Ah, the calm before the storm, at one of my favorite places, Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, about eight miles south of Alamogordo, New Mexico. Just seeing this familiar mountain as I drove towards the park filled me with happiness.
I picked a dry camping site because it had the best view in the park, nothing between me and the desert and those mountains 50 miles away. Watched clouds scudding across that big sky, rays of sunlight shooting through other clouds, and more than one sunset.
The park backs up against the west flank of the Sacramento Mountains, so 180 degrees from that desert view is a mountain view. I could take photos here all day (and I kind of did!).
After four nights (the last one on hookups at a different site), I packed up and headed south into Texas. Little did I know this would be the last peaceful camping for me in February. Five hours later, everything would change with a gust of wind.
So, in a curious lurid calm which could not last and yet, it seemed, could not end, the days went by.
Iris Murdoch (The Message to the Planet)