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The Truth About the American Southwest

It is a healthy sign of our culture that YouTubers are starting to make fun of #vanLife videos produced by illiterate charlatans who look good in a bikini. But why didn't old-fashioned blogs -- you know, the kind you have to read -- go through the same phase of healthy self-criticism?

Consider their presentation of the American Southwest. The bloggers are here for a couple months, when it is sheer frozen hell in the rest of North America. So they have an 'easy audience.'

Typically they are sitting out in a folding chair, in front of their rig, while reading a book. They are wearing shorts and a straw hat, perhaps. The readership sees this and thinks, "And it's January. Paradise."

In case the suckers haven't been sold yet, the blogger then shows 30 postcards of saguaros at sunset or red cliffs and arches. That really gets the armchair travelers to flutter their eyelashes. 

The sort of half-truths you can tell with a digital camera and a free blogsite! A blogger should try to capture the truth -- which in the Southwest, is harsh. As long as they focus on trivial prettiness they are just salesmen, shoveling escapism to naive wannabees.

Now, what got me into such a rant, today? Hellish afternoon winds, that's what! I can't hear the music I'm playing because of a tiny crack in a small trailer window. A five gallon metal gasoline can just blew over in front of my trailer. My trailer has stabilizer jacks -- but only two of them. I need four. Violent gusts startle me when I am trying to read. My door can't be left open even when it is held securely with a nylon strap -- a black rubber strap doesn't have a chance. The folding chairs blew over an hour ago.

There have been times this summer when I couldn't even open the trailer door because of the winds. I had to time my tugging with momentary lulls between gusts.

Gawd, I am getting sick of this part of North America! If you want to know what it is like, don't read escapist RV travel blogs in January. Rather, watch Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns, shot in southern Spain, where the climate is as ghastly as the American Southwest.


And what general area are you in right now.
Plus the sand is as fine as talcum and everything inside is dust covered. Including you if you sit still long enough.
Bob said…
Love those Sergio Leone Westerns, mow I know what to watch tonight, granted if I can find one, but I'll be wind and dust free either way!
Bob, I too love the Leone westerns when it comes to the Ennio Morricone music score and the harsh cinematography. He doesn't try to prettify the scenery. The viewer always feels sun-scorched, parched with thirst, and coated with wind-blown dust.
Ed said…
What you are getting sounds like 'Spring' in Cochise County Arizona.

As in the story of the tourist that stopped what looked like a native and asked "Does the wind always blow this way?" The old timer said "Nah, sometimes it blows from that away."
Ed, Carol, Gopher: you are right about the dust. At least I get lucky there, because it doesn't bother me. And it sweeps away easily.

OFM, I knew somebody would give me a "love it or leave it" argument. It hasn't been that simple in the past. But it will be easier when Medicare starts in one week. (No more Obamacare.)
Anonymous said…
If you lie awake at night dreaming of the ideal place to hang out, where would it be?

"Love it or leave it argument". I have no problem with your statements, I was wondering where in general you were located now i.e. central Nevada or ???
Sorry, Barney, I misinterpreted your first comment, and thought you were funnin' me. Actually I am in the northeast part of the Southwest, that is, southern Colorado.
Ed, that's a good one...

I have always expected the wind to die down in late summer. Not so this year. And I'm getting impatient for lovely autumn temperatures to arrive. Hence, I'm cranky.
Ted said…
A nice Southwest Ponderosa Pine forest with convenient small, sunny clearings and occasional aspen groves to provide visual variety... yeah, that works for me. No dust or high winds, either. If it’s in Nevada, no bears and the rattlesnakes are rarely seen, with the weakest poison of any viper.

Oops, I’m being a blabbermouth. Um, it’s actually horrible! There are, like, too many chipmunks sometimes. And they eat nit and chitter. So darn annoying! Yeah, don’t come to these places.

P.S.—I hate Captcha. It takes a dozen or more attempts to validate my humanity when the cell signal is marginal. Poorly designed system.
Ed said…
I agree with Ted's P. S. . If you must have a Captcha then use the math problem one, I can usually get that one correct with just a couple of guesses.
Ted, Captcha only quizzes you occasionally. It won't you go through that each time.

Semi-open Ponderosa pine forests are excellent. Now, don't start praising Nevada as an up-and-coming paradise. It has quite a few deficiencies. Its main positive is being uncrowded. It may come to the point that uncrowdedness outweighs all other considerations.
Ed, OK, I killed the Captcha for awhile. Let's see how that goes.
Ted said…
I was getting a Captcha every time I tried to comment, without exception. Perhaps because the Captcha annoyance kept my comments few and very far time-wise apart, so it forgot that it tested me last time?

Yes, Nevada has far too many deficiencies to be a van-dweller paradise. Incredible distance to decent shopping (and everything else) being a big one. People aren’t so dumb that they would be ignoring the state without reasons. But it has some nice things, too.

BTW, stupid autocorrect has my chipmunks eating “nit” instead of “nuts”. My apologies and I have turned off that feature. (It seems to reactivate itself eventually for some unknown reason.)
Anonymous said…
just verifying that I got rid of Captcha
Anonymous said…
Good post. I will be facing a few of these issues as well..