They Said It Was a DRY Heat

Don’t worry, they said. Even though it’s the desert, it’s a dry heat, totally different from muggy humidity.

Except when it isn’t.

Arizona has had a monsoon season to remember. And while it makes for lovely green landscapes, it also makes for definitely different desert weather. Currently I am camping in the Verde Valley, and learning how it earns its “verde” moniker. I thought it was the river.


It’s the rain.

Sheets of it.

Pouring for hours this morning, then just as I aired and dried everything, back it came and poured some more.

It’s hot. Humid. Muggy. Sticky. Wet.

Not. A. Desert. At. All.

I’m sweating inside the van, opening up as much ventilation as I can, balancing it with the water pouring from the sky. I am being devoured by mosquitoes from the few breaks in the rain that I could open the slider. They stormed me.

For several days I was staying in a borrowed time share in Sedona where I had no cell signal, or internet. Now I’m camping in a state park where I have 4G. Go figure. The van seemed to be fixed in Flagstaff, but after a couple of days, puked coolant again. Two more trips to the same shop (their mistake) everything checks out OK, until it leaks again. When we can dry out, we will make the final little hop to the next town to meet a VW wizard. Third time’s the charm, right?

I used up my fresh food, so dinner tonight comes from the stockpile, and some inspiration from Robin Robertson’s Vegan Unplugged, formerly titled Apocalypse Chow. (review coming later)

Chickpeas Puttanesca

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1-2 cloves garlic, chopped

several kalamata olives, chopped

1-2 T capers

generous pinch red pepper flakes

1 t Italian seasoning


Put everything in a pot and simmer. Adjust seasoning. Serve over pasta or polenta, or as I did, mashed potatoes. I wanted to try Bob’s Red Mill instant mashed potatoes for camping, and they worked great! A little bit of a mess, but a nice change from pasta.

Waiting out the monsoon with Chickpeas Puttanesca

Waiting out the monsoon with Chickpeas Puttanesca

Yvon Chouinard quipped that it’s not an adventure until everything goes wrong. Until then it’s just a vacation.


About vegpedlr

Plant powered off-road triathlete
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