Last Sunday we arrived at Agua Caliente as temperatures soared in the 90s, requiring air conditioning that first night, but by the next night I was wearing long johns as a rare early October storm from the Gulf of Alaska began moving into the area, bringing rain to the San Diego coast and high winds and unseasonably cool temperatures to the desert.
We came prepared to celebrate Oktoberfest.
Larry brought items prepared at home such as Jäger-Schnitzel (American version: Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup simmered with pork chops), Würzfleisch (East German chicken stew), and Kartoffelsalat (German potato salad). We also brought leberwurst (liverwurst), bratwurst on skewers made of rosemary branches from our backyard, Beck’s Oktoberfest Lager, and German steins. Additional items such as corn beef, corn on the cob, and pita bread provided meal flexibility depending on the weather and how we felt at the time.
By Tuesday, cool breezes made for a comfortable hike through Moonlight Canyon Trail, where I had a close encounter with Bighorn Sheep last January. (The park rangers were impressed with my photo journal of this event made with iPhoto’s book-creation tool.) I saw no sheep, but I was impressed with a large California Fuchsia, a.k.a. Firechalice, on the trail with a profuse display of scarlet flowers that we have not seen before because it blooms August to October, when we usually are not here. A Rufous Hummingbird was seen nearby. The flowers supply hummingbirds with food for the start of their southward migration.
I discovered a scorpion in the park restroom sink as I was about to take a shower. I helped it out with some tissue paper and coaxed it out the door, but it quickly darted back under the door, so I chose another shower and now keep a closer eye out for creatures in restrooms (and those that like to take shelter in our trailer tire covers).
After the shower, I enjoyed Larry’s corn beef – Swiss cheese pita wrap served with chips, tomatoes, and Beck’s Beer.
This was usually followed by afternoon reading or napping. At bedtime, I continued reading out loud Harry Potter. We are currently reading Book 4, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Before the gusty winds arrived, we enjoyed mellow evenings under the moon and stars.
On Thursday, we listened with sadness to a BBC tribute to Steve Jobs, which included his words of wisdom spoken during his 2005 Stanford Commencement Address: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life… Have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”