Our last two days of the trip were the long stretch back home. We drove 40 miles down an shabby, dirt, out-of-the-way road to a town called San Luis Gonzaga to find a radio transmitter on a bird captured by Bridget that had stopped 'migrating' some time ago. There were some speculations between her and my father (read: a long standing bet) about why the transmitter never migrated. Was the bird dead? Did the transmitter fall off? Was the bird still alive and didn't leave the area for whatever reason? Something else?
Bridget had an aerial map with coordinates that the transmitter had been at frequently, and we searched the area for either the bird itself, a bird carcass, or a lost transmitter. It amounted, if not on a living animal, to a needle in a haystack in a way. Until I found out what transmitters cost. And I imagined looking for a bundle of bills amounting to $4000. I would hunt around for that much money in a wetland.
We didn't end up finding it, but not for a lack of looking. The mystery, and the bet, still stands.
After heading back on the same road we came in on (the only road out of the town), we headed back north towards the border. We stopped at a cheap motel, with water hot enough that it could flay the skin off of your body. I couldn't figure out how to turn the lights on or work the outlets in the morning, only to find out that the generator was turned off during the day. Trying to wrap my brain around that one, Bridget's voice chimed, "Yeah, why would anyone need electricity during the day?"
We stopped at a neat breakfast spot with a cozy, inside chiminea that we circled around with our morning caffeine.
Once we found the Otay Mesa border crossing, we found it much faster than the normally three hour long wait at the main crossing. We were tired, dirty, and ready for an early night and the sight of our own beds.
Bridget is a biologist that has worked with my dad previously. Working with my dad was lots of fun, but it was very nice to have some additional estrogen around. Bridget is a riot, and she added a rad dimension to the trip for me.
She was talking about a store (owned by a friend, relative, or stranger, I can't remember) called Liquor and Produce. We couldn't determine which came first in the store. Perhaps a produce store needed more clientele, or, because the store was in Utah, that it needed to add something more wholesome to the product list. Either way, once we discussed the random nature of those two items being sold together, we noticed lots of places and things that went together but probably shouldn't. And now back in the US, I'm still finding amusement in the odd things that are sometimes paired together.
This last post contains more than a pair - a smattering of the random bits of the trip that I wanted to share that didn't fit anywhere else. It's my liquor, produce, spaghetti, and blankets (bonus points for those who got the Mitch Hedberg reference).
First, a few more photos of The Hotel California, including the dreaded room 13 that Bridget and I shared, and some photos of the hotel in San Quintin that I had kite surfed at with my dad that we revisited:
A snack I found on the trip up but was too grossed out to try:
A giant cactus (notice the two, itsy, bitsy humans standing at the base - it's that freaking tall):
Some random birds (the one of the quail was taken by Roberto Carmona):
Salt, salt, everywhere. No wonder I felt all fat and swollen the week I was there. Plus, I added salt to my food - out of respect for the company, of course. Here is salt that we saw in its many forms, and a little bit of its effect on the environment:
Tonito, one of the resident coyotes, caused quite a havoc finding his daily meals. Here are a few of the gifts he left in his wake:
We got to hang out with some very friendly Pronghorns that were bred as part of a repopulation program. Though they had alfalfa to last for a millennia, they clearly had the taste for human blood. And my sweatshirt: