Lessons Learned in the Desert

As we usually do, we'll wrap up the trip with reflections and acknowledgments now that we're safely home....

Julie has definitely had enough of the desert for a while. While I do love sunshine, I get that I need/crave/must have green grass and blue water regularly. Crossing the last set of mountains today and heading down toward the Salinas Valley was just such a relief--green hills, even greener ag fields, and trees--real trees. Nick is pretty happy to be out of the desert, too.

However, I am also proud that we stuck with the desert on Friday and didn't let our mutual discomfort with what seemed like bleak terrain and kinda crappy accommodations stop us from doing what we had planned. Bringing yoga practices to the discomfort helped--deep breaths and acceptance of what is. That day ended up being one of our favorites.

Where else could we meet Down Under Barry-- a 50-something (60-something?) time-worn cowboy from Australia who showed us his bio-diesel engine, high performance air filter, and gave us other assorted and sundry tips about driving a diesel?

Where else could we be serenaded by the frog chorus all night long in the middle of one of the driest places on earth? All while walking to and from the star-lit hot springs baths for a mere $33 a night....

And what about that meal at Pastels Bistro? I just finished writing and submitting my Roadfood.com review of it. Hope it gets published. This little place deserves as much business as it can get. Getting to experience someone's commitment to excellence is always a privilege.

I think we might even have to go back to Tecopa Hot Springs. It's such a hoot to hear folks who look sorta like car mechanics or some such shouting out to each other, "Did you do your Watsu appointment already?" or "Didya walk the labyrinth today?"

Just goes to show you that the old saw remains true: you cannot judge a book by its cover, whether that's a person OR a place.

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