Rebecca Wilks

Rebecca Wilks; Photographer, Teacher, Yarnellian, Do-Gooder

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Plan "B"

Ocotillo Wells
Marco and I were lying in bed, in the camper.  Neither of us wanted to look at our phones to check the time, but it seemed like this had been going on for hours.  The revving of dirt bikes and quads, the loud music and yelling, and the gunshots.  The first time I gave in and looked, it was around 2:00 AM. We tossed and turned, groused and grumbled until it finally stopped at 4:30.  Belated quiet at the Main Street Event Center in Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area.

Our group, and "friends"
I don’t want to seem ungrateful.  The folks who make our mobile mansion, Four Wheel Campers, generously set up this rally, renting the facility and providing groovy tees, food, and wine.  We met some great folks during the afternoon and over dinner.   In all, there were about 35 vehicles.  Unfortunately, there were a whole lot of other folks, some of them drunk and rude on a colossal scale.

We hiked up the hill to the north before sunrise (because, who can sleep?), dodging dirt bikers (when do THEY sleep?) and enjoyed first light on what I’d come to call “Thunderdome.”  He and I and the dog agreed to leave the party a day early and find some peace.

The Slot and tiny moon
We had a nice hike in a slot canyon in the adjacent Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, creatively dubbed “The Slot.” The light was lovely, and more beige than the oranges we’re accustomed to in the Navajo Sandstone in Arizona.  We scouted some other spots, and decided to move on.

Kofa NWR
I’ve shot a handful of times in the last few years in the Kofa National Wildlife Preserve, south of Quartzsite, AZ.  Marco had never been there, and that, together with the likelihood of solitude and quiet in the spot I had in mind made it seem like the right choice.  Kofa Queen Canyon is not particularly well-known, and the road is just rough enough to discourage most campers but not bad enough to high-center Lurch.

Cactus skeleton detail in sweet light, Kofa NWR
The light was beautiful and the beers were cold.  Luna managed to stay out of the chollas. No regrets.

Plan “B” helped me reclaim my mojo after a month of being occupied with other work.

More images of this trip are in the Autumn in the West Gallery on the website.

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