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Desert Dispatch 2014: Moonrise

It was just past 7pm Mountain Time in Quartzsite AZ. The massive congregation of Tiffin motor home owners had dispersed and our nearest neighbor was just beyond shouting distance. The Aviations were chilling in the shaker.

How long do we have, asked Lexi. I looked at the clock over the stove. About ten minutes, I said.

moonview1We carefully split the contents of the shaker into two cocktail glasses, garnished them with cherries and sliced some blue cheese to go with the rice crackers already set out on the small cutting board. Carefully, with full hands, we emerged from the Airstream and placed our snacks and libations on the table between our two chairs. I latched the door, just in case Brundlefly woke up and discovered us gone. She had a habit of pushing the screen door just wide enough to get out and we had already heard the coyotes singing nearby.

This is gonna be good, Lexi said, taking a seat. I did the same. And then we waited. The air was soft and the breeze light and pleasant. The air smelled of green growing things, following a light rain that afternoon. The stars were brilliant in the sky overhead and the Milky Way was clearly visible, all cool whites, pinks and blues.

I sipped my Aviation and took a nibble of the sliced cheese. Blue cheese goes so very well with gin, and the savory of the cheese mixed with the slight sweet of the Creme de Violette in the cocktail was an amazing combination. Lexi made an appreciative noise as well as our gazes met. We need to remember this combo, I said, and Lexi nodded in complete agreement. Then she pointed. Look there, it’s starting.

moonview2The light was brightening considerably beyond the mountains directly east of our front door and as we watched, the full moon slowly rose into view above them. We could see small flashes of light in the desert around us. People are trying to photograph it, Lexi said, amused. They won’t get much that’s usable with a flash.

We simply watched. No photos. No video. Nothing but the pair of us, our cocktails and some nosh, beneath the awning. The moon rose above the mountains and soon the desert was completely aglow with moonlight.

We finished our drinks and set down the glasses, watching the desert come alive around us in the soft light. The coyotes had fallen silent, but other smaller animals were venturing out and about. We heard a soft mew from the trailer as Brundlefly discovered she was by herself inside, followed by a more insistent meow. Lexi and I looked at one another. Guess it’s time to go in, I said. Lexi nodded. Yup, I’m ready.

We picked up our slight repast, quietly and respectfully thanked the moon for a most gorgeous and vivid show, and headed inside for the night.