Sunday, December 9, 2012


We've been back in Mazatlan for almost 2 weeks now, and I have been busy with house cleaning, reaquainting myself with friends and neighbors, and finishing my journal pieces I began during our drive south. I produced at least one per day (minus the machine finishing and binding) and it was a great way to pass the time. I also became more aware of the landscape and signs along the way. I enjoyed it so much that I am continuing these little pieces... we'll see where that takes me.

Our Thanksgiving Day departure was well planned. We’d be up early, do our final bit of packing and put our little mobile home to rest for the winter. Two and half hours down the road a delicious meal was waiting for us at Mark and Michelle’s house (Tom’s niece). We’d also be breaking bread (and turkey, ham, stuffing, desserts, etc., etc., etc.,) with his sister Cathy and other family and friends.
Our car was about as packed as our tummies would be later on in the day. Spike-dog had her little nest of blankets in the back, and I had my provisions surrounding me in the passenger seat: my purse with essentials, water, a few small snacks, and my sewing basket, so carefully prepared for the next five days.

The weather was cooperative. Not only were the roads dry but the sky was clear, and provided a brilliant backdrop to massive Mt. Shasta, which guided us down I-5.
At one o’clock we pulled into Redding and joined our family for a lovely afternoon with an OUTDOOR Thanksgiving feast.  There is no Gratitude Avenue there, but in my mind it’s the journey I take every day…grateful for the freedom to travel, to have wonderful family and friends, and good health to boot.
The Hispanic population is large along this path of I-5 that we were driving on our way to Mexico, but the last thing I expected to see this day was a major billboard along the side of the road near Sacramento that shouted out to me “Vive Hoy”. It somehow was a pre-greeting to our winter home in Mazatlan. How fitting this message (live today!) was to us as we journeyed south: notice the changing landscape, take pleasure in each other’s company, pause along the way to stretch and refresh.
We were happy to be traveling back to Mexico, where “vive hoy” seems to be more of the norm, rather than the underlying feelings of stress and pressure and fear of "whatever" north of the border.
Vive hoy!
A long day of driving brought us down I-5, then east to Bakersfield and on to the town of Mojave before dark set in. We were in the land of a barren landscape except for the abundance of wind machines along the hillsides and horizon line. We overnighted at pet-friendly Motel 6 and were up before dawn to get an early start for the next leg of our journey. We hoped to get as far as Tucson, or better yet Nogales, before sunset.
As the sun rose that day, we found ourselves on the Pearblossom Highway located within the Antelope Valley of California. This was another long, lonesome stretch within a stark desert setting, but one small patch of yucca trees caught my attention with their balls of spikey greenery growing out of the branches. The name of the highway evoked more than spikey orbs, and I was wondering where I might find delicate pearblossoms in a place like this. They never appeared, and the yuccas also disappeared into the quiet of the desert landscape as it leads into Arizona.
Soon to come: Part 3 - South of the border!

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