San Diego 3 and Homebound
The title of this trip should be, 'The Best of Both Worlds.' Riding the bike, camping with the waves at our feet, and enjoying the great ourdoors both on and off the scooter. The other world is our relatives staying at the Four Seasons Hotel. Does this look like the Clampetts come to California, or what? We got to use the hot tub, watch the Seahawks lose, and shower at leisure. While camping is fun, pay showers are a drag.
Half the family (moi included) hiked along the bluffs overlooking the Pacific. We watched people walk and bike along the beach. Those cruiser bikes can travel on the sand. Who would have known?
We hiked around the facility too, and were blessed with the scents of Hyacynth, Birds of Paradise, Honeysuckle, and Lilies. Actually, I don't know what all the plants were, but the place was filled with different aromas fighting for attention. Since it rained for two weeks prior to our arrival, everything grew green and bloomed.
The weather cooperated fully. Sunny and warm, not a breeze to be found. It's difficult to imagine the snow and freezing tempreatures across the country as we sit on the deck, watching the kids swim.
Day four started with a special treat. While the surf could lull us to sleep, it could lull us awake as well. The waves crashed below us, providing us with many moments of bursting from dreamland. I decided to simply not fight it. This morning, I woke from the waves and noticed the moon setting over the Pacific. The pumpkin orb settled into the horizon as I lay in bed, the big tent window affording me an awesome view.
We slowly broke camp and pointed home at nine a.m. Nick's girl Kim advised us to take the 78 East. We were treated to three hours of winding, climbing, serpentine roads through ranches, orchards and weekend retreats. Once more, the terrain almost glowed green from the recent drenching. We climbed and rode into granite outcrops with house size boulders interspersed with sage and occotillo. Next we wound down a zigzag pattern, dropping thousands of feet to Indio. The main drag bordered us with shops; Versace, Neiman Marcus, Prada, and more. No use looking for lunch here. Continuing East, we found John's, a local burger joint. The menu included sandwiches, Mexican, family dinners, and salads. The Little Woman elected to eat a taco salad, and I had a carne asada platter. More like fajitas. All the ingredients are there, and I must assemble them. I came to pay and be served. If I wanted to assemble my own lunch, I'd climb over the bar and make it myself. However,the food tasted good. (Although the rice disappointed; dry.)
Off again, climbing once more to the east. Civilization quickly gives way to desert, and we bisect desert from horizon to horizon, a black stripe with a white cursor running across it.
I love the desert; the vast, isolated, arid land with few focal points. The mountains jag up to the sky from every side. There are so few cars, that it makes one wonder what happens should there be a breakdown, and soon I'm watching the fuel guage, as the last opportunity for gas was where we fueled over a hundred miles ago.
No worries, as a junction appears and a few pumps stand ready to- wow! Four dollars a gallon. Between the state of California and the location, what would you expect?
We continue north on 95, and the sun sets. What a treat. For over an hour, the Little Woman and I keep a running commentary: Look at our shadow, 45 feet long, tracking us across the desert. At our three o'clock, the sun, recently set, still hits the mountains, the shadows deepening. To the left, approximately nine o'clock, the sun dips behind the mountains, making the peaks look like they are cut with a razor. Orange sky backlights them. At our eleven o'clock, dozen of clouds in strata hang with pink shadows below. Now at three o'clock, the mountains shine Caribbean blue, with fuschia sky climbing to pink. Looking in the rearview mirror, the low hills shine blue with orange sky above. At two o'clock, the orange deepens, the clouds contrast with blues. At four o'clock, the nearer granite hiils briefly take on a green tinge and soon return to beige. A full moon appears to the right, around three o'clock. I must remember to focus on the road. However our chances of hitting anyone else are almost non-existent.
Once the sunset ends, the cold appears from nowhere. We stop to layer up. Another hour and we return to the house at almost the exact time we left, cool but happy.
Rants, raves, mutterings and musings.
The Rants:'California, land of fruits and nuts.' For sure. The Self Realization Church. Most churches you kneel and worship. Whom do you worship at this church?
'Traffic Calm Neighborhood.' What is this? We saw the sign at an entry to a development. Do they give the cars a massage before they enter? Disconnect the horn? Make them play jazz music? Or maybe it's the drivers. Duct tape their middle fingers to their hands.
Bumper sticker: 'Wag More, Bark Less.' I thought it was a cute slogan. Except the lady in the car was honking angrily at the car ahead. Read your own bumper sticker!
'Blah blah blah... is known to cause cancer in California.' Warnings like this everywhere. What if you cross the border into Oregon, Arizona, or Nevada? It doesn't?
Four dollars for gas, a buck thirty nine for a 32 oz. pop, and don't ask what the Four Seasons costs. Ridiculous.
What a beautiful state. Beautiful beaches, streets, houses, people. Growies everywhere.
I love my relatives. Warts and all. We saw some, too. They saw mine. Still love 'em.
Why can't we just gas up? The 'vapor saver' thing is a pain when fueling bikes.
If they want to save the earth, why don't they tell us where the gas, food and lodging exits are insead of us driving all over the countyside, searching?
I suppose if California was affordable, even more people would live there, so it's probably good it is so ridiculously expensive. Does that make sense?
Everyone looks fit and beautiful at the beaches. I figured it out. The people that aren't are home watching TV.
Some day, my nephew Nick simply must take me surfing. I'd like to try it. It sure looks difficult to master.
That's it! Trip over.
One more day, one more adventure.