posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 02:46 PM
It started out like any other day, but it would end up being quite peculiar.
There are certain times of the year, here where I live, when the
opportunity to stretch can involve "the big four". I should explain more
about the "big four", so that you'll have a better picture of just exactly
what I'm talking about. On a good day, a particularly good day, one can
visit the desert, visit the mountains, visit the beach, and visit another
country all in the same day. And the experience is exhilarating to say the
least. So, . . .let's go, together.
We packed the night before so we could get an early start this morning.
A picnic basket full of goodies, a blanket, some towels, light jackets and
scarfs, extra water, and a tank full of gas. We have the truck loaded and
we're headed out of town just as the sun begins to come up in the eastern
What a sunrise it is. Cool pink, to streaky red, to soft yellow. We're on our
way east to Tecate, Mexico, where we'll get breakfast and do some quick
shopping before we head out to the desert. Arriving at the border check-
point, we park and walk over into Mexico, showing our I.D.'s to the guards
on the way. Working our way through the streets, we buy straw hats for
each other to keep the sun at bay. A small mexican restaurant invites us
in, and soon we're eating warm burritos stuffed with eggs and cheese,
accompanied by some beans and rice folded into fresh corn tortillas that
we dip in a spicy salsa. Hot coffee with real cream and sugar washes it all
down comfortably. We take pictures.
Back across the border into the U.S., we pull out and continue to head east
towards the Anza-Borrego desert, an hour or so away. It gets hotter and
more desolate the farther east we go, and we turn off the freeway and
head notheast now to Ocotilla Wells, our desert stopover. During the week
there is very little traffic and it seems we have the place to ourselves. We
hike down to the old train trestle. Even with our new straw hats the sun
is still the enemy, and we seek shade and shelter under the trestle and
pull out the water bottles as soon as we sit. The utter stillness of the
desert amazes us. Snakes and ants and an occasional spider. Nothing else
moves. No wind, nothing. Only stillness. We decide not to eat, but drink
more water. We take pictures.
Leaving the desrt behind, we take S2 to highway 78 and head west-north-
west. The roads begin an uphill climb and another hour later we find our-
selves in thick forest. Around and around we go, ever upwards, as we
climb the backside of the mountains to an old mining town called Julian.
Clouds are visible now, heavy white and gray clouds that seem so close
you could reach out and touch them. And what was that on our windshield?
A raindrop? Rain? You've got to be kidding. We stop at a place called
Look-Out Point, and we can see behind us, miles down into the valley, the
desert we left a few hours ago. What a view! We drive into the forest and
find an uninhabited camp site where we shall have our picnic. Laying the
blanket under a huge pine tree, we sit there silently, eating and listening
to the wind blow through the trees. Are we the only ones enjoying this
wonderful earth today? Seems like it. We finish off our submarine
sandwiches, our gatorade, and our canned pears just as the wind picks up
again and the rain begins to fall. Hightailing it back to the truck, we dive in
ahead of the torrent and just sit there again, listening to the rain beat
against the roof of the truck. Just us and the rain. When the thunder and
lightning start, we pull out onto the road, away from the trees, and head
due west towards home. We take pictures.
Driving down from the mountains, heading to the Pacific Ocean, we see
two or three rainbows left over from the earlier storm. It is now late
afternoon, coming on early evening. Is there really gold at the end of
those rainbows? Be nice, wouldn't it? Two hours pass by as we make our
way to the beach. The sky has cleared, and the sun is just begining to set
as we pull into the beach area. We get out quickly and walk bare-footed
in the surf, holding hands as the waves flop over us in repetitive motion.
The sound of the high tide mixes and mingles with the other sounds of
nature we've heard today. Across the street a seafood restaurant releases
aromas of wonderful dining. We go over and climb the stairs to the
second floor, where we find a nice table that overlooks the now almost
complete sunset. The sky turns red, and orange, and brown. A bottle of
fine white wine is delivered to our table and our glasses are filled.
We take pictures.
By the way, thank you for coming along. It's days like today that make
life just a little bit better.
(But why, if we took pictures, don't you show up in any of them?)