Congratulations to John Landry, the winner of this week’s Free Drawing for an audiobook version of Big Lake Lynching, the second book in my Big Lake mystery series! We had 171 entries in this week’s drawing, and if you haven’t won yet, stay tuned, because a new contest will start soon.
After reading Saturday’s blog about coyotes attacking small pets, someone e-mailed me to say that “the Forest Service or whoever is in charge of the BLM land around Quartzsite needs to relocate the coyotes or something to make it safe for RVers and pets.” Yeah, let’s have them get right on that. While they’re at that, maybe they can round up the snakes and scorpions and other creepy crawlies out there, and shave the spines off the cacti so they won’t be so sharp. And if they have any time left over, I wonder if they could do something about all those ultraviolet rays the sun puts out that tear up my skin so badly?
It’s the desert, people! It’s a hostile environment and if you are not careful it can hurt you, or even kill you. That doesn’t mean you should fear it and stay safely ensconced in a full hookup campground all of the time, but you do have to take some basic safety precautions. Remember that just about everything in the desert will sting you, bite you, or poke you. If you encounter wild animals, snakes, or insects, give them a wide berth. They don’t want to mess with you any more than you do with them. Watch where you walk and don’t put your hands or feet anyplace you can’t see. Carry a walking stick for balance and use it to poke into unseen places before you step into them. Wear decent footgear and a wide brimmed hat, and don’t forget that desert temperatures can drop from the 70s in the daytime to near freezing at night. Always carry water with you.
Don’t camp in dry washes, because even if the sky overhead is blue, they can turn into raging rivers in minutes. If there is water running, don’t try to drive across a wash or riverbed. If you are driving in the back country and your vehicle becomes disabled, stay with your car! It provides shelter and is easier for searchers to spot than a person on foot. Be aware that distances can be deceiving in the desert. What looks like it could only be a couple of miles away may be much farther, and trying to walk to it could get you into trouble.
And finally, as I said before, do not let your pets out unless you have them on leash and are with them at all times. I don’t care how smart or tough you think your dog or cat is, it’s no match for a predator that has to kill if it wants to eat. I don’t want to scare you away from the desert. It’s a harsh but beautiful place where millions of people venture off the pavement every year without mishap. But all it takes is a moment of carelessness to land you in trouble.
And finally, before I close for today, I want to congratulate one of my author friends, Colleen Hoover. Her book Hopeless is the #1 best selling Amazon self-published e-book for 2013, and is in the Top 20 bestselling e-books for the year. Colleen is a young, dedicated author who is making her dreams come true, and in spite of all of her newfound success, she remains just as nice and down to earth as she has always been. We are so proud of you Colleen!
Thought For The Day – Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere. And sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.