National Geographic : 1992 Jan
Deserthousekeeping keepsJen busy sweeping away tracks made by the couple's two four-wheel drive vehicles and two lightweightaircraft,calledDrifters. The planes weigh only 750 pounds fully loaded, distributingtheir weight on three oversize tires. On thisgravelplain, where the Bartletts camped beside a well-used track, easily compacted soil can be indelibly scarredby drivers. "One truck left its tracks on thisplain in 1964-andthey're still here," says Jen. The filmmakers use their versatilemotorpool to makeforays between the desert and the coast. From the interior,a one-hourflight-or a six-hour drive-leads to theirwindblown cabinat Mwe Bay. There they rechargetheir batteries,physical andmental. Solarcells energize their movie cameras and inspire ray-catchingmimicry by their suricate.Adding to self-reliance, Swiss chardand many other vegetables thrive in their small sandgarden.