Ride between the stars_ prison mentality

While I’m in San Diego, I give a phone interview to a reporter for the San Diego Tribune, and she writes a nice article about Ride Between the Stars. Best cocktails of 2016 Invigorated, I take off for my next star, Portland, Maine, ride up and over the Pacific Crest, coast down the other side to the flat lands. Best bathroom designs pictures Cycling is easy in the desert, especially when the wind is at my back. Best cocktails with ginger ale The sky reminds me of a porcelain dome and varying shades of brown sketch the landscape.

Classic radio shows online free Border Patrol vehicles, with their white and green paint jobs, whisk past every so often. Classic radio shows mp3 To my right, about a mile away, a metal wall runs along the border for a few miles. Classic radio shows on cd The wall, which apparently exists to keep undocumented workers from crossing into populated areas, peters out on a remote hillside. Used bathroom sinks and vanities A well-traveled path winds down the hill on the American side. Old radio commercials A border patrol officer in a jeep watches the path, and I cycle past with a wave of the hand.

I need to layover for a few months—winter is coming—and I decide on Slab City. Classic bathroom floor tile patterns It’s an easy ride and I arrive two days later.

A few miles from the Salton Sea, Slab City isn’t really a city. Classic bathroom tile designs Nor is it a town, not in the cohesive sense of the word. Classic bathroom floor tile There is no local government, no utilities, no upkeep of the roads, no local law enforcement. Best craft cocktails in las vegas I hesitate to even call Slab City a community, though communities do exist within the chaos.

Slab City, known to its inhabitants as the Slabs, once supported a military base. Classic bathroom tile design ideas Most of the structures are long gone, but their bases, concrete slabs of varying dimensions, remain in the desert. Classic bathroom tile ideas I cycle over severely degraded roads, ride past beat-up trailers. Classic bathroom tile patterns Garbage lies everywhere and the squalor reminds me of the poverty-stricken areas in the southern Appalachians. Recipes using vermouth Dogs run free, but to my relief none of them chase me. Drinks using vermouth I pass several compounds where high-dollar Rvs gleam in the desert sunlight, come up on a man squatting next to a mesquite bush. Drinks using sweet vermouth His eyes are glazed over and a vodka bottle lies next to his foot. Recipes using sweet vermouth I drift to the other side of the road and continue on, hear shouting to my right. Best cocktails to make at home The voices sound angry and feet pound in my direction. Easy holiday cocktails with vodka Carrying a machete, a woman runs across the road, slows and walks toward a shack. Easy halloween cocktails with vodka Her hair is in dreads and she wears threadbare clothes. Easy fruity cocktails with vodka Sheathed knives dangle from the rope belt around her waist. Easy summer cocktails with vodka She ducks into the shack and drapes a blanket over the opening. Easy to make cocktails with vodka The shouts continue and more voices join the irate chorus. Easy christmas cocktails with vodka I do not know if there is a connection between the shouters and the woman; no, let me correct that. Simple drinks I don’t want to know if there is a connection.

The Slabs have a Wild West feel, where people take care of their own issues, sometimes violently, and I do not feel good about staying here. Simple drinks with vodka The danger is palpable and my intuition screams for me to leave. Simple drinks with tequila Against my better judgment, I decide to give the place a chance and head for the hot spring.

A dirt bank rims three-quarters of the spring, and on the outlet side someone has installed a handrail and plank for easy access. Simple drinks to order at a bar The water is the color of mud. Simple drinks made with brandy Fully clothed, with a balaclava over her ink-black hair, a woman sinks to her chin and gazes up at me. Simple drinks with rum The air temperature is well over 80 degrees, and I do not understand why she wears the balaclava, am not about to ask.

We talk for a bit and I discover she’s an Indian. Simple drinks to make with tequila She tells me all about how she came from LA for the winter, on a personal quest to purify herself.

“I drink this water,” says Sherry Rose. Simple mixed drinks with tequila “And I put the mud on my skin. Easy drinks with tequila Green mud is best. Best summer cocktails with vodka It’s over there if you want to try it.”

She’s an older woman, with the wrinkles to show for it, and her black eyes seem wise and kind. Best drinks to order at a bar for girls Maybe the Slabs isn’t such a bad place after all. Best drinks to order at a bar I just got here and I’ve met someone who can teach me about life.

A naked man steps down into the muddy water, soap and washcloth in hand.

“I’m a genius at microbes,” Sherry Rose says. Easy mixed drinks with tequila “And this water is full of them.”

I glance at the man, who at that moment is scrubbing himself where the sun doesn’t shine. Easy to make mixed drinks with tequila She drinks this water? I want to throw up, smile at her instead. Easy to make drinks with tequila Maybe she boils the water before she drinks.

I look for insanity in her gaze, anything, a fleeting shadow, a gnarly scream wanting to get out, something, anything that would explain why she’d subject herself to that kind of nastiness. Easy drinks to make with tequila Dressed in a shirt and shorts, I wade into the water, up to my chin, close my eyes to the soothing warmth. What are the best drinks to order at a bar I slip on the mud and slide deeper in an instant, go underwater and come back up with my lips squeezed shut. The best drinks to order at a bar Crap, I’ll probably get sick from this experience.

“I have worms in my head.” Sherry Rose breaststrokes to the deep end. Best drinks to order at a bar for men “They screw up my brain and that’s why I’m here. Simple mixed drinks with vodka If I soak long enough, the mineral water will draw them out of my skull.”

Her gentle eyes blink. Simple drinks to mix with vodka When they open, they carry a blaze that makes me sorry for speaking my mind.

“No, no,” I say, “I’m not saying you’re crazy. Simple drinks to make with vodka Having to go through all that . . . Simple drinks made with vodka must be a crazy time for you. Simple drinks made with rum Weird, you know?”

She blinks and the gentleness returns. Simple mixed drinks with rum Back in the shallow end, she cups her hand and peers at her palm. Simple drinks to make with rum She speaks with mystery in her voice. Best drinks made with vodka “I’ve seen them twice before. Easy drinks to make with rum I’ve held them in my hand and watched them squirm around.”

Sherry Rose studies her hand with an expression that says the worms are currently squirming, and I back away and exit the water. Easy halloween drinks with vodka She gets out and follows me to my bike.

“There’s a tree out close to where I live.” She gestures vaguely toward the desert. Easy mixed drinks with rum “It has shade. . . . Easy drinks to make with vodka You’re welcome to move in, if you want.”

I fiddle with a bungee cord, glance at her now and then. Best drinks to mix with rum I’ve never knowingly lived next to crazy, suspect she’s the harmless kind as long as I agree with her. Best mixed drinks with vodka I shrug and follow her down a canal road and she points out the tree. Easy drinks made with rum The tree, rare for these parts, is large enough to provide some shade. Simple drinks with gin The ground is strewn with bottles and cans and plastic, textbooks and various household items. Simple drinks made with tequila Forty feet away sits the burned skeleton of a trailer. Simple drinks with amaretto Farther down is another trailer. Simple drinks to make It’s empty because its owner is currently in prison on meth charges.

Sherry Rose invites me to her camp and I follow her to a clump of trees next to the road. Simple drinks with whiskey She introduces me to a black-haired boy who lives in another clump. Best drinks with amaretto Tray’s young—maybe fourteen or fifteen—no doubt a runaway. Easy drinks with amaretto I don’t ask questions.

A man lives in a compound on the other side of Tray, and Sherry Rose says the man has two mules, two geese, a wolf, and solar power. Easy drinks made with tequila He’s been living out here for a long time and lays claim to the clumps of trees along the canal, which means you have to work for him if you live in them. Simple drinks made with gin Tray and Sherry Rose gather firewood, dig the occasional hole. Simple drinks to make with gin The man is a squatter, an ex-con with a prison mentality, and he is not someone I have a desire to get to know.

“That tree you showed me,” I say. Simple mixed drinks with gin “Does he consider that his?”

Sherry Rose looks perplexed, says he might. Easy drinks with gin She starts a fire in her fire pit and warms up a pot of beans. Simple drinks to make at home The sun is almost down, shadows long and thin. Simple drinks to make with whiskey The air is cooling; her sleeping pad is a sheet of cardboard. Easy drinks with whiskey She has two blankets, one to cover with and one to use as a pillow. Simple mixed drinks with whiskey Without a doubt, she sleeps cold and can’t wait for the morning sun to warm the desert.

I turn down an offer of beans and push my bike through the trees to the road. Best drinks to mix with vodka Then I ride up and down the canal until dark, trying to decide where to camp. Healthy drinks to mix with vodka When it’s almost too dark to see, I push my bike deep into the desert. Dry vermouth cocktails I do not turn on my headlamp, do not make a fire. Sweet vermouth cocktails I want no one to know I’m out here, and that includes the ex-con with the geese and the mules.

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