Fixing gear in Joshua Tree

It’s such a great feeling to get things fixed.
We had awesome luck in the town of Joshua Tree finding the few bits of gear we needed to replace and getting other stuff repaired.
Derek found a wind guard for our stove after the original blew away in a windstorm in Anza Borrego Park. He also found a replacement mini can opener after we lost one we had.
I was able to get my back wheel assessed at the local bike shop. For the past few weeks my bike has been making a lot of noise. We were pretty sure it was coming from the spokes, so Derek tightened and oiled them on both the front and back wheel. But when the sound didn’t go away, we were wondering if there was something more serious wrong with the wheel.
The mechanic listened to me ride around the parking lot, then checked all the spokes and confirmed that the hub was great and we just needed to add more lube to the joints where the spokes meet – as you might imagine it’s pretty dry in the desert.
It’s always nice to know your bike is in good shape and reassuring for Derek to know that he had correctly identified the source of the bike’s song.
We stopped by the outfitter’s and got our tent’s zipper repaired (in just 20 minutes) for just $5! Amazing.


But the most amazing stop was the post office where Derek picked up the new sleeping quilt he had shipped from Jacks R Better, a small American company with products sewn in the U.S. Weighing in at just over a pound, and full of light, fluffy down, we’re all hoping it keeps him warmer than his old summer bag/lining combo. As you can see, it doubles as a fashionable poncho!
It’s great to get all these errands done in a small town where the next store is just down the street.
We then spent a fantastic night with Warm Showers hosts Dan, a former climbing instructor who is now a helicopter paramedic and Cindy, an environmental teacher with a passion for preserving desert habitat.
These fun bike travellers have taken a number of trips on the west coast and loved riding there. We shared stories, enjoyed their stunning desert

view and their delightful outdoor shower that drains grey water into their garden, drank fabulous coffee, listened to Dan play his didgeridoo and heard about their hiking adventures with their daughter when she was just starting out.
The next morning we heard about their solar panels and swamp pump cooling system. And joined Cindy on her weekly trip to the Farmer’s Market. It’s inspiring to learn from folks whose lives reflect their values .
The kids, who have been trying hard to share a single copy of the 4th Harry Potter book that I picked up for them at a book swap, were over the moon when Dan lent them a second copy of the same book. We didn’t hear much from either of them after that.
Derek rented a car and we were ready to ride through Death Valley to pick up the one and only Grandma Barbara in Las Vegas!

Together we’ll share a week traveling through Utah, visiting beautiful parks and catching up with each other. We can’t wait!

All the best,

Kathleen

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