Pattison on Wheels

Friday, February 22, 2008

2-22-08: Internet Day

Awoke to this beautiful sunrise and I packed up and said goodbyes and rolled into Mulege to do laundry, banking, and shop for a place to spend the night with the Internet. Found the Cuesta Real for $39 with actual towels and everything. I’ll make good use of it before I leave.

2-21-08: No Criticism Required

This morning’s meditation yielded two things: One, there is no compulsory opinion. I thought there was. There is nothing I have to believe. This opens me to acceptance of a lovely aesthetic in everything that passes. No criticism required. Second, there are probably other people in that state. I have always felt that a deep understanding of cosmic truth would only separate me from the people doing all the shallow stuff I see but maybe not. Perhaps it is just another network that one can plug into, not a sentence of loneliness.

I was at a loss for activities today so I drove south about 15 miles just to see what was there. I got some nice photos of bays and skies. The sky was very blue and the reefs are a delicate light green through the clear water. Perfect photo day so I drove back to Santispac and took some more as the wind came up. By 2PM the wind was blasting across the beach from the north and all the RV people were out furling their awnings. My tent was warped but seemed to be weathering so I drove up the beach out of the wind and planned my return trip which begins day after tomorrow. I’m looking forward to trying Scammon’s Lagoon again. The salt flats were too soft for my motorcycle when I tried in December of 1976.

When I came back to my tent after the wind had abated it was on its side. The wind had pulled up all the stakes and only the mattress and gear kept it from blowing into the bay. Yeah, maybe that’s why I’m the only tent camper on this beach.

2-20-08: Creepy Senility

I came through the night OK with a few leg cramps. The shower-getting-place was closed so I took another hike but just a short one then I lay around and enjoyed the heat on my sore muscles until noon. I went into town and scouted out a camping place that claims Internet access for Saturday night so I can catch up before a probable period of days when I won’t have access. I then went into town and went into the grocery and found all the stuff I couldn't find yesterday. So much depends on one’s own attitude.

I waited on a bench across the street for the 3PM twelve step meeting to start. By three o’clock I was working on a resentment and finally read the sign in the window which said today’s meeting was where I had waited on Monday and Monday’s meeting had been here. I jumped in the car feeling incompetent again and got to the meeting about 15 minutes late. Very chatty meeting with a lot of gossip but reassuring to know that there is some semblance of a support group in the area.

The topic was honesty so I talked a little about how my creeping senility was distressing me. I had a good memory and to lose it feels like a humiliation. It was a gift on loan and I thought I owned it. Still, I find myself more times per day than ever before saying: “I like this. This feels good”

After the meeting I went back to town to do email and learned from a friend that there was to be a lunar eclipse tonight. Back at the beach I drove to an area that would have a good view and set up the camera and made dinner. It was gorgeous. No light pollution, the moon on the water, the sound of flying fish and crickets, long lingering sunset, the moon rising over the pink uninhabited desert mountains, good rice and beans, and the moon looking so rosy and spherical. It was also a lesson in how we see so much better than the camera. I could get the camera to record either the bright area or the shaded area with detail but not both. I could see it through the lens but the camera couldn't record it. I expect camera tech will catch up to us in a few years but, for now, photography is still a study in compromise.

2-19-08: A Little Hike

Today (2-19-08) I took a little hike up the wash. It was overcast so I didn’t worry about the sun. I took some nice shots of butterflies and was wandering up the wash when I realized it didn’t really go anywhere and was too close to the highway for my taste. So I looked up the ridge and remembered seeing some people hiking up there a couple days ago. I don’t know if they had some easier route than scrabbling up the slope the way I did. I definitely overdid it. I was pretty wobbly by the time I got to the top and had fallen a couple times. The rock was very soft and sometimes would just break apart when you stepped on it or tried to use it as a handhold. The vultures were coming down when I rested under the shade of a giant saguaro cactus.

I got some nice photos of the bay and the beach. I was completely wiped out when I got back. My little hike had lasted from noon until five. I drank a lot of water, ate some salted peanuts, a banana, took an aspirin, and went to the restaurant for a nice fish dinner. I thought I would just go crash out afterwards but I kept busy for hours possibly somewhat feverish from dehydration.


Monday, February 18, 2008


With my morning shower I got to chatting with Russ, the gringo (who spoke as if he were the handyman but turned out to be at least a manager but probably the owner) at the restaurant/kayak rental/etc. at the campground. I mentioned that I like to photograph birds in flight. I’m always a little unsure when I say that. Not because it’s untrue. I just wonder how odd it might sound. Anyway, he said we should go out in his panga (big boat). Maybe tomorrow. I was enthusiastic. The more he thought about it the more he came to know that he himself wanted to go out right now. So we did. Great shooting of frigate and other birds. We also had the privilege of hanging out with a pod of dolphins for about half an hour.

The GPS, though it doesn’t have maps for Mexico said I am at N 26 45’ 57” and W 111 53’ 9”. I think that is right. It also said I am around 20 feet below sea level. I think that may be in error.

In the afternoon I took a long walk out on a rock and cactus covered point. Good exercise. I’m OK just hanging out for a while. I have to admit, idyllic as it all is, when I am alone and free to feel anything I want, I experience fear and sadness. So be it. Accepted without comment.

This one failed to upload in sequence so I'm going to squeeze it in here.
I got up around 6am because I made the mistake of looking out over Bahia Conception. It was too beautiful to resist so I got up, bundled up, and set up the camera to capture the soft, rosy-fingered dawn reflected on the smooth water. I bought some eggs from a vendor that comes by the beach and had a nice breakfast of perfect 3 minute eggs.

Today was difficult. I wasn’t pleased with myself. I couldn’t find healthy road food in town and the Internet connection at the cafe didn’t work well for me. I expressed frustration and the owner took it personally and tried to refuse payment. The AA meeting that was supposed to happen didn’t, or at least not where I thought it was supposed to be. I took it personally and was feeling angry so I took a long walk on the beach in the glorious sunset. I felt better and slept well. I awoke with a novel feeling of just relaxing and letting myself feel and be who I am without the constant tension of judging and covering myself. I could feel the edge of that new territory. It felt good.