It was a lovely reprieve to take part in Luther Hughes’s workshop, Reaching for Joy last week. Writing memoir has already proven to be hard, rewarding, triggering, and necessary. Luther’s workshop felt like playtime in comparison. I am not a poet, but it’s fun to try it.
The assignment guidelines: start with “it”, a time you made a choice to basically have faith and also include a food. Some of you may recall this “story” from a blog post in the very beginning of this blog as I drove from Montana to the southern tip of Baja.
Somewhere In Mexico
It was noon Driving slow, low shoulder, two lane highway Potholes in the middle Didn’t see it coming but heard the pop, felt the bump Damn only sand It was the only way to go All alone as far as the eye could see. A man came along as we tried to understand Resigned to not panic, only to trust He tried with his truck and chain to get me unstuck But fuck As if from the sky, a bus fell into sight Angels who looked like farm workers descended and lifted my car I witnessed a miracle Then was on my way to the next town to get a taco
My last stop in Idaho was at the Cenex in Salmon, ID. Guns and ammo stores with large signs lined the streets. Huge Trump flags flew outside homes and from backs of oversized pickup trucks. I ran into the Cenex, which had a True Value hardware store in it, to use the restroom. I was one of the only mask wearers in there. As I waited for the restroom, I peeked in the camping section. A young male employee approached me, not wearing a mask. I backed away as he asked if I needed any help. “I thought you might be looking for your husband, since you are in the fishing and camping section,” he said. “No, no husband, I’m a camper,” I replied. “Oh you are one of the lucky ones, there aren’t many of you,” he smirked. After a quick visit to the bathroom, I couldn’t walk fast enough out of there. It is beautiful country, with a sense of fear in the air. As a liberal woman traveling alone, it wasn’t the safest I’ve ever felt. In fact, I felt 100% safer traveling through Baja, Mexico alone. When my map app announced, welcome to Montana, my tension relaxed, I took a deep breath of relief. Yesterday, I had an appointment with my favorite chiropractor here in Missoula, Dr. Van Eerden, at Hickory Street Chiropractic Clinic, http://www.hschiro.com/ He really is good, gentle and uses the activator. Our visit was mainly me on the table with him doing visceral manipulation. We talked of Idaho, shared stories that only confirmed my sense of fear driving through there. His son played soccer, thus they found themselves traveling there for games. Ivan’s gentle touch gave my hips some relief. By evening, I was feeling the pain again and exhausted. I have a doctor’s appointment next week to continue the search into what is causing this discomfort. Meantime, Aranda Bowman LMT, https://www.massagebook.com/Springfield~Massage~Aranda?src=external (highly recommend her) who I saw in Oregon a week ago sent out this Youtube with some self myofascial bodywork. Check it out and take good care of yourself.
Thanks for reading and coming along on the journey.
Need some community tonight? Join in for live storytelling at Tell Us Something, https://www.tellussomething.org/ $10 per ticket. Support the arts, support storytelling.
Just over 2 years ago, I traveled to El Pescadero, Baja with the thought of living there and managing my nephew’s vacation home. It’s taken this long to have all the construction and finishes touches done. It’s beautiful and available to rent now via me, Airbnb and VRBO.
I’m not living there but managing reservations from afar. I’ve enjoyed building the rental sites, getting Casa de Savannah on google maps and communicating with renters. A couple of people have asked about the possibility of holding a wedding there. A wedding planner is visiting the casa later in April to see if it is suitable.
It’s been busy. I can’t say I’ve been able to relax into the Baja routine that I imagine will happen down the road. My nephew’s family and their friends with 2 boys are always up to fun, beach time, surfing, etc with a delicious meal cooked in their open air kitchen and dining area at the end of the day. Only to get up and we do it all over again. In addition, I’ve made some friends in the area where I am renting a little casa for the week. On one of my previous visits here, I recall seeing this woman at the market. She had a smile and way about her that made me think, she looks like she is enjoying life, I’d like to know her. Well, she lives in the house right next door to where I am staying. Her kitchen and eating area are open air out front. So when I get up and the others that are staying around here, we often find ourselves right at Paty’s getting a morning visit in. She has lived here for 9 years after coming down for several years before that. She and I are planning to go out for coffee tomorrow at Baja Beans.
