Rebecca Wilks

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

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

A Tropical Heat Wave


I woke up around 3:30AM for the usual reasons and saw that the temperature outside was 15F.  We had planned for something more like the upper 20s, which is what we’d experienced the last two nights, and had neglected the diesel fuel additive which prevents gelling.  I’m new to this diesel stuff (DEF was just a 20-something cute abbreviation a couple of months ago, as in “I’m def going to the party tonight”) but did know that our owner’s manual says that gelling can happen at around 14F.  I’m thinking it’s a bad thing.  So, we ran the engine and had quality time reading email and playing wordle for a while.  Eventually we got back to sleep, and when I got up to hike out in the dark for the crescent moon set it had warmed to 16.  As I piled on every layer I could find, I was blessed with an earworm (you guessed it), Irving Berlin’s Heat Wave.  After all, it had warmed up one degree.  The song stuck with me for the next couple of hours.

Moonrise over Marble Canyon AZ

I was reminded that a night like that one, almost 10 years ago, convinced me that I needed something more than an SUV to camp in.  At least we were comfortable sleeping this trip.  We heat with diesel too, though, so I imagine that gelled fuel also wouldn’t be so great for keeping us warm.

Morning backlight, Marble Canyon AZ

While campgrounds are quieter in winter, at least in most places, they’re still campgrounds.  Between a couple of local trips and the big Northern California trip, I’d had about enough of them.  We were thrilled to meet some camping photographer friends in a delightfully isolated place for a few days.  You know they’re good friends because I shared some of my secret places.


In any case, we all lived to tell about the heat wave.

Moonrise, Watson Lake, Arizona

In other news, I had a lovely quick trip to Watson Lake for the rising of the full moon.  Come to think of it, that was cold, too.

Predawn light at Alamo Lake AZ

And a quick overnighter at Alamo Lake.

The Raven at Alamo Lake

And finally, despite the learning curve, we’re still loving the Raven; the space, the views, the pleasure in driving.  I just smile when people say it reminds them of Mad Max.


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