Relentless. Overpowering. Lightening. Rain. Wind. Immense sustainable power.
Now we know why naming a war operation Desert Storm was a fierce move. A line in the sand, A powerful message.
Now we know.