Free Legal Waffles:
We started the morning in a room by a pool. I poured batter on a hot waffle iron. We pulled that waffle off, and made an exit plan. East or west? We decided to leave matters of the desert unfinished - there's water to the west.
We finished crossing the desert and began to drop through mountains. One portrait after the next, we crossed through:
Hemet (Green, warm, but boring. Possible lack of personality.)
Temecula (maybe something... didn't pull over, in spite of Dirty Projectors song.)
Fallbrook (I could live here, but it looks steep in terrain in price.)
New Ordinance: Humans are Illegal.
We needed a place to sleep.
Official camping hovers around fifty bucks here. We don't need to camp. We need to sleep. Eight hours - boom, boom. No fires, no noise, no trash. If it was me on a bicycle, I'd make myself a burrito behind a tree. The three of us can sleep in the car, but it's not as comfortable and stealth as I'd hoped. It works in a pinch, but it's not the Best Western. Parking the car outside a radius of potential investigation is a challenge: we don't know these areas. We are travelers, drifting across the surface; our cursory exploring is at speed through a windshield.
I am regularly pissed off at how illegal it is to sleep. For something we all do every day, the lack of options baffles me. Sleep has become a commodity. Freedom to travel, in reality, has a price. If you want to be free, paradoxically, you need several forms of camouflage. Tentacles of several unfortunate sorts threaten every pocket and wallet. In my chest I feel illegal, but logic makes my hands flip double fuck yous.
"No overnight parking."
"No beardy weirdos (Unless holding cash)."
I count sleeping among my human rights. We were all born on this Earth - I didn't ask to be - but now that we're all here together, let's make sure our basic needs are met. Food Not Bombs gets arrested. A town in Texas considers legislation requiring leftovers to be made inedible (with toxic spray) before being tossed in a dumpster - lest a homeless human discover unwanted sustenance. How is this possible?
C'est la vie. Adapt and deal, mon frere.
Casinos Are The Worst.
FreeCampsites.net pointed out a casino that allows free overnight parking for RVs. Since that's approximately what we have a very small one of, we went there.
Worst casino ever. Every casino is a dumb rubberneck at best, but this one seemed particularly sad. I'd say don't go there, but you'd never find this place anyway. It's remote, and on the way toward nothing. They serve free coffee and soda in styrofoam cups - a lady comes around with a tray. Zombies sit at slot machines without proper levers - they push buttons, and everybody there is increasingly fucked. It's a big flashing roll of flypaper, and they pry your eyelids open as your accounts are drained. (I lost $9 - a small admission fee for spying around.)
FreeCampsites.net users described a large empty lot above the employee parking area, and I went where it seemed like that was.
Knock, Knock, Knock!
I was in a deep sleep at 1:15am, when a tall waffle-faced block of granite tapped something hard across my glass. This lot was off limits. An identical adjacent parking lot is where we were supposed to be. "Move your shit."
A gunblast to his hard corny face would have filled my dreams with sugarplums. Is that too harsh? I wish an owl swooped down and pissed in his ear. (... killing him instantly.)
Everything out; everything in. We drove to the correct lot. I could have thrown a stone to it, but I would have overshot.
I did not get back to sleep: a car alarm on repeat. I hovered in the space before rapid eye movement several times, but nothing materialized. We spent the sunrise at Denny's, twenty miles down a mountain, with coffee and a hot shared skillet of grease.