Bikes, Beaches, and Birds

Yesterday marked a pretty good day. I started my bike ride heading North looking for a 27 acre bird sanctuary that supposedly houses over 200 species, but somehow ended up on a remote dusty road that paralleled an area of the the Gulf of California called Emerald Bay.

After making my way past the spotted towers of mecca tourist resorts and hotels, I found a nice tranquil spot to sit and listen to the wind. It was a nice sound. One that was soothing, yet penetrating enough to stir up emotions and memories of the days gone by. After idling for a couple minutes, I dropped my bike among some heavy cactus and briar bushes since there was nowhere to tether and lock it, and walked to the edge of the land where it met the sea.

Looking both ways, there was at least a kilometer between me and the nearest settlement, which was the first time I had found a secluded beach like this. I drifted along combing for shells and whatever else may be of interest including an empty bottle of Henessy from 1963 France, some oil jugs, running shoes, and other debris that had washed ashore.

Trumbling along, there was very little to notice along the beach — no palms for shade on the edge, which was disappointing, just the endless cactus briar that could cause you to bleed out if you had to run through it. I took 5 steps through the stuff and had about as many bleeding cuts before turning around to continue along the beach.

I found a spot where some rocks popped out of the water and picked some sea kelp and gave it a go. It tasted like rice, but was edible enough. I also found a neat little pothole in the rock that must have been an old bathing station or laundry bin since the pothole had a large deposit of rocks in it. I haven’t seen many rocks in the ocean, only sand, hard magma rock, and small rocks. These were coconut sized rocks, all smooth, that were, I am assuming deposited into the pothole to either cover something up, or to provide a soft bottom for bare feet if used as a bath tub. It might merit a future investigation, even if only for a bath….

Continuing along for a couple more clicks, really off the beaten path, I found a solo fisherman in an overflow pond casting a dip net, and some dried out bamboo which I used to practice my baseball bat swing by batting rocks and bottles for awhile before heading back to my bike. My legs were filled with nitric acid by the time I got back to the shack, since it was a good 10-20K round trip.

Other cool things included another sighting of the Dragon Iguana and two red-tailed salamanders. I am still looking for a plant and reptile book so I can start to better understand the ecology of the area, and learn more about the terrain.

As anyone with a head on their shoulders that can read between the lines of the international headlines these days, and the timing of specific events in Europe and Asia, I found it particularly enlightening to just go out and have a day off before getting back to work.


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