Goodnight, Moon!

By far, my favorite outing of the last year was an October camping trip to the apron of the Mojave desert, some ways out of Barstow, California.


With our intrepid guide, Ramy, and the trusty Jayco "J"!

With our intrepid guide, Ramy, and the trusty Jayco “J”!

I do love California, I must say it again. Not just because of Prop. 64, not just because of John Steinbeck, not just because of the Black Panthers, but because of the gorgeous and brilliant countryside which serves as an inspiration to us all. No matter which region of the ecosystem you visit, California offers inspirational beauty at nearly every turn.

The Duke abides.

The Duke abides.


We drove about 20 miles off of the highway. Far enough out to give us a good view of the Milky Way. We chose a derelict stone fire ring late at dusk, and set up camp in the dark, aided by the glare of the truck’s headlamps. With the car off and a lantern lit, we drank in starlight. The valley we selected was ringed with a rocky desert ridge. The temperature dropped and wind picked up. We dug out the fire pit, laid a few more stones in the ring, and lit our campfire. All around us scrub and sagebrush scratched at the sky.

20161018_09362820161018_09364920161018_123502before the fire

It was early night yet, and the moon had not yet risen. Before moonrise, we’d forgotten it was full. The brilliant autumn supermoon cleared the ridge in a few brief moments, reminding me how fast the earth turns, and blazed like a blue sun. Everything was illuminated. We walked hundreds of yards away from the fire and could see everything. We could read by it. Every branch and twig of brush stood out against the silvery blue glowing sand. Starbursting Joshua trees dotted the valley. We gaped at the Milky Way.


We stayed two nights, hiking the rocky outcroppings by day, exploring the desert, cooking and reveling in the sky by night, filled with gratitude. I returned to San Francisco with a renewed appreciation for life, mine and everything else’s.


Hail the Jayco "J"!

Hail the Jayco “J”!

Thank you for reading. Reading rules!



About Suhail Rafidi

Suhail Rafidi is a novelist and educator whose works explore the destiny of human values in a technological landscape. You can find him on Twitter, too, @shelldive.
This entry was posted in Reflection and Personal Knowledge, Science and Nature and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.