Wednesday, December 21, 2005

happy solstice!

We had a very uneventful trip up to Mexicali but unlike our previous border crossing, this one was just a bit more involved. At one point the customs person asked me why I was looking at her weird through her questions and I said we’d never been questioned like this before; that the last time through we were basically waved through. She was very unhappy with that information and told me we should be getting thorough examinations. Oh well. We had the most thorough revision at the military checkpoint where MX5 and MX3 meet, so I should have been expecting it. I don’t think we’ll go through Mexicali again; the traffic is quite bad and again, it took us about an hour to cross. We spent the night across the street from our usual spot at Lowe’s because I thought the kids would enjoy playing on the grass; we spent the evening at Target, however. I got all the kids nighttime clothes as a Solstice present; they all could use some (I just hope I got the right size) badly, except for Ellen, who is drowning in hand-me-downs. They all have blown knees as the kids frequently use the nighttime clothes as daytime clothes. Anyway, Target had a pretty good deal; 2 pairs of all cotton clothes for $12.50. I’ve never had good luck with thriftstore nighttime clothes so I hope they fit. I’ve decided not to wrap stuff and make Solstice low-key this year; they just don’t seem to get into it like I would. I’m greeting the sun this morning; not with 108 sun salutations, but by updating the blog. So, welcome sun, it seems like it has been a long time of darkness leading to the solstice; so much more than past years. I’m looking forward to longer days of light.

We thought we got up early yesterday morning but we didn’t leave the parking lot until 10am. It was to be a day of many delays. Ellen had an especially hard morning and between the many stops to either get her stuff or get out of the car to avoid her kicking feet, we were making 30 miles/hour. We had surprised the kids with a trip to “Golden Corral” (a buffet style restaurant) the night before, and between the variety and quantity of food, I think everyone was suffering from a food hangover. My metabolism being much slower, I started getting hit yesterday afternoon. We got really used to the simple food we ate in Baja and I think we blew our collective digestive system’s minds. So it was a long trip yesterday, even though we only did 150 miles.

At one point we saw some gigantic (but accurate) dinosaurs from the freeway and to the kids amazement, I pulled off and we stopped for quite a while for the kids to play, Jamie to rest and me to figure out where we’d head. I’ve found that it is not working well to simply drive until the adults want to stop. We need to have a place that the kids will enjoy playing in and have room to roam. We were really low on water, so I picked a county park and when the kids were ready, we headed out. This county park is 4.5 miles north of I10 before the first turn so I thought it would be nice and quiet. On the way to finding the park we passed a long series of playing fields topped by a playground. I remarked to Jamie that it looked like a good place to boondock; the kids would have ample play area, there were restrooms (and water) and being this far from the freeway it would probably be quiet. As smoke and steam errupted from his ears (he really is against boondocking) I dropped the subject.
We got lost, of course, with no signs to guide us, we should have realized that was an omen. I drove down a street and found a vacant lot to turn around in and remarked that the vacant lot looked like a good place to boondock (I really should keep such thoughts to myself) and with the directions of “well, the road dead-ends, but if you just drive around, you should be able to find it” we found the park. It is closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. BUT, two streets before the park we did find a sign.

The sun is rising under a cloud cover. Grey and blue and purple are the clouds overhead; as the reach towards the horizon they turn maroon then red-orange and then orange.

So, I backed up the street, found a place to make a three-point backwards turn and headed to the aforementioned sports field. Jamie gave his ok to stop there and contemplate boondocking. The kids LOVED the green grass, though, Ellen, waking, cried and moaned until her tummy was full of good chicken soup. Now the purple clouds are getting maroon highlights. I drove off to the fire station (as it turned out) to find water and someone has a wireless router allowing us Internet access without setting up the tripod. The morning joggers and walkers started Very Early This Morning and traffic is now dying DOWN at 6:38am. This must be an LA bedroom community. We’re just north of Beaumont. The road we’re camped beside is a State Route (I’m thinking a “country road” in Texas) and while we found those to be very quiet and (orange is turning to yellow and the deep colors of the sunrise are mellowing), this road has been full of traffic since before the sun even thought of rising. It looks like it should be such a quiet and peaceful area…

Today we head for Boron and once the family wakes, I’ll get the camera and post the dinosaur pictures from yesterday.

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