Porpoises in the Desert, Running on Fumes

Leaving Skydive ElsinoreLeaving Lake Elsinore was somewhat nostalgic in that we’ve had such an incredible and monumentally eventful stay there. 6 weeks of pure frivolous enjoyment driven by our daily needs and desires. During this time, it was truly opportune to discover a yoga studio so close to the dz, let alone have a Twin Otter as the backdrop to our daily living. When out for my daily walk, I was always tickled by the closeup vantage point of the plane’s underbelly on takeoff and landing. There are not many places where one can go walking so close to a runway and see the skydivers on approach directly above. Otter & AirstreamI love living on an airport, truly!

So off we sped, in our silver bullet tin can (I think we should get sponsored by Red Bull … living the skydiving and yogaFLIGHT lifestyle that we do), driving south around San Diego and heading east on Highway 8. The climb across the southern Rocky Pass was quite the slow and heavy duty slog, but the view from the top and winding down through the valley was gorgeous.DC3 & Airstream Imagine large red and grey boulders interspersed with pockets of desert brush. And rolling on through to Yuma, one could see RVs stretched across the desert for miles, boondocking in the vast open plains and burning sun. What’s the draw you might think? The free camping amongst the sand dunes opens up to vast playground  …. EVERYONE seems to come out to the desert with their quads and dune buggys, riding the waves of sand, like porpoises ducking and diving amidst the ridges of desert mounds. It was a cool sight to behold, especially with the backdrop of Mexico’s borders tightly lined with triple wired fences standing guard of the US border.

Once crossing the Arizona border, we made our way to a small town called Dateland. Uncertain as to whether any stores would be open (it being Good Friday and all), I was extremely excited at finding a place to pick up a healthy supply of Medjool dates. They are my favourite dried fruit to sweeten raw treats and smoothies with, so of course, I had to stock up. Wonder if we’ll make this an annual run? If not, I do know that they ship anywhere within the continent.California mountains Yippppeeee!

Thinking that we had just enough fuel to get us to Eloy, we opted to stick with our 1/4 tank to steer us to our next skydiving home. Unfortunately, we had a bit more climbing to do and underestimated the amount needed. Not such a great idea on a Good Friday evening when stations were closed left right and center. Ack! Never before have we run down our tank to ‘0 miles, Distance To Empty’. With sweaty palms and the fumes of our empty tank, we slithered into Casa Grande and found a station with diesel (about 2 in every 3 gas stations here in the US stocks diesel fuel). Vowing to never run below 1/4 tank again without refueling, we have hopefully learned a valuable lesson in fuel management.

It was quite late when we pulled in to Eloy. A much longer than we anticipated, but with numerous stops along the way, we were happy to settle in for the next few days. It being Easter and all, we could count on there being a holiday Boogie, with lots of friends and fun aircraft to jump. Perhaps we’ll get some wind tunnel flying time in? And of course, I’ve already booked a Sunday morning balloon jump with Burner for uS, and our friends Tim & Kari. I’ve been waiting 4 long years to jump Burner’s balloon (this is when slaDE~ & I were here last, crewing balloons in the desert, and me with my injured wing at the time couldn’t get in any free balloon jumpS!). There is no way I’m going to miss out making a balloon jump on this trip, even if I have to pay for it! Stay tuned 🙂

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