Day 25. Apologies for the awful mugshot but thrilled to complete my first US state. Hola Arizona!
After several nights wild camping in the Mojave, last night I set up my tent outside the disused 1950s Jitterbug Diner (see photo) by an isolated gas station, alive with the thrum of trucks.
While happy to top up water and buy provisions at the garage, I soon longed for the open desert: the silence, the sand, the rocks, the peerless night skies.
Today, hiked 18 miles into the little town of Parker - passed a sign in stones (photo) urging ON ON (or maybe NO NO, if looked at the other way) - then bridged the Colorado River into Arizona. Over the last five days I have clocked up close to 115 miles. Hurrah!
In his classic book, Arabian Sands, the defiantly old school explorer, Wilfred Thesiger, wrote: 'Here in the desert I had found all that I asked: I knew that I should never find it again.'
Of course, it would be absurd to compare my little Mojave foray with Thesiger - a man who mapped out swathes of the notoriously harsh Empty Quarter in Saudi Arabia - but, at least by scratching the surface, I know a little what he was getting at.
I feel hugely lucky to have hiked through the desert last week, it made a profound impression.
So, thank you, Mojave, you wild, magical, redemptive, scary as hell and never to be forgotten oasis.
#tomsworldwalk #travel #USA #camping #hiking #arizona #mojave #desert #coloradoriver
a - 12 hours ago