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

RV Friendships Know No Boundaries

Tom Palesch creating “Cowboy Breakfast.”

©Bert Gildart: If there are any limits to what Airstream friends will do for one another, I have yet to find them. Case is point is my request of Tom Palesch:

“Tom,” I asked, “would you mind placing one of the strobe lights next to our scorpion?”

My request was made shortly after Tom and Sandi (see Sandi’s web site on MINIATURE FOOD) had prepared an incredible “Cowboy Breakfast.”  Using the Dutch Oven that the couple toot around with them in their trailer, Tom had placed a pound of breakfast sausage into the metal pot.

After browning he then added a package of frozen hash browns to this cholesterol-free (Ha!) mixture, placed the lid back on and then covered that with about a dozen pieces of charcoal, so creating an oven-like effect. When the potatoes had cooked, he then depressed the mixture with a spatula. He cracked a number of eggs over everything and, finally, he slathered on cheese and  salsa.


All totaled, cooking required about half an hour, but we then gathered under his awning and dinned on one of the most sumptuous meals I’ve had in a long time. (Somehow all this reminded my of one of my father’s admonitions who always watched his health: “If it tastes good,” he’d exclaim, “SPIT IT OUT!” )

Unfortunately, such delicious meals (No, I didn’t spit it out.) vanish all too soon, leaving us with only another cup of coffee or two to wash down Tom’s epicurean delight.

It was about then that “Eagle-eye Janie” saw the tiny creature (previously described ) undulating over the desert rocks toward our circle of seats. But we’ve learned much since her sighting and my photographic work.


We now know that our scorpion was most likely the bark scorpion, and the description of the species provided by a subsequent Google search made me catch my breath.



Setting for our Cowboy Breakfast and the discovery of a scorpion


“The Bark Scorpion was once thought to be extremely dangerous, but now is considered to be fatally dangerous primarily to infants, children, people in poor health, and the elderly. Also, people who are allergic can have very bad reactions to a bark scorpion. Even still, it has a very potent venom, and can harm you with its powerful sting.”

Of course Tom and I both knew that the sting of a scorpion can be painful but this one didn’t appear to be particularly aggressive, so Tom knelt down beside me and held one of the strobe lights – two to provide greater depth of field as I’ve described in previous postings about flowers (and natural history). I also took photos of our scorpion using natural light, and because our arthropod was so sluggish I asked Tom if he’d take a small twig and elevate the stinger, something he did without hesitation. Now that’s friendship!


When our photo shoot was complete we conducted another research on scorpions and learned a bit more about their life histories and something more about their venom. Life histories of all scorpions are fascinating, but it was the capabilities of their venom that we focused on.




Nothing is too great a favor to ask of Tom Palesch who holds one of my strobes as we work just inches from this bark scorpion.



Here’s what this Google search provided:

“The venom of scorpions is used for both prey capture, defense and possibly to subdue mates. All scorpions do possess venom and can sting, but their natural tendencies are to hide and escape. Scorpions can control the venom flow, so some sting incidents are venomless…”

Now that description made me feel a bit more comfortable.


Despite the potential danger, scorpions intrigue many people and Anza Borrego State Park offers various lectures on the species, one of which I attended last year. At the time the speaker recommended the purchase of a black light for finding scorpions at night, the time at which they are most active. Now that I know they’re out, I’ve been making a thorugh search around all the bushes that surround our two Airstreams. However, if I find one I’m now wondering if it would be too much to ask for night-time photo assistance.



Bark scorpion photographed with natural light



Maybe I’ll just try and con Tom and Sandi out of another one of their delicious Cowboy Breakfasts, if not now, perhaps a little further down the road of our perpetual adventures.





*Compassionate Water Tanks





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