On one side, shimmering blue water. On the other, prickly brown desert. The water supports an enormous variety of life: pelicans, seagulls, herons, tidepool creatures and fish galore that I can’t identify. At sunrise, everything is awake, making noise. In the desert, only a brave few seem to make their home: owls, ants, coyotes, foxes. Only one or two birds chirp when the sun comes up. The land is quiet. The contrast is stark. The land is dry. The sea is wet.
I grew up in Massachusetts. We went for walks in the woods and splashed in babbling brooks. At home in south central Alaska, spruce and birch cover the landscape. There’s so much water that we have sump pumps to keep our basement dry. I never worry about water there.
Here the lack of water keeps me alert and awake. I’m always calculating how much I can drink, how far to the next town. How much do I really need. I long to chug a giant, cold liter of water, and then maybe one more for good measure. I wish I was a camel and could save some for later.
Mex 5 takes us south along the Sea of Cortez: San Felipe, Puertecitos, Bahia de Gonzagas, Alfonsinas, Laguna Chapela. Along the way, the pavement runs out. We stop for cold Cokes at Coco’s Corner. He gives us cookies and good ideas.
Across the cracked, dry Laguna Chapela and we’re deposited onto Mex 1.
South of Punta Prieta we hang a right towards the Pacific. A farmer tells us the road’s only a little sandy. He thinks we can make it through. Alright then, so do we. Onward.
Just before sunset, the ocean comes in to view. We camp above it, in the desert.
Santa Rosalillita has water and food. We help some surfers from BC get their truck out of the sand. They tell us there’s a good two track going south along the coast. We get a personal puppy escort out of town and are on the way.
Morning riding allows time for afternoon beach walks. We poke around tide pools. Tyndall finds an octopus and we see a crab molt.
The slower we go the more we see.