California 78 to US 8 to San Diego: Feb 20

Today we left our hotel room at Quality Inn in Blythe, California, just over the border from Arizona, and quickly we were on the  two-lane Highway 78, heading toward San Diego.  We thought we had 300 miles to travel and were relieved to discover it was only 215 miles.  Zoom. Highway 78 was an ever-transforming panorama of different vistas, from green farmland to desert to plains of white sand with beach folks arriving in campers and plowing through the terrain in their various vehicles.  As we went along, I figured out a way to mount my cell and take photos as I was driving, shifting and drinking water. Maureen must have pushed her brake foot into the floor more than a few times as I played with the camera on the dashboard, but she never screamed.  Finally I goofed up enough that it was clear I had to stop driving and turn over the wheel.   On US 8, it was desert again until the mountains started, miles and miles of rock-pile mountains.   Finally we started moving downward back to sea level and San Diego.  Our ears were popping. In North Park, we unlocked the door to a  lovely little three room house.  By now, we are used to unpacking and repacking and unpacking and settling into a new environment.   This house is about twice as big as my studio in Brooklyn, about 600 sq feet. At home for three nights and two readings at DG Wills Bookstore and at UC at San Marcos. Then off we go to LA. (BH)



We travel from Blythe CA to San Diego on I 10 west, then take 78 west, the most scenic road we’ve traveled so far.  We drive up & down the short hills and dips, yellow desert flowers fill the sides of the highway. Still desert, but greener with bushes and scrub trees that seem to be getting water from somewhere, a really beautiful landscape. A hawk lifts off over us.  A range of crumpled looking mountains encircle us. And the scene keeps changing. A huge quarry has plateaued and terraced several mountains to our right. Then just after leaving Glamis and before Brawley we see pure white peaks ahead of us. Highway 78 goes right through the Imperial Sand Dunes. So vast!  Incredible stretches of dunes, a tawny, smooth, lumbering velvet that surrounds us as we drive snapping photos.  We seem to be engulfed in their giant mounds forever, then abruptly their wonder ends and we are back in sage and rambling desert.   Now we begin to see more small farms where the farmers drive simple, older style John Deere tractors not the behemoth rigs of the giant co-op farms in the Midwest.  A canal of blue water flows between the field edge and the road.  Then a cattle lot with what appears to be hundreds of Holsteins grouped in smaller numbers in separate pens.  A grim, dismal sight to see them shut up in small pens with the wide land around them teasing freedom.  Then irrigated crops, small farms with goats and a large herd of sheep. On I 8 west up into the mountains and a light drizzle and down into San Diego where traffic multiplies and roars. We find our casita in a charming cottage type neighborhood and park our car on the acute angle driveway hoping it won’t roll away. (MO)


Zoom in to witness life for these cows (BH)


Brawley (BH)


Poison glimmering in the sun (BH)


The magnitude of these mountains is impossible to represent with a cell camera while whizzing past. (BH)

Our home for three nights.