The Long Way Home

4 May

It’s not like I haven’t had access to the Internet, it’s just that I needed the extra time to acclimate to being back home in Canada. You know, doctors appointments to renew prescriptions, lab tests, more doctors appointments to discuss the results of said tests, getting all the paperwork together for ICBC refunds, new glasses and passport renewal for Richard and of course learning not to be shocked when we see the price of everything here, especially food, plus getting used to living with a very young child again. Not to mention arriving home just before the writ was dropped for a provincial election. (If you know me well, you know I’m a B.C. politics junky)

We love our grandchildren and their parents more than I can tell you, but we spend 6 months of the year basically alone. We live in a 26 foot converted Grumman truck, on a beach, where our nearest neighbours are a long ways away.

It’s quiet, for the most part, since it’s just the two of us. The steady susurration of background noise is from the wind and the waves and whatever music we might have playing.

The nearest town has a population of about 6000 and life moves at a slow but steady pace.

Our kids both live in urban settings, crowded, with the constant noise of city life: sirens, lawnmowers, leaf blowers, aircraft, vehicles, horns, etc.

It takes a little while to mesh back into the daily life of our kids and their kids. Everything is chaotic, the volume is loud, and the din is constant, from morning till night and life is lived at full speed. We forget just how fast we had to move when our daughters were little to keep up with them, their schedules and the demands of our jobs, family responsibilities and hobbies.

I finally have some quiet, alone time and figured I’d better check in with all of you.

We didn’t just drive home. We rocketed up Baja, and arrived in San Quintin on the second day of driving where we spent 2 last days, alone on the beach. It was here on the second morning that I did something I will hold near my heart for the rest of my life; I rescued a sea lion pup!

It looked like some kids had found it on the beach the night before and dragged it up into the dunes by shoving it into the sleeve of a jacket. There, they wrapped a rope around it’s rear flippers and staked the rope into the dune then left. I found it completely by accident, mostly because I could see some movement in the dunes.

I threw my jacket over its head, took the rope off it’s flippers, made sure that there was no obvious medical problems, ripped the jacket sleeve it was stuck in, in two, then followed it down to the waters edge, where it happily swam out into the surf and away. No, I don’t have pictures because I seem to never have the camera with me when something exciting happens but hey, I don’t need any pictures to remind me of just what a great feeling it was to see that little fellow head out to the safety of the ocean.

Then we headed for SoCal. Our destination, El Centro!

After that it was just travelling and visiting so many places, that they all seem to run into one another. We toured southeastern California, southern Arizona and New Mexico, stopping at anything that looked interesting.

The most fun we had was visiting our friends Jay and Diane, who own a small spread just outside of Albuquerque and raise Mules. We spend a lot of time together in Baja and have been trying to get to New Mexico to visit for a few years now.

We didn’t get to meet the mules as they were still down in their winter range and there were chores that needed to be accomplished before they could come home. Richard and I, (I hope) helped with the burning off of the vegetation in their irrigation canal, then with the flooding of the fields. They wined us, dined us, acted as our personal tour guides and made us feel like part of the family. Considering that we arrived on their doorstep about 5 minutes after they drove in made it all the more special.

Like all good visitors, we knew when to leave and after 3 days we hit the road again, getting home in less than 3 days.

There’s no point in telling you about all the places we visited, so I’ll just show you.

 On one side of our parking spot there were hundreds of these buggies, quads, and bikes. This is the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area of Southeastern California

On one side of our parking spot there were hundreds of these buggies, quads, and bikes. This is the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area of Southeastern California

On the other side of our parking spot was this Fashion shoot. You know you're in California when ...

