Need info please

gontzagames
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Need info please

Post by gontzagames » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:39 pm

Hi all!
I just joined this group.
I'm writing a short story and hopefully someone in this group can help me, or tell me where to get this info.
The character in the story deliberately goes into the desert thinking the heat and sun will kill her. I envision her going to sleep under a cactus.
Does anyone know of a desert in the USA that would be deserted enough that someone could find a cactus to sleep under without any tourists around? Would the ground be too hot for this to happen? Would the character be able to drive her car from a city or small town to the desert? Would the desert be cooler after the sun goes down? The character also drinks whiskey. Are there any deserts located in Tennessee?
I truly appreciate any and all help!
Ann Schrage
gontzagames@comcast.net

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reptilist
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Re: Need info please

Post by reptilist » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:50 pm

Death by exposure can happen anywhere. There is a distinct paucity of tourists throughout most of the desert SW in the summer.

Also, no one lays down under a cactus because the ground would be littered with dried up spines and cactus stems. One might more likely lie under a mesquite tree in the shade....and still die from dehydration. Whisky (alcohol) would hasten the demise, but here we drink tequila.

gontzagames
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Re: Need info please

Post by gontzagames » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:57 pm

Thanks!
Would a person be able to drive into a desert from a small town or city without driving more than a few hours?
ann

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reptilist
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Re: Need info please

Post by reptilist » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:07 pm

Absolutely.

Stay tuned, I am sure there are many more comments forthcoming.

LeeVW
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Re: Need info please

Post by LeeVW » Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:24 pm

Try Googling this name. It might give you some ideas:

Egbert Rimkus

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Re: Need info please

Post by Iggy1 » Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:49 pm

Sounds like someone is missing. Hope you find them.

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Re: Need info please

Post by Goldseeker » Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:00 pm

gontzagames wrote:Thanks!
Would a person be able to drive into a desert from a small town or city without driving more than a few hours?
ann


Mapquest

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Space Cowboy
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Re: Need info please

Post by Space Cowboy » Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:00 am

Hi, Ann,

There's so many places in the desert that a character could get to in a standard vehicle, especially if she's planning a one-way trip, and not see another human being for days, it becomes a matter of what terrain you want, what kind of names, real names, you want to invoke. Death Valley comes to mind. Graves Ranch is another. If she's leaving LA headed east, there's any number of spots she might find only hours away.

As far as the ground being too hot, it depends on the time of year and shade. As has been said before, any cactus that I can think of that would actually offer shade for any length of time has a messy litter of needles around it. Mesquite tree, Iron Tree, Smoke Tree, all offer dappled shade. Certainly enough to die under. Palm trees less so, and generally the real native palm trees in my area are popular hiking destinations.

"Would the desert be cooler after the sun goes down?" The very character of the desert gives you wild temperature swings. In the Spring the temperature can jump above a hundred degrees (Fahrenheit) during the daylight hours, then you wake up next morning with a sheet of ice in your coffee pot.

Don't think there's any deserts in Tennessee. I found one site saying that Chattanooga (Tennessee) has caught 29 inches of rain, and they consider this drought conditions. If SoCal caught that much rain, the churches would be packed with sinners praying for mercy in These Here Last Days (dude). Parts of California, especially Southern California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, parts of Texas, parts of Idaho, Oregon, New Mexico, Colorado, you've got deserts, each one really quite unique in terrain and character from the others. Did I miss any? Of course, I'm assuming you're talking about American deserts, but this is DesertUSA.com. You can get details on location, terrain, fauna and flora as well as personality just by searching this site.

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Re: Need info please

Post by yuccahead » Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:39 am

I lived in Tenn for a few years and I can testify that there is nowhere in the state that would even be remotely mistaken for a desert.
You really should determine which state you're writing about. All deserts are not the same.
In Utah for instance, the only plants large enough for some shade would be a Pinyon tree or Utah juniper. Cactus plants are very small.
Of course, if your character is a whiskey drinker, she probably wouldn't want to come to Utah anyway. :)

gontzagames
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Re: Need info please

Post by gontzagames » Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:46 am

I truly appreciate all the responses I received!
I had originally been thinking AZ, but after all these responses, I may change the location. My character speaks with a specific dialect, a midwest dialect, but I could make her a transplant to CA.
I used goodsearch.com to get info on Egbert (goodsearch is similar to google but they donate money to charity). Great info! I"m sure I can use it.
Thanks so much!
Ann

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