Camping in Oman Desert

petrified-tree

 

We planned it well. Rather Mike did. He’s a detail man. My sole responsibility was to accept his invitation to spend the weekend in the Oman desert.

I had a two-week gig in Muscat, where Mike had worked ten years for the petroleum company owned by the Sultanate. On a previous visit, I enjoyed a memorable evening with his family—wife Bette and four kids—dinner, conversation, and perusing the book Mike wrote covering the year-long, around-the-world trip he and Bette took before they had children. They drove an old Datsun and repaired forty-two flat tires.

On Wednesday, the end of the Omani workweek at the time, Mike picked me up from the office where I taught a class and drove me to his house for dinner. The kids were interesting and pleasant as before, two in high school, two in junior high, all active in sports and school activities. During dinner they joked that I was doing them a favor going with their dad because they were tired of the desert overnights. I didn’t know what to make of it. I thought they were trying to make me feel good.

After we cleaned the dishes, Mike lugged equipment from a storage room out to his car. Well, not a car, but a Toyota Sequoia, with large tires and plenty of interior space, which we filled with cots, sleeping bags, a charcoal grill, a telescope, and water jugs. We packed two ice chests with food.
We said goodbye and took off at 7:15 pm. Within thirty minutes we were outside the city on a two lane road with minimal traffic. An hour later we stopped for fuel. It would have to last the entire trip. He let some air out of his tires to give better traction in the desert sand. Continue reading “Camping in Oman Desert”