Friday, February 10, 2017

Prince & Bobo - Desert View Tower

In our desert driving experience over the past month we realize a missing piece of equipment.  Sand ladders can aid the capable 4WD of Q should the sand be very deep.  The realization comes not from actual duress, but from knowing that the sand could be deeper and the stickiness stickier.  In researching purchase of sand ladders, Alex finds that there are some available for about $15 each.  That seems very reasonable for this piece of safety equipment, and gives us an idea of what the cost will be.  When we drive to the Off-Road Warehouse to inquire, we discover that the cost is $150 each.  How can there be such a huge difference?  This is a riddle that should be left for you to answer, but since the answer came so easily to me (from Alex), I'll tell you.

The $15 sand ladders are 1/10th scale for the drivers of remote control (toy) cars.

BTW, my friend Hasan suggests that Q's second name might be Sakeena, a lovely name which also means peace.

After a few days visit with the Gigi we head back out to find some desert warmth.  At last the forecast is for sunshine and 70 degrees (more or less).  We pass over Cajon Pass where there are still patches of snow.  It is a small breath (a gasp) between mechanical control and the edge of the wind.  
(- Alex on how it feels to drive Q across the high bridges in gusts that must have been close to 80 mph). We survive.

On a whim, we stop by the Desert View Tower.  This is a place that is very familiar to my sibs and me.  On our long, hot summer drives east in the 1950s, we'd sometimes stop here to climb the tower and enjoy the view - and complain about the heat.  

We meet Ben Schultz who purchased the tower in 2002 - and saved it from decay with help from neighbor Dennis, rock mason - among other talents.  When i mention to Ben that our family visited way back when, he tells us that he had his 7th birthday party here.  To my sibs, i must relay the good news that the tower and caves are in fine condition.  

While her spouse worked to repair the stone work, Linda painted the mural over the entrance.  It is because Dennis expresses interest in Quiggy that we get the pleasure of meeting Linda and Dennis.  We might have just admired the good maintenance and the beauty of the mural without meeting the artists.  Thanks Q.

Prince and Bobo are part of the mural - and display their mural pose after giving us a huge welcome of tail wagging and toe licking.  I mean to say that their enthusiastic welcome includes licking our toes, after which they take a nap.

Ben's brother, Sam, returned from Bali to work in retirement here at the tower, too.  Sam tells us that he was a surfer who found his way to Bali as a young man - and just never left until moving in with Ben.  In Bali, Sam migrated from surfing to working for an NGO to relieve the suffering of poverty.  Ben and Sam are Quakers. They don't shy away from conversation with visitors.
 Sam arranges a new exhibit
A big smile on the climb to the top of Desert View Tower

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