Saturday, April 03, 2010

Desert Road Trip 2010

Living in SF these soon-to-be 15 years there is an isolation to the Bay Area that really bugs me, yes even with these 800,000 people I share a city with. Being a part of the megalopolis of the Eastern seaboard  for most of my life I always felt connected to friends and family via an automobile. In three hours I could drive and be somewhere in Virginia eating at the table of friends, five hours another state and on ward I could dream to go. Out here in SF, there is nothing/no one for 5-6 hours.  No one loves a road-trip more than me, I have subjected E+E to mini versions since there were infants during summer holidays as I hit Wake, Fredericksburg, Washington, DC, Philidelphia, Bucks County, NYC...Anyway, my friend Pat came to visit us late last summer and when I realized she drove here in two days from Southern Arizona, I had a destination, I felt freedom enter my psyche. Some time this winter it hit me that we were due for a road trip. I've really not seen the desert except for my cross-country adventure moving west but event that was at 85 miles an hour towing a car behind my U-Haul. The children quickly joined my plan with enthusiasm.

My trip-planning took many forms but ended up with a solid, ambitious but doable journey for team mama, Eva + Eli. We departed SFO (yes the airplane portion was a last-minute addition) on March 27th ,were in Venice Beach by 9:30 am, joining the Nadal/Zarrow clan for a family brunch at James Beach, followed by henna tattoos for the children, fun on the boardwalk, a dinner of Israeli food and bed in Calabasas. Sunday was a long day with a two hour drive to see the  poppies at the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve and back on the road through the San Bernadina Valley Mountain for hours of driving on I-10 until 5pm where I could not go any further. I was very sick from a new cold and within an hour of being on the 10, I was toast. My wing-man from his seat at his desk in SF, Art booked us in to a roadside hotel in Blythe, CA, the last stop before NOWHERE, where we enjoyed some time by the pool before bed. The next day was a long journey through the Arizona desert to 1.5 hours south of Tucson, a town called Aravaca, where my friend Pat lives. Three days living off-grid with Pat, rising to her newly crowing rooster Rue, collecting an egg from a timid layer, Mira, re-potting herbs and selling them at market, splashing amongst the cottonwood trees in Aravaca Creek, sleeping in our adorable trailer Rosie and sipping tea/coffee in Marigold (which hosted the heater!) and sneak-view at what it'd be like to work at a CSA (community supported agriculture.) Art joined us for some resort time in Arizona, dinner with Uncle John and Aunt Jane, a quick trip through Joshua Tree National Park and a luxurious 24 hours at the Ace Hotel  in Palm Springs.