I think one of the best things for my acuity is traveling. Even “little tiny trips” like this one to California. I thought of it as a little trip – you know…only to California. To Santa Cruz where I’ve been a bunch. (We lived in Berkeley for a year when the girls were little.)
It’s the smells that really get me. Humid air – thick. I can feel it coating my skin and frizzing my hair. The salt is even to be tasted. And this immediately after we passed through the Sierra Nevadas. The wildly busy Yosemite with it’s pungent Eucalyptus and Ponderosa smell. It was swarming with families, backpackers, kayakers, boaters…..walkers. People all escaping the Cities on the coast.
And then there we were in the middle of California’s 6 lane highways intersecting and merging insanely. Taos only has one main drag. Paseo del Pueblo Sur and Norte. We did it though. Made it to Santa Cruz.
Jared was waiting for us on his porch. The overgrown front yard almost hiding him – his folksy, bluesy acoustic music playing in the background. A cold beer awaited us, freshly caught Salmon. (His freezer is stuffed with Salmon and smoked Salmon from his fishing trips.) Oh he cooks it well. Some basmati rice. Our bodies stopped vibrating from the two days of driving through the intense desert of the Southwest. Monument Valley, Capitol Reef State Park – the loneliest highway North America.
Lots of talking in the car. We listened to Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road”. The reader’s voice was phenomenal and we were transfixed. The red rocks and wide open roads flying by. The girls safely in the back seat. No more car seats, no more promises of lollipops after a nap. Grown up children now. We munched, we talked. So fun and exhausting sometimes too. We spent 900.5 miles in the car the first day….about 19 hours. A tiny light on the horizon of the desert – right over the Nevada border led us to our tiny little cafe/hotel in Baker. (Population 52)
And now? Here we are in Santa Cruz. Salty ocean air, flowers everywhere. Insanity the way plants grow here. No coaxing for growth – it’s about cutting back and controlling the frenzied green and colors. Your house will be swallowed by the flora if you don’t watch closely. And fishing every day! On Jared’s boat. Bundled up after one fateful day of frozenness. Don’t underestimate the intensity of the humidity here. It cuts deep into your soul. The cold does.
Every day on the boat. Tonight at 6, we’ll meet Jared at the harbor. We know how to get there now. We fill our bags with treats of grapes, crackers, cheese, spicy hummus, cold beer and sparkling juices…. We eat on the boat and fish for halibut and catch rock fish. Even one octopus.
Today maybe the Redwoods!