15 Months and 7 Things

15 months we’ve been on the road. Life is good. While I’ve begun to keep a paper record of when and where we’ve been, I’m finding it difficult to keep up here. I am finding a rhythm of sorts.


Sporadic Rhythm.




We’ve spent the last two months camping with friends throughout the desert. We’ve found some amazing places and people, finding sporadic rhythm between socializing and solitude. At the moment we’re alone in the desert close to the Mexican border.


Just outside a town called Ajo.




7 Things I like about Ajo:



1. There’s excellent boondocking only 2 miles out-of-town.

2. There’s 1 good restaurant, relieving us of trying to decide where to eat and making delicious meals at home instead. Hello hummus, avocado and fried egg sandwich! Thanks oh Tearful One!

3. A groovy boutique, gallery and Shaman’s Market in town that sells creosote oil and salve! Among many other groovy things.

4. The Olsen’s Supermarket and Hardware Store where they sell these:


along with paint and sewing supplies.


5. JB’s





6.  The gorgeous Curley School built in 1919  currently being used as an art space and Artisan’s Apartment complex. There’s a two bedroom currently available for $540 a month! First time I’ve been tempted since we’ve been on the road. They’ve got a clay studio and a wood shop open to the community as well as community gardens. I’m smitten!



7. Immaculate Conception Church in Ajo…







Originally  Ajo was a copper mining town, the place was built and designed in 1915 to keep the miners happy and productive. It all went to shit in the 1980’s and a few years later they started calling Ajo the place “Where Summer Spends Winter” in an effort to attract Snowbirds. It doesn’t seem to be working. While the town has a certain charm, it also has a sad downtrodden sort of vibe. Most of the shops around the beautiful little plaza are empty, making it feel like a ghost town.


So around the same time that Ajo was being designed and built,  Scottie’s great grandma Lola on the other side of the continent, was designing and making this quilt…


It was one of the few things I did not part with when The Big Parting happened. While the stitching still looks great and is holding up pretty well for its age, some of the fabrics are shredding. I’ve begun patching over those tatters keeping a similar palette. Enjoying the slow stitching. I marvel at those elaborate stitches I don’t recognize and can’t begin to work out. I try to imagine what the suit or dress looked like before it got tossed into the fabric scrap pile.  There’s a mustardy brown color that could have been a suit. I’ve no doubt it’s wearer must have felt mighty fine in it.

This morning we came upon an abandoned homestead. A trash pile really. People actually do that shit.  I can understand that it may have been too much effort to take all your clothes and kitchen items to a Goodwill or a dump. Maybe you were drunk and broke and alone, or trying to care for a kid, and you had no choice. That’s what it looked like this morning. A small woman with tiny feet and a weakness for plaid shirts and moccasins. Who tried to stay healthy, there was a juicer, and a slow cooker. She made an effort, but something when terribly wrong.

Maybe I’ve been in the desert too long. I’m communing with ghosts and spirits. Past and present, my own and other’s.

But that’s ok, I feel mighty fine.

Hasta Luego.




    • Thanks for the encouragement Barbara! It is truly a treasure and I know it should probably be kept in a more “suitable” environment, whatever that is, but I’ve always thought beautiful things are to be used and enjoyed instead of kept under wraps for protection. XXOO


  1. The worse, the very worst of the trash piles are the ones which hold things which belonged to children. These break my hearts and honestly, I don’t want to know the stories.
    If y’all decide you want to see some flowers, some trees…you know where to come.
    We miss you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean Mary, there’s something creepy about it all and most especially so when it comes to the innocents. And hell yes, I want to see some flowers and trees and chickens, but most especially The Moons! We’ll get back out there someday soon I hope. XXOO


    • Oh my! Now I’m off to read about Zealandia. Sounds like my kind of place, if it weren’t under water. I see your connection. invisible and submerged. Beautiful. Thank you!


  2. You and Scott continue to inspire and sustain me in ways you might not imagine. Or you might. You both have the gift of imagination, and I’m continually gobsmacked by how you’ve used it to remake your life. I love you, sweet woman.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rosemary, the feeling is mutual! You know both of us adore you and pray for you and always keep you close and talk about inspiring and sustaining! You’re beautiful family IS that! A brilliant light shining in this world. Thank you! XXOO


  3. Or maybe it is working, and just taking a little time. Hundreds of snowbirds have made this their winter home, and it’s got one of the most vibrant DIY retiree communities I’ve ever seen (and I’m from Florida!).

    We also passed through over two years ago on our road trip, and decided to stay and contribute to making this desert bloom. Since then, we’ve hosted thousands of people in our hotel and event center behind the Curley Apartments. https://bigassamericanadventure.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/10-things-to-love-about-ajo/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Shimstu! Read the link you sent and learned a thing or two. I’m always amazed at the stuff I miss and that’s why I love going back to places more than a few times. I’m so pleased to know there’s more than my eyes captured in Ajo, love the whole “under the radar” food scene and look forward to going to any of the art events. Would love to know more about your hotel and center, do you have a website? Looks like your no longer updating your Big Ass Adventure blog.
      And thank you for reminding me about Night of the Lepus! We watched it the first night we were there. Great movie, great town. Looking forward to going back. Thanks for commenting!


      • Hi planting! This is Emily, Shimstu’s wife and author or the Big Ass American Adventure blog. I did stop writing after we moved her full-time and opened the Sonoran Desert Inn & Conference Center (www.sonorancc.com), but I’m collecting stories and memories for an eventual something. A book? Who knows.

        We hope you’ll come visit again and if you do, give us a holler – we’d love to show you more of Ajo and introduce you to some of the people who call it home. This is a special place. And there are 30 (yes, 30!) new murals here since you came through – we had a big arts event last weekend.

        PS: I think I may have encountered you on the Ajo Scenic Loop one day? Maybe? I came to say hello and that my husband and I had gotten married on that spot? I wonder if that was you and your family…

        Liked by 1 person

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