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Quite a day. After a morning hello/goodbye with a friend, I stop at Starbucks in Mira Monte to get another blog entry posted. Lots of pictures. Started the 2nd one and it was just time to go.

As I’m driving I see Sherman chewing on something and his head moves don’t match what they are when he’s chewing on a toy. He has pulled two bananas from a spot in between the seats and is chewing on the stems. That’s a new one! No prior banana interest. He loves to chew on sticks and I’m sure he smiled when he saw that stick on the end of those bananas!

At lunch, I’m eating a sweet potato with salad. Sherman stops eating his food and comes over to take bites of the sweet potato. I think we each had half…

We stop at two McDonalds so I can use the bathroom and walk with Sherman. I use their wifi to get the last blog posts up from my trip into the Sequoia National Forest.

So, I’m now up to date and ready for this jaunt.

As we get east of Barstow we’re surrounded by more desert. On the Pear Blossom Trail I’m surprised at the huge Joshua Trees. The biggest I’ve ever seen. And they’re blooming! I keep looking for a good place to pull off and take a picture of a blooming Joshua Tree, but the pull off spots and the blooms just don’t coincide.

We stop in a rest area. I cut my hair down to an eighth of an inch, which seems to be a part of my going on the road ritual. We take a leisurely walk around this very large rest area space. It’s 6 o’clock. Time to look for a place to spend the night. There’s a BLM camp about 50 minutes away. We head there.

The BLM road is impassable. I keep going toward some great rock formations. I pass a road on the left and log it in memory. It made an invitation. I’m hoping there’s a road up in the rocks. There’s not. So back to the invite. About 100 feet in there’s a spot to pull off in the bushes that’s level. There’s a small stone campfire ring. Others have preceded me.

When I get out it’s cool and windy. I go for my down jacket. Oops! I left it at home… I’ll have to dig through my boxes and see what I brought. But not tonight.

Sherman and I go for a 20 minute walk further down the road. I look at his feet when we returned they are full of tiny little pointy stickers. 50 to 100 on each foot. He’s having difficulty walking. So he must’ve gotten them right here near the van. I get his fine-toothed brush out and go to work. He fluctuates between grateful relaxation and a frustrated “Hey you’re poking me”. When they’re all out we roll into the van, have dinner and call the night.