How do I start to tell you about this epic off-road adventure through the Baja? Two days into the adventure and we haven’t left the blacktop or even the country yet.
We left Portland several hours later than planned. We always leave later than planned, but we still managed to make it down to Sacramento, 580 miles and 10 hours later. I would like to describe to you the beautiful Willamette valley, Mt. Shasta’s majestic snow capped peaks, wooded lakes, and star filled clear skies. I would like to describe these to you with the clarity of a diamond flashing in the sunlight. But the truth is that it rained buckets the entire way with fog and cloud cover that limited our views to 10 feet either side of the white line that droned in front of us mile after mile. After dragging our bags into the hotel room and settling in, sleep took us before the lights even dimmed from flicking off the switch.
Our late starts continued into day two after confusing PM & AM when setting the alarm at three in the morning the night before. Sacramento to Carlsbad is 475 miles straight down I5 and I do mean straight! The drive from Sacrament to LA put the majority down the majority of the miles. Driving from LA to Carlsbad, a mire 88 miles, took about same amount of time. Crossing into LA at 4:00 PM on a Friday managed to embed us in traffic that we slogged threw for the next four hours. But out of the ashes of city grid lock our spirits were raised as we were welcomed into Bernie and Tammy’s casa.
There are no two people more wonderful in the world. With nothing more than a phone call to Bernie that we would be in the area soon, they opened up their house, killed the fatted calf and cracked open the good stuff. Over an amazing meal that Bernie prepared for us we chatted until the 1,000 plus miles of the last two days were washed off. We talked about Mexico, family, how boys grow up to be men and the influences of Italian cathedral architecture on garden gates. Tammy and Bernie brought us into their home and gave us a glimpse of how true friendship was meant to be expressed.
42 miles from Mexico to Carlsbad and still a world away. Tomorrow we’ll cross the boarder and find the desert solitude we seek. But tonight we were rewarded with company that will forever fill the endless empty spaces.