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Wandrin 2003

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by Lloyd Treichel



Dateline: December 5, 2003 -- San Diego, CA

Actually, this update is being sent from Carlsbad, CA.  Carlsbad is about 40 miles north from downtown San Diego.  

The last Wandrin update was posted at San Antonio.  While still in the San Antonio area, I went to visit the...

Museum of Western Art ... in Kerrville displaying contemporary art with a Western flavor.  The art ranges in subject material from the life of the romantic west to the life of today's ranchers and Indian tribes.  The art is certainly a delight, but the Museum building is unique with the mesquite tile floor and skylights in domes that were made with layers of bricks -- called "boveda" according to the docent giving the tour.

Wurstfest... was a definite stop while in the San Antonio area.  New Braunfels was settled by German immigrants in the middle of the 1800's.  To celebrate that heritage, the Wurstfest is an annual event to leave your diet at home and have beer, brats and great sweets.  After dining you can wander among the three venues to listen or dance to the eight or nine groups that rotate the stages with German flavored and inspired entertainment.  From the Al Meixner trio to master yodeler Kerry Christensen, it was great fun to watch people having fun and dancing to waltzes, polkas and -- of course –- the chicken dance.  

Big Bend National Park ...  in west Texas on the border with Mexico is a very remote place to stop. Remote is when the nearest Wal-Mart is 150 miles away.  Hiking in the Park is great where the terrain ranges from the Rio Grande River through a desert landscape and into pine forests of the Chisos Mountains.

While at Big Bend, Cottonwood campground on the Rio Grande was where I parked Wandrin Wagon. Since my visit was in mid-November, there was a wild turkey that frequented the campsite and was often caught checking out the Thanksgiving table for size and comfort.

Cowboy Humorist Baxter Black ... was the entertainer at a benefit performance in St. David, AZ.  While parked at the Escapee Park in Benson it was a short drive to St. David for an evening's entertainment as Baxter told poetry and stories of western ranch life.  

The subject of cowboys and the mythological west is always close to my heart so I had to visit a western movie set ...

Mescal Movie Location... is located just a few miles west of Benson, AZ.  With a personalized tour by a gentleman who was carrying a loaded sidearm, I was on my best behavior.   He told about some of the movies that were filmed at Mescal and where particular scenes were shot.  I didn't see all of the movies that he described, but I had seen some and I tried to remember some of the scenes he described.  

However, I just don't remember like I used to.  Perhaps the brain is full since I can remember the family phone number when I was ten years old.  However, I have a hard time remembering my current phone number.

San Diego ... Silver Strand State Beach... I was able to look out the rear window of Wandrin Wagon and at high tide the ocean is about fifty feet away.  All night I could hear the waves crash on the shore.  It was very calming.  

During daytime walks along the beach, it was fascinating to watch several species of gulls.  There were more varieties of shore birds as they stood in the surf to feed or scurried in and out of the surf to find whatever tidbits they feasted on.  It all looked like sand to me.  

There were times I was able to see porpoise (perhaps they were dolphin) off shore as they would rise to breathe and sometimes they would sail out of the water to entertain me.  A couple of evenings I could hear the barking of some seals.

Other times as I looked across the water to the horizon I imagined a Japanese shore -- or at least some place in Asia.  I also imagined a person standing on that Asian shore and imagining me on the shore of the United States.  Why not?

Carlsbad State Beach ... about forty miles north of downtown San Diego is my last stop before I head back to the desert.  

On the Pacific Ocean beach, the temperature ranges from a night time low in the low fifties to a daytime high in the low to mid sixties.  For me that is not warm enough for day time temps.  I want to be able to wear shorts everyday.  That is why I am headed back to the desert.

I will travel through Palm Springs and other stops along I-20 on my way to Arizona where I will spend Christmas in the Tucson area.  

Diesel Fuel in California... has gotten expensive.  It is about 30 cents or more higher after the less expensive fill ups in Arizona.  Perhaps I could save fuel by not exploring the area, but stay parked and admire the waves crashing on the shore. ... Not!

Cinnamon rolls.... Nothing new to report.

Got Sirius...  Satellite radio.  The news and entertainment channels are varied and you don't need pain killers to listen to the knowledgeable and intelligent talk radio.  In addition  ALL the music channels on Sirius are commercial free.

Ego Plates ....

I forgot to include this one earlier:  On a VW branded car, ZUGSPTZ was one I spotted in Colorado at a trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Thanks to Matthias Treichel, a correspondent from Germany, who offered this information:

Zugspitze is the highest Mountain of Germany, ca. 2950 m. Nearest City is Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Zug can mean nearly everything, like Train, Wind, ... Spitze means Peak.

A bumper sticker... : "EVE WAS FRAMED".

Latest Read ...  Some recent