2 days and counting …..

Sunrise in Loreto

Countdown to Friday departure as the Baja Peninusla lures me south once again.  This trip, I’ll again have the joy experiencing the extraordinary and diversified beauty of the long finger of desert, rock and mountainous terrain.  If you’ve never done the drive, then you don’t really know Baja.

Cathy and Patrick are packing their respective bags.  This will be Cathy’s first road trip, and I’m excited for her to experience the open spaces.  We’re still jockeying between one or two cars .. but in any event, the clock is ticking and soon the open road will be under our wheels.

Plan is first night at El Jardin, the most serene motel tucked off the road just north of San Quintin.  The gardens surrounding the motel are amazing – even a small grove of orange trees fills out the back.  Early Saturday, we’ll book it for Loreto, checking into “Casa de Catalina” for a day’s road rest.  Supplies will be gathered and a joy trip to the Tiligues (Sunday open air market) to fill out the fresh veggie/fruit part of our food group.  Either late Sunday, or early Monday – depending on surf and social life conditions 🙂  – we’ll make the drive to San Juanico, surfboards and suntan lotion loaded on the Explorer.

The last two days have been registration, insurance – and the procurment of a sentri transponder for my car – the second in the ‘fleet’ – for easier crossing back into the United States.  It’s part of the Trusted Traveler Program of Homeland Security and it’s nice to be a vetted American.

Promises to self this trip : Stop for more photographs. Take time to sketch and to paint. Surf ’til you drop!

Gardens in the Desert

“The Desert Dreams of Water” is the name of a series of photographs I took in different desert locations.  My experience of the dried earth in sparsely vegetated areas of the desert is that the dream of water is never more than a breath away.  During and after a rain storm, the earth opens up in a plethora of scents and colors and growth that is staggering.  All dormancy slides away with water born from the heavens.

In Baja, those oasis that dot the peninsula do so because of the existence of water – precious water that is never to be wasted or taken for granted.  The palm groves an inland rivers of San Ignacio and Mulege are prime examples of nature’s gardens.  The town of Loreto, tucked off the main highway for decades, shimmers with shades of green when approached by the sea.

Vegetation provides shelter from the heat, protects the soil from erosion, provides an oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange, as well as shelter and habitat for bird life.

In San Quintin, a Pacific coast fishing village south of Ensenada, a small hotel and restaurant complex can be found about 1/2 mile off the highway. “El Jardin” sits in the midst of its own oasis of palms, cactus, flowering shrubs and a small orange grove.  The motel is delightful – only a couple of years old, and the quiet is exquisite.  Rooms have ample windows for garden viewing, and the garden itself is filled with benches and tables for contemplation and relaxation.

It’s an amazing place to stopover, spend some time and recharge during the drive north or south, or even a spot for launching an all day fishing jaunt on one of the local pangas.