Hello from the road!
I’m in a funk. You know how it is with a funk, someone asks you what’s wrong and you reply nothing because, well, it’s true. Nothing is wrong, and you know it, but nothing is exactly right either and it’s the impossibility of putting a finger on what is not right that drives you bonkers. I’m not sure if the sickness brought on the funk or if it’s organic but here I am, in it, living the world through grey-coloured glasses.
But let’s back up, way up, to Miz Liz’s Home for Wayward and Sickly Canadians high in the desert of 29Palms…
The nasty flu seemed to be releasing its devilish hold on yours truly. More hours were spent upright, solid foods were digested, conversation consisted of more than grunts. I even managed to drag myself out for two short yet stunning hikes in Joshua Tree National Park. We hit the hike jackpot with Prez finding a perfectly stripped-bare turtle shell, eagle-eyed Meg picking out a gorgeous Big Horn Sheep (a ram with full horns) coming down for water, and a bobcat who walked right in front of our vehicle then paused at the side to give us a haughty stare. We would hear later, both from Liz and her daughter (via New York City), what very lucky Canucky’s we were to see all this great stuff – stuff some (slightly bitter) longtime residents (who shall remain nameless) have never seen at all! Yep, things were looking up. But we all know what happens to “What goes up…”.
Oh, I came down alright, and hard. Back to the pits of flu hell for me. Thankfully, our friend and host is not without pull in her little berg and I was slid into the queue for the doctor despite the fact that he was already five patients over his limit. I returned to my sick room with a goodie bag of antibiotics, Prednisone, Nasonex, and my three hundred and forty-seventh mug of herbal tea.
And don’t think for one millisecond that the Prez was spared from all the sickness. It’s just that Prez says, “I’m fine” and you are supposed to ignore the fact that his cough sounds like a death rattle and he’s up half the night horking green things you “could slice through” (his quote, and a very gross one, ick). Miz Liz was not much better, though she prefers to tackle her illness with old-fashioned “red wine treatment”, whereby you drink red wine until even the virus starts talking too loudly and telling bad jokes. Dennis and Meg gargled goldenseal, swabbed with Zicam, and prayed to a much higher power, obviously, as they remain virus-free. Bastards.
Our time at Miz Liz’s estate came to an end much too quickly for my liking. I miss her like crazy already. But I was reminded that Glen and Robyn – now known as Mr. & Mrs. Fullpot, to be discussed later – were expecting us, and wasn’t I excited by the prospect of sun, sand, sea, and cervezas?? Truthfully, I wasn’t excited, not at all like me where Baja is concerned. The funk was settling in, infecting me, if you will.
As if the weather were channeling my thoughts, we pulled away as Miz Liz stood and waved us “adios” in the middle of a blizzard – yes, snow, the stuff we’d driven a thousand miles to escape!
Now, switching gears a moment, Prez is a doer. He makes plans, rallies the troops, and gets things done. And his plans have an uncanny way of coming together no matter how much I, prophetess of doom, predict otherwise. The Plan, for this Baja adventure, was lots and lots of camping which I usually love but being sick and in a funk felt less than enthused about. And, as fate would have it, Prez’s plans did not come together as brilliantly as usual. Our first stop – the Carlsbad State Park Campground – was full, seems it was a holiday, Martin Luther King Day actually, and everyone in California decided to celebrate by camping. We did find a spot, eventually, with a lovely view of the highway and the raucous whoopings from the local bar to keep us awake through the night. As I lay in the back of the truck, awake and cold (did I mention the cold?), I dreamt of Miz Liz, snuggled up beside her bad dogs and a blazing fire…sigh.
No worries, next morning we would forge ahead to Mexico and warmth. It rained, quite a bit. The funk had me firmly in its grip now. Crossing the border is usually a moment of ecstasy, a moment where my shoulders relax and I feel I am “home”, but not this time. Tijuana depressed me with its dirt and poverty pressing up against its wealthy neighbour. The new fence, so technologically superior to the old fence, gave me the sensation of entering a maximum security prison. The stretch between the border and Ensenada didn’t help lighten my mood either. Mile after mile of shiny new resorts are popping out like zits on the landscape – gated, gringo enclosures designed to give you the wondrous experience of being in Mexico without ever having to actually interact with the culture!
Development didn’t stop there though; the North American dream is steadily forcing itself down Baja’s throat. Wal Mart, Home Depot, Costco, and many more have arrived – nothing will be the same again. And who am I say to say this isn’t better? That this isn’t what the citizens of Baja need and want? Me, I’m just a girl in a funk, another tourist, no one.
Threats of rain kept us from the coast and we ventured inland to the RV park at Santo Tomas, the one we’d enjoyed so much last year when we came down. Last year, Xmas Eve, when the roads were quiet and the weather was unseasonably balmy, not this year when an arctic front swept through and we were kept awake by the noise of semi’s, barking dogs, and howling roosters. I’m sure Meg and Dennis were beginning to wonder what kind of operation this “ClubFred” is exactly!
Finally we found a decent spot, on the beach, met up with the Fullpots, and had a really decent sleep. (And a shower – bliss). The next day we would camp at Catavina and hike those fabulous rock structures as we’ve always dreamed of doing. Unless, of course, we get to Catavina and a freezing wind is blowing eight trillion miles an hour, in which case we would (and did) drive until we were all exhausted and flop out at the Guerrero Negro RV park next to seventy behemoth motor homes. It’s good to have a back up plan.
Now we are finally semi-settled in at our old stomping grounds, Estero Coyote, on the Pacific. Sun and heat continue to be sporadic but we have a cozy little cabana to snuggle in, and good friends to share laughs, and oysters, with.
The fog of the funk is slowly lifting. Slowly. Thanks mostly to my hubby, who cannot stand to see me so blah, so zombie-like, and tries at every possible opportunity to bring a smile to my face. I’m not worried, I know I’ll be myself again soon; I don’t fear the funk. The older I get, the more I respect the idea of living life honestly. If I’m not happy, maybe there’s a reason. Maybe I have questions I need to ask myself, maybe the universe is trying to show me something important, who knows? The true joy of a journey, for me, has always been surrendering myself to fate, to the road, to whatever waits behind that next corner – good or bad. The road does not always give you what you want but, in its own funky way, the road gives you a reason to keep on hoping.
Until the next post, I hope this finds you healthy, happy & lovin’ life!