The Milky Way Over Black Rock Desert

Me and my girlfriend and daughter Alicia traveled hours through the mountains and valleys of northern California to tour the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. We brought with us some Sprite for our thirst and some cheese Danishes for a snack and planned to spend some time driving fast and leaving dust trails in our path. We drove miles past a city on the outskirts of the wide desert, which was named after what it looked like there - little black rocks scattered in a never ending sand of dryness.
I was driving because I was the sober one, my girlfriend Nancy was an alcoholic. When we were far out enough into the nothingness I let Alicia sit in my lap and steer the car. We were for sure not going to hit anything. Alicia was ecstatic as she went whichever way her heart beat. She lined up to run over the cracked part of the dirt, which was closer to some shrubbery and some rail road tracks. Wanting to explore the terrain to complete our tour we got out of the car and looked at interesting things. We had our snacks and got back into the car. The car would not move. It was stuck in the thick wet clay of the desert, which was hidden beneath the deep cracks from the last rain.
When I realized that the car was stuck I came up with plans to survive. My girlfriend was pissed and scared of withdrawal and started panicking so I was the leader in the situation.  Alicia had no idea what she was in for and didn't fully grasp the situation.  The situation was that we had one a half a bottle of salty soda water, 2 danishes and nobody knew for sure where we were.  There were also miles and miles across a very hot desert to cross to get to the little town that we could see so far away, between blurs of dust and wiggly heat lines.
First I tried to dig us out of the clay for a couple hours.  Our thirst was much greater now because we had been working our bodies hard, digging in the heavy clay pack.  We all drank some of the soda, Alicia drinking the most.  She was so little, and my motherly instincts told me that if anyone was going to survive, it would be her.  So she needed the drink the most.  Nancy didn't argue.  And if she did, I wouldn't have cared.
At that point, thirting and hot, I knew we had to start walking.  Not knowing how long it would take, I thought perhaps we could get to the town by night time.  And if not by then, then that night or the next day.  Because I wasn't going to just sit in a car and die with my daughter because nobody knew where we were, nobody was going to come looking for us there.  Screw it, we walked.
I carried my daughter in her blanket wrapped around me on my back.  We walked and walked and walked and Alicia cried and complained and Nancy whined.  We sucked on the black rocks to keep our mouths salivating.  More walking.  More walking.  Alicia was heavy so Nancy carried her some and then she walked a little bit, but wasn't fast enough for me so I put her weight of 35 pounds on my back and carried her through the desert because it had to be done.
It was getting dark now and the only signs of life around us her another car so far away that it couldn't see us and all we could see of it was it's fast dust trail.  Then the train came by and didn't stop.  We tried to flag it down, hoping that the conductor would see our desperate waving and call for help.  But no.  Nothing.
There was small pieces of kindling on the ground from the Burning Man event that year, so we started collecting it in case we needed to build a fire.  It was turning cold in the high desert already at dusk.  Finally it got too dark to walk so we found a spot by a sand dune and started our kindling.  There was a large wooden train track on the ground so we moved it and made a very large fire.  I kept Allison wrapped up with me and we all layed down and looked at the moon and stars.  There were so many of them.  I had never seen the night like that.  I only wished that we had more of a blanket and a plan.  
suddenly off in the distance we saw headlights.  it was a parade of trucks and RV's a couple miles away.  They parked.  I knew it was our only chance to get out of there that night, if at all.  Nancy wouldn't go.  She was too afraid that they would hurt us, she said they could be cooking meth and didn't want to deal with them.  So it had to be me, and I had to leave Alicia behind with Nancy.  I didn't want to, but I did it for Alicia.  I had to be brave.
I took a stick to poke the ground which I could barely see in the darkness.  The moon went down.  All there was was blackness on the ground.  I thought of snakes and coyotes and when I turned around to see the fire which I had left, it was gone.  So I couldn't go back, I could only move forward to the lights which were a mystery.  Between looking back and moving forward, I looked up into the heavens where I saw the Milky Way.  I was shocked at how many more stars there were now that the moon was down and the fire was gone.  I felt so small, so tiny, so meaningless in the universe.  So lost.  I had nothing but a stick and the clothes on my back, and if something happened to me right there I could die and nobody know for a long time.  The stars were so many.  it was too much.  I was so afraid and sad.
I couldn't look at the stars anymore, I was getting vertigo.  It was the most beautiful and scary sight of stars I have ever seen.  Moving forward, I finally arrived at the camp site and hid behind some shrubs far enough off so nobody would know.  I was in the blackness, listening, when I heard teenage boys voices talking to their dads and saying churchy things.  Then I made myself known and asked for water and told them what had happened.  The first one greeted me as the woman out of nowhere.
And they had everything, including wenches to pull us out of the mud and lots of large searchlights on their all terrain vehicles.  I pointed back into the general direction of the far away fire, and we searched and searched until we found Alicia and Nancy, who was holding a crow bar like she was going to fight whoever got near her.  We drove back along the tracks to find the car and they got us out of the mud and I drove for about 3 hours all the way home.  We didn't get back until about 6:30 the next morning.
Before the left the father/son camping team, they directed us all to stand in a circle and hold hands and pray for our lives that had been saved by god.  That night I knew that I didn't want to have Nancy for a girlfriend anymore.  I wasn't a lesbian.  It was only too ironic that the father/son group saved us, and I felt like God had singled me out of every star that night to teach me that important lesson.  
ijustneedtoletitout ijustneedtoletitout
31-35, F
Dec 2, 2012