Hello from Victorville. For those of you who don’t know where that is, let me enlighten you. I am in the Mojave Desert about an hour southeast of Lancaster and Palmdale and north of San Bernadino by about the same on Interstate 15. The cool thing about Victorville is... wait, it will come to me... hold on... I’ll think of something... It’s on the Historic Route 66. And that’s about it. Granted I haven’t really explored the place beyond Food 4 Less, the slightly skeezy hotel, and Starbucks. I just don’t understand the draw. Why does this place exist? No one can figure out why people live here. I think this was a stage stop back in the old days, then Route 66, and people just decided to stay? I wonder how many of them commute into the Inland Empire, LA, or other places. But then there are a lot of Desert Rats here. If you haven’t seen or met one yet, just wait... or come here. They are... interesting people, and that’s all I will say on that.
So why the hell am I here? Work! I’m playing archaeologist for perhaps the last time doing survey work. Yes, surveying in a desert in the summer. Yeah, real smart timing. So to avoid the heat (sort of) our day starts at 5am. The only good thing about that is that we are done by 1:30. However, I have a hard time eating lunch at 10:30 am when I’m still used to not eating breakfast till 11 am. We do get to watch the sunrise, which can be pretty spectacular.
But then it’s over and the sun comes out and it gets hot and we start to sweat and stink. And then the flies get really happy and the crew starts to get a little loopy. I must say though that we have been pretty lucky this rotation. We get out and back to our hotel rooms before the temperature reaches 100 degrees. The crew keep commenting how nice it has been. This is rotation 3 for them, only 1 for me. It’s 25 days vs. 5. My perspective of pretty sunrises and “I don’t mind the heat” attitude will most likely change by the time this project is finished... which could be a very long time off. Not sure I will last that long. The good thing about being able to choose for whom and for how long I work means I can say, “I’m out of here” and go home. But, I may try to ride this out for as long as possible so that I can get some money in the bank. I’m a bit poor. No surprise there, but it got scary there for a bit. Let’s just say I won’t see any of this first paycheck or probably the one after that. So mom’s crown molding project will have to wait a bit. Sorry mom.
My thoughts after being here 5 days and 6 nights? The crew I’m with is pretty cool. Just the usual whack jobs and social outcasts. The desert is the desert. Everything pokes you in the ass, the ants are vicious vicious evil creatures. People still think the desert is the largest trash can in the world. And I can finally keep up with Ms. Long legs speedy gonzales. Either she is getting older and finally slowing down or I really am in decent shape. Oh, and the hotel internet sucks balls, hence me spending my after work hours here in Starbucks. I have 5 blisters, one for each day I've been here so far. And down a pair of boots. I had to cut the inside lining to get the huge ball of soil out. And they were the good pair, hence the now 5 blisters. But they are small little things. No bleeding pustules or anything like that... yet.
How many surveyors can you spot?
Today was our first day of surveying all day. We had been surveying in the mornings and recording sites later in the day, and by that I mean between 11 and 1:30. But now we were told to just survey. So today we were walking in the right-of-way of transmission lines behind people’s backyards. Which means, treasure abounds. Ms. Long legs speedy gonzales found a Mini Mouse figurine. Humboldt cowboy and the Colorado kid came away with some glass for flint knapping, and I found a headless Burger King kids meal toy and these stylish glasses.
Don’t you think they make me look smarter? Really?
Ah shucks, thanks.