In the peak of the days heat we pressed on to Mulegé, exploring a few side roads and taking a few tight turnarounds in search of beach access to the Bahia de Concepcion. Sadly, in the heat of day when if roll down the windows, you are punished by sewer stink blowing back along the sides of the rig. A fault of design, and a sign that its time to dump. Eventually we rounded a turn above the Playa Santispec and drew in our breaths. It is the most perfect little cove, complete with small salty sailboats and a palapa restaurant on a firm crescent of white beach, sand as soft as confectioner’s sugar, overlooking Punta Concepcion. Its all you dream of for beach camping except that the restaurant (and the showers) were closed and there were no utility hook ups which we sorely needed. At this point we hadn’t showered since San Diego and we were all fantasizing about how much soap and hot water were would pump down the potty pipes as soon as possible. We wandered around the beach in a daze till we all became a bit cranky at the thought of piling back into rigotini. But we did, and followed Sheryl’s suggestion to stay at La Serenidad. Here we found the first full hook-ups since Oregon. They must exist in California, but not in the Sonoma, Monterey or Joshua Tree of this tour. So it was with a big sigh of relief, like a druggie needing a fix, that we plugged in to water, power and potty pipes.
On the drive from Mulegé to Laredo, the desert is a happy, leafy green, a lush medly of cacti and shrubs. Morning fog moistens the landscape before it climbs up to La Sierra de la Giganta, a purple-blue spine of mountains that runs all the way down to La Paz. Clouds of grasshoppers puff out of my footsteps. Red rock, yellow-green grasses and rolling lowlands provide variety, color and intimacy… a little strange and very intriguing to this Alaskan, like the backside of an embroidery featuring knots of green shrubs and loose threads of vertical cacti. And it has just started to rain.
Crossing over Baja again, from Loreto to Constitucion, the mountains are rain-eroded and very green, my image of Chinese mountains, wearing shawls of mist. Caves pop in an out of view, some big enough for roadside altars for those killed in car wrecks, most too high and small to enter except in the imagination. The road unspools to the west, opening into vast plains like the Midwest. Huge thunderheads are piled up overhead, and we’re dazzled by intermittent showers and then fields of corn.