21-December-1992 About 7 in the Evening

Rolling through the desert today, we saw nature unfolding. A mesa perhaps 800 feet (or should I say 250 meters) was melting into the surrounding plains. During the rainy season, sky water runs down the walls of the cliffs dragging bits along the path, After some time, the walls have eroded in far enough so the mesa floor collapses down the side. After the season is over, the earth bakes beneath a desert sun. Before too many seasons have passed, the mesa will be no more.

At a point during the days journey, Bibi spotted a stash of dead wood on the road side. Driving past it, we watched for more stashes and stopped at the next one found. We sit now before a fire given by the wood. One of the larger pieces is burning now. The bottom end has several stubby arms. Two of these form a cat’s head and paw in the fire. His ears are standing straight up, facing the other side of the fire. And an arm is extended before his face as if playing with a ball of string. Or swatting the flames away.

Dinner is done, dishes are cleaned and bellies are full once again. A glass of wine sipped here, maybe some water there. The closest neighbor is several miles away from us. A peaceful, introspective time. We’re all quietly thinking.

The day gone past was eventful, to say the least. Mario obtained a cash advance at BanaMex. Our cash flow problems are resolved. Short of extremely foolish waste, we should be able to hit all the places we planned. I feel small, not bringing enough money was very stupid. Well, learn from the mistakes.

The morning started on a sour note. While trying to adjust the driver’s mirror to face away from the jeep, it broke off. It wouldn’t budge, so I pushed harder and then it was gone. Nothing more to push against. The mirror was laying on the sand. The mounting base had broken in half. It seems that the hinge froze in place. I used epoxy to join the two pieces back together. It should be dry by tomorrow.

We stopped to get gas in a town called Jesus Maria. When my turn at the pump arrived, the attendant happily fi1led the tank. Once done, he smiled and asked for 91,OOO pesos. Without thinking, I handed him the money. I started the jeep and pulled to where Mario and Bibi waited in the shade. They asked how many liters I used. My reply was a shrug, I’m not sure. How much money? 91,OOO. A quick calculation by Mario shows that to be about 19.75 gallons. Since the tank holds 20 gallons and the needle was a little above ‘E’, I was robbed. I’d guess it waS 18,000 to 20,000 pesos. There was no way to prove it, the money was lost. More foolishness.

Coyotes were howling and laughing in the distance before. Now there is one barking just outside our camp. Mario had to climb on the roof of his pickup to find him with the flood light. Seems he needed to use Bibi’s rest room for himself. He’s marking around the outside of our camp. Territory boundaries? Perhaps it’s his way of welcoming us to dinner.

We set up a lean-to to block the wind which hounded us before. Two of the grommets tore loose and needed a quick repair. Duct tape works wonders. I plan to sleep under it tonight. The temperature is perfect when out of the wind. Cool enough to let you see your breath. Good sleeping weather.

The cat has gone the way of the wind. Blown off as ashes and dust. The coyotes have returned to their plains. Maybe they’ll be back later, maybe not. Mario is being chased by the smoke as he tries to add fuel to the fire. Bibi is wrapped wíthin a blanket near the fire. And I’m listening to the sounds and sights of another fire in the middle of nowhere.

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