Yesterday, my great-niece and I went to meet a litter of puppies. None of the ones I posted pictures of were available anymore. We did fall for “Socks”. We will pick her up tomorrow afternoon. The arrangement is that we will foster her for a week to make sure it is a good fit. I really hope it is. She is a good-looking and sweet puppy. We would have gotten her today, but we took the whole crew back to Santa Rita hot springs. The day ended back in Pescadero eating true Mexican enchiladas at Felipe’s. Too full and tired to tell you more. For now Buenas noches and dulces suenos.
Wow, I’m here. Got here just in time for the sunset. Then a bite to eat in Todos Santos. I’m settled in at my nephew’s. He’s in bed early since he has been working so hard on his house. It is beautiful. Tomorrow the plan is to get up early, run some errands then go try out some nearby hot springs. His wife, child and friends will be arriving on Friday. We want to see how nice the hot springs are so we can take everyone up there as a surprise.
The house is about 2 blocks off the beach. From the 2nd story of the house, one can catch a sunset and smell of the ocean. By the sound of the waves as I write this, it sounds as if we are right on the beach. Thinking it might be almost too loud if we were right on the beach. This is perfect.
I got my car all packed up, ready to eat some breakfast when some people in their car appeared to be wanting my attention. They yelled, “Did you know you have a flat?” The first flat I handled without stressing out too much. But wasn’t sure I was ready to handle a 2nd one just the day after the 1st one. Again, I was lucky in that it was early and I was still at the hotel. One of the gentleman from the hotel called for assistance. I went ahead and got some breakfast at the hotel while waiting for the repairman. I was hungry and already the day was showing it’s challenges. I cried over breakfast. Stress can bring up what’s at the bottom of most of my sadness these days, the loss of my connection to my daughter and my grandchildren. That pain will never leave, but I am learning to manage it better. This drive to Baja is part of the management plan!
The second flat showed a bent rim as did the 1st one. They were on the same side, so obviously the damage occurred when I hit the pot hole yesterday. The tire was repaired. I will need to get new rims once in Todos Santos. For here, until I get there, I will be driving slow and with more alertness than before.
Made it to San Ignacio, a small, sleepy palm oasis with a nice new motel, La Huerta Hotel I strolled around the square, visited the Mission San Ignacio got a fish taco and a few pictures before bed.
Arrived in San Felipe around 2 this afternoon. Went straight for the fish taco. For about a $1.60 I got one of the best fish tacos I may have ever had. Located on Malecon, Maria has been serving tacos for nearly 30 years, at Taqueria y Moriscos Adriana. I drove south of town a bit to check out a few beaches. I ended up with a room at the San Dollar just south of town. It is clean with a gated parking lot and right on the beach.
Drove back into town for dinner. Probably should have gone for another fish taco. Instead tried Mariscos La Morena, known for their coconut shrimp. I give it a 3 star for food, a 5 star for personal service. My waiter and I struck up a conversation. He spoke excellent English while encouraging me to learn some Spanish words. He is from Cabo so knows all of Baja quite well. He pulled out a map and helped me decide where to go each day on the way to Todos Santos. The plan is to make it to Guerrero Negro tomorrow night. A spot known for it’s whale watching. However, it’s just a little too soon for them to be in the area. He also warned me to ask for a certain amount of liters of gas. If you ask to fill up the tank, some attendants will hit a reset button when you are not looking. This continues to add up the cash amount without putting in more gas. Good to know. So I made my first friend. May have to get one more of Maria’s tacos before headed out in the morning.
It’s going to be hard to fall asleep tonight. Feeling journey proud, as my mama would say. Thinking of all of you who have been there for me, especially during this past year. Each of you have helped, in your own way to give me the courage to make this journey possible. I will carry your smiles, hugs and words along for the ride. Stay tuned as we travel together.
The day before I take off from Missoula for my journey to Baja via the West Coast, friends came to send me off. Thanks to the “Hellgate Junior League” members for the send off. Tomorrow, I’ll make my way to Spokane, Wa. Then to Portland to stay with Bill and LeBrie. Wednesday will take the opportunity to visit Bill’s art exhibit