The song in the title of the blog is comparing a stormy relationship with an unusual deluge in the normally sunny ‘Sunshine State’. After wintering here, we can attest to the fact that yes, as the lyrics say, “It never rains in California, but girl don’t they warn ya, it pours, man it pours.” I must admit it feels kinda nice being part of the end of a five-year dry era in this diverse state. Record rain falls in the desert, dams nearly overflowing under the immense amount of water they can barely hold back, highways closed because of nearly 200% more snowfall in The Sierra’s compared to a normal year. When California exits from a drought, man it does it properly! All this rain and snow has kept us a bit longer on the west coast than we had planned. We just missed the Superbloom in Anza-Borrego State Park, but not to worry, we’ve seen so much beauty in the past 2 months that California (and Nevada) have on offer that this might have tipped us into beauty overload;)!
Since the last blog we haven’t moved much. The friends we made in Southern California in the Julian /Santa Ysabel area we will keep in touch with for a long time to come. The experiences we’ll surely carry forever as wonderful memories and life-changing experiences. I had the pleasure of giving a talk in the Julian library focusing on my book, Cycles of a Traveler, and touching on our current voyage. Louis met a young mountain biker named David while we were hiking near Vulcan Mountain and they got to share in their common enthusiasm of cycling in a few different surrounding areas, Chessie joining them on one occasion. Angie taught Yoga at the retreat center and also participated in a few Yoga classes where she met up with some like-minded souls. Francesca expanded her love of photography by befriending a fellow volunteer who runs a small film company and is a photographer. As another volunteer was selling his nearly brand new DSLR camera Chessie received an early 13th birthday gift so she could benefit from some lessons as well. Besides the volunteers at the center we also made friends with some people coming to various themed events varying from vegan cooking lessons to a philosophical-based retreat on ‘Finding your Secret Key’. Some fellow travelers we met in the Spiritual Retreat center in San Diego we have already met up with on the road north. Connecting with people has always been such an integral part to any great voyage, and these past six weeks have been a testament to how those connections just keep adding to the already colorful canvas of our trip to date. We had the pleasure to stay in our friend Kamal’s house eating exquisite Indian food every day to camping in the high desert of Nevada with our photographer buddy DuPre, or meeting a welder keeping our bike rack alive for a few more months, while expounding on all the freakish sightings he has seen over area 51 on the outskirts of Beatty, Nevada. In light of all this and more, the heavens occasional dumping down on us has been a infinitesimally small price to pay.
After a wonderful drive through the lowest point on the North American continent in Death Valley (282ft below sea level), some lovely quiet nights camping at Lake Walker in Nevada and driving up and over the high peaks surrounding Lake Tahoe, we are now back in Copperopolis, California, stopping in for a short stop with our cousins once again. It’s a beautiful part of the world where we camped a few days, met an enthusiastic man named David who is an avid runner, cyclist and newly-retired teacher who is now, and always has, enjoyed living and loving life to its fullest. Meeting folks like that always stokes up the fire of why I love getting out there and mixing with people in the great outdoors.
Two days after we arrived at Joe and Judy’s house the skies once again opened up and dumped down rain on us and fluffy white stuff now covers the roads on the plus 6,000 foot passes we recently crossed from Lake Tahoe. So once again we just missed being snowbound, but as the rain pummels down outside we are indoors with family playing games and eating good food with good company.
Hope you are all enjoying similar wonderful journeys of your own. I know my brother and his family just got back from Tuscany, Italy, and our good friends David and Sue will be heading off to Japan soon. So to all of our friends staying local or journeying afar, we wish you good travels and wonderful meetings wherever life finds you on this great big grand adventure called life.
Peace, Joe & family.
Enjoy the song below, for some reason I can’t get it out of my head since we hit ‘The Sunshine State’;-)!