I am living proof that one does not have to be much of an adventurer to thrive in the RV lifestyle. Case in point, I decided to go join up with one of the Bob’s Well’s caravans in Parker Arizona. Now, I have boondocked (camping without any power/water/sewer hook-ups) a few times before and have been just fine, as long as I was with people I knew. However, the handful of times I attempted to dry camp solo, I escalated in to high anxiety with every foreign sound that emanating from the dark. Needless to say, the concept of these CRVL hosted nomad gatherings was an absolute blessing. But, I digress…
After getting settled at my site, with doggies attached to my waist, as is often how you will see me, we took a stroll around camp. The area had very sparse vegetation and so it was easy to stay away from the natural perils of the desert terrain…or so I thought. We met a handful of folks and got the lay of the land. Shortly upon heading back towards Scout, my 26 foot Class C RV, is when things turned ugly and it happened! I felt the stab right away and I froze in my tracks. I looked down and I saw a pickle like object covered with millions of toothpicks, sticking out from my leg. Being quick to panic, my first inclination was to call out feebly for help.
Once it became obvious that no one was within earshot, I accepted that I was going to have to channel my “inner MacGyver”. So, I dug down deep and began to survey the ground around me. My eyes quickly fixed on a slender, elongated stone that was just within my reach. While, mind you, for no apparent reason, my leg remained pinned to the earth like a frog used in a biology class. Having enough sense to know, not to touch the attacker protruding from my leg, I began to make a flicking motion with the rock, and in one glorious swipe, the prickly hijacker was successfully dislodged. Now worried that someone else might encounter this devious little devil, I smashed him under a larger rock, where hopefully, he could do no further harm to me or anyone else.
At the campfire later that night, I expressed my concern about the incident and my fear of actually looking at the punctured area. As a gesture of kindness, my new nomad friends did their best to suppress their laughter, and instead, informed me that I have just been the victim of a Cholla, also known as the “jumping cactus” They assured me that this particular plant was not poisonous and that a dollop of antibiotic cream would do the trick.
And so my friends, if ever you find yourself walking out in the desert, do try your best to steer clear of this menace of the southwest. And perhaps, carry a small comb in your pocket….just in case one of these hitchhikers ever tries to jump you.