ArtCars head into the desert . . . Day 1

Like I said in the last post, 8 Humans and 5 dogs.

– Marilyn Dreampeace & Sammy the dog in Wet Dreams
– Emily Duffy & Meela the dog in the Vain Van pulling a trailer
– Ken Duffy in the Mondrian Mobile
– Philo Northrup w/Raya Miller plus dogs Huckleberry & Dancer in Daisy Singer
– Jake Goldstein & John Merlie in Von Tiki will be coming as far as Joshua Tree
– Charlie Russell and Plato the dog in Cinnabar Charm will meet us in Joshua Tree

— Rebecca Caldwell Hellborne will meet us somewhere in the desert in Carthedral.
— Darrick Servis and Tank Grrl will meet us in Douglas in a mundane rental car they’ll festoon with magnets.

The rendezvous was supposed to be Pea Soup Andersons – it’s one of those really cheesy roadside affairs with bad food and a huge gift shop. In true Philo form I went the wrong way on the freeway and missed it, so we met down the line a bit. Turns out Pea Soup Andersons was closed due to a fire anyway.

The Von Tiki, our full service Mobile Tiki Bar, drove into the T & A (truck stops of America) hoping for a grand entrance but an exploding truck tire on a big rig upstaged it. Nonetheless, they came prepared with a windshield wiper container full of tequila, and new saloon doors that were also aquariums replete with fish. Marilyn Dreampeace added leopard disco boots that had fish tank heels. We’re ready for camping.

Once we got off the interstate the drive turned beautiful. The 58 took us through rolling green hills spotted with boulders. Trains paralleled out route and their tracks passed through tunnel after tunnel in order to climb 4000 feet. It was so picturesque that a photo of it would surely look like a Lionel set. As we watched them go in and out of three short hillside tunnels and wobbly prop plane dove right at us. As it veered directly towards the Vain Van we realized that an airstrip started just a few yards from the road. It cleared our caravan by only 100 feet or so. Planes, trains and automobiles . . .

As the sun lowered we were treated to pink hilltops peaking through purple mountain ranges, and buildings on hilltops that looked like foreign legion castles with 8-foot thick adobe walls. As we get closer to Edwards Air Force Base the mountaintop buildings turn to steel.

As always the ArtCars receive a constant stream of thumbs up and smiles as we drive. My Favorite was a van driving by our caravan holding up a hand-made sign (magic marker on ripped cardboard) that said “Love Your Car!” At the Firebaugh rest stop someone says they saw these cars at the San Jose Museum of Art.

Ken Duffy says over the CB that he saw the other Mondrian Car in Berkeley in the parking lot at work. He works at Oracle, or at least the company he works for was bought by Oracle. The “other” Mondrian car was made by a local artist that didn’t participate in events. She asked to be taken off the ArtCar mailing list about nine years ago and no one reported seeing it so I assumed it was junked. Turns out a technical writer at Oracle (Ken is also a technical writer at Oracle) bought it five years ago wants to bring it to ArtCar shows. Just as Emily’s Mondrian goes into Arizona retirement, we get a replacement Mondrian!