On the other side of our parking spot was this Fashion shoot. You know you’re in California when …

The Solar observatory at Kitts Peak National Observatory. One of 26 different telescopes on site

The Solar observatory at Kitts Peak National Observatory. One of 26 different telescopes on site

More telescopes. There are 8 different Astronomical Research Institutions represented on this 6800 foot mountain peak that sits on the Tohono O'odham reserve in southern Arizona

More telescopes. There are 8 different Astronomical Research Institutions represented on this 6800 foot mountain peak that sits on the Tohono O’odham reserve in southern Arizona

A copy of Sputnik hanging in the Alamogordo Space Museum. We travelled through the White Sands National Monument, Alamogordo and Roswell. Sort of following the birth of the Nuclear Age, SciFi and the space race.

A copy of Sputnik hanging in the Alamogordo Space Museum. We travelled through the White Sands National Monument, Alamogordo and Roswell. Sort of following the birth of the Nuclear Age, SciFi and the space race.

A copy of Goddard's very first successful rocket launched in 1926

A copy of Goddard’s very first successful rocket launched in 1926

A lava flow in El Malpais. (The Bad Land) New Mexico's  Northwestern third of the state is covered in abundant, well-exposed, and un-eroded volcanic landforms. makes for some pretty cool landscapes.

A lava flow in El Malpais. (The Bad Land) New Mexico’s Northwestern third of the state is covered in abundant, well-exposed, and un-eroded volcanic landforms. makes for some pretty cool landscapes.Does this look familiar to you? Are you a Jody Foster fan? The movie "Contact" was partially filmed here. This is the Karl G. Jansky,Very Large Array. It's a Radio Astronomy Observatory, meaning it listens to space. It was in the perfect position when we arrived for some really good shots. Each dish can be moved, though they are massive and sometimes they are spread over a vast area called the Plains of Saint Agustin, about 50 miles west of Socorro, New MexicoDoes this look familiar to you? Are you a Jody Foster fan? The movie “Contact” was partially filmed here. This is the Karl G. Jansky,Very Large Array. It’s a Radio Astronomy Observatory, meaning it listens to space. It was in the perfect position when we arrived for some really good shots. Each dish can be moved, though they are massive and sometimes they are spread over a vast area called the Plains of Saint Agustin, about 50 miles west of Socorro, New Mexico

Part of a wall in a place called El Morro National Monument. It's juxtaposed to the one below it. It's a watering hole that's had people stopping by for centuries and each has left some graffiti of the time.

Part of a wall in a place called El Morro National Monument. It’s juxtaposed to the one below it. It’s a watering hole that’s had people stopping by for centuries and each has left some graffiti of the time.

Much older petroglyphs on the walls in El Morro.

Much older petroglyphs on the walls in El Morro.Pueblaon ruins that sit at the very top of El Morro and vacant by the time the Spanish arrived in the late 1500's. They could see 360 degrees around them, for a very great distance. Good defensive position.Pueblaon ruins that sit at the very top of El Morro and vacant by the time the Spanish arrived in the late 1500’s. They could see 360 degrees around them, for a very great distance. Good defensive position.We came around a corner in downtown Santa Fe, drawn by the music, where this, not so little guy, was in standing in the middle of the passage.

We came around a corner in downtown Santa Fe, drawn by the music, where this, not so little guy, was in standing in the middle of the passage.
This was the music that got our attention. It was calypso with a little Spanish flair. This sort of thing was everywhere we went in the downtown area.

This was the music that got our attention. It was calypso with a little Spanish flair. This sort of thing was everywhere we went in the downtown area.

It was a great trip, interesting, educational, fun, with fabulous food, wonderful friends and spectacular scenery. We can hardly wait to do it again. There were so many places we didn’t go and lots of things we didn’t do. Gives us a damn good reason for going back again don’t you think?

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2 Responses to “The Long Way Home”

  1. Byron Reynolds June 17, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    Hey guys, I’m a fellow StepVan RV guy. If your adventures ever take you through Gilroy, CA…you’ve got a place to park. I have 2 acres out here, and you are welcome. Drop me an email and I’ll give you an address.

    • Alexis Thuillier June 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

      Why thanks very much Byron. We actually do spend a fair amount of time in California on our way to and fro to Baja and we just might take you up on your offer some day! There’s the reciprocal offer as well; if you ever want to head down the Baja write me a note.

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