Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Dateline Pegleg, America

©Bert Gildart:

Dateline Pegleg, America! Our friend Richard is the purveyor of all the news at Pegleg that is important. Making the rounds throughout camp on his well-used  bicycle, he informs everyone who is up: “It’s Monday, January 18,” he heralds.  “What more do you need to know?”

Richard’s news really is news for some out here in California’s Anza Borrego Desert State Park who don’t even seem to know what month it is. Or at least they’re confused, and that should not be as surprising as it might seem. Some of us are from the north, such as Montana and Canada. Others, all the way from Vermont, and to be sitting outside in shirt sleeves and shorts in weather that is actually warm in January (or is it May?) is, well, just different.


For us, campfires have added a new dimension to the Pegleg adventure, enabling us to share life experiences.


Pegleggers, we think, are an interesting group coming from all different walks of life. Right now there are about twenty of us, and we represent a variety of backgrounds, sharing in common several facts. All of us are a little on the cheap side, enjoying the fact that we’re saving about $600 a month by “boondocking,” meaning that we’re pretty much self-contained. We also share the fact that most of us are either self employed or retired. Here’s a quick breakdown:


Bruce was a lawyer; Ted a fireman. Don has a PhD and worked as an economist for the Forest Service and served as a college professor. He’s now retired and he and Nancy travel in their Airstream to such places as Padre Island (Padre Island2, Padre Island3). Others we’ve met here at Pegleg include an airline mechanic, a plumber, a musician, and several teachers. As I say, Pegleg hosts people from all walks of life, and we’ve not met a single person whose company we don’t enjoy.

Over half in the group have been married more than once so some share pasts that require a little digging, but all eventually want to tell their story, and some are very spicy. We suspect some of the stories are edited for the audience. Others in Pegleg are widows or widowers, who acknowledge that at this stage of their lives they don’t want to be alone, and are very grateful they’ve found someone with whom they can bond.

But regardless of their past what all Pegleggers seems to share is a sense of curiosity and adventure – and some have lived exceedingly adventurous lives – and believe they’re still doing so.

Bruce once sailed the Pacific, and mostly by himself. Richard sailed, too, but generally as a member of a small crew on someone else’s boat. During those years, sailing adventures took them both throughout the Pacific, and in Richard’s case, to Australia and to New Zealand. Both have weathered “Perfect Storms.”

We enjoy hearing these stories and all seem to delight in hearing ours. We all believe that RVing as full-timers or as full-time part timers (nine twelfth-ers we like to say) continues the sense of curiosity and adventure and all of us can tally off remote parts of North America to which we’ve traveled. For instance, in the past few years we’ve been to such farflung places as Nova Scotia and the Dry Tortugas.

Speaking from a very personal point of view, photography remains a huge part of the adventures that Janie and I enjoy, and on that note, I’ll provide a few thoughts on the posted image.


Those who are not familiar with photography might think that the fire is providing the sum total of all the light used for lighting Don, Janie and Nancy, but that is not the case. Once again I’ve used my two SB-800s and have covered the face of the units with the red gel filter that came with each. So covered the strobes add a fire-like glow to the scene, and couldn’t be accomplished without the gel. Strobes were placed on tiny stands between the fire and the fire watchers.

All of us think the evening fire we’ve enjoyed this year helps to make Pegleg. Last year we had no fire and cold from the desert nights did little to encourage us to remain outside. Ted, the retired fireman from Canada, and I have been getting the wood, using his small portable chain saw and the back end of my truck for hauling. Now we’re warm and that encourages the sharing of life adventures in the evening.


Though we’re all self-contained, Janie and I weren’t so completely independent last year. That’s when we headed to the Slabs ( fascinating in itself) and had “Solar Mike” tie in another solar panel. It has served us and has continued to do so while we’ve been at Pegleg this year, but things are about to change. Heavy clouds are moving in and solar panels, of course, require sun. But that may not happen for the next few days, as several rain storms are forecast.

Rain in the desert? It happens every now and then, and when it happens, it paves the way for wonderful displays of flowers. That, of course, is weeks away, and in the meantime we’ll just bide our time, hoping Richard will continue to make his daily bike rides throughout Pegleg, keeping us informed of the day – and even the month.



Year’s Favorite Photos


2 Responses to “Dateline Pegleg, America”

  1. Tom & Sandi Palesch Says:

    Great story that captures and important part of the “roving” lifestyle. New scenery and geography are wonderful, but the dessert that compliments that stew are the interesting people you meet along the way. It sounds like “Peg Leg” has a great collection and you are having a wonderful time adding your tales to the evening stories.

    Keep them coming.

  2. History Safari Express » Blog Archive » Spring ‘stream reading: Bert Gildart Says:

    [...] Bert and Janie are not busy hiking and photographing, or writing, you might find them around a crackling campfire, chatting with friends, or listening to performers, such as their friend Tony Feathers, who has a knack of mesmerizing [...]