The great roadtrip of 2009 is underway. Audrey and I left Culver City yesterday morning while I was suffering from a fever and a wicked headache, but after several hours of driving and a vast amount of Advil both the headache and fever had miraculously subsided and we were off to Balboa Park for a friend’s wedding. Despite some mix-ups with the wedding start time, seating arrangements, and one curious vow (“ear cleaning” ???) it was a really fun wedding for two friends who really love each other.
Audrey and I decided to enjoy the comfy hotel and slept in this morning before heading off to the gym, and then finally making a visit along the San Diego waterfront. Having never been on an aircraft carrier (my patriotism is clearly suspect) we made a quick trip up to the decks of the USS Midway. In addition to taking in the coolness of a 972 foot, 60 year old carrier I also had the fun experience of discovering I’m somewhat uncomfortable standing on a sloping steel platform where i could potentially plummet a hundred feet into… well, water; Audrey was unsympathetic and laughed prodigiously.
When we finally left San Diego around mid-afternoon the route led through the mountains, past some impressive non-desert scenery in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, and eventually to the Salton Sea which I had last visited in March 2005. During that time it has gotten no less hot, stinky and strange, and we were met with 105°F heat, massive numbers of dead and rotting fish on the shoreline, and the vast vacant lots of Salton City where once a booming vacation town was expected. While in the 1960’s the Salton Sea attracted similar numbers of tourists as Yosemite, today it is a stinking, putrid mess with the majority of the few homes in the Stephen King-esque town showing a “for sale” sign and prices starting around $30,000. After leaving the stench of the lake behind us we headed to Indian Wells for the evening, and due to the fact that there are less than a dozen rooms occupied in the masive Indian Wells Resort Hotel we were upgraded to the largest hotel room I’ve ever stayed in for the low room rate of just $51; so far the trip is off to a pretty good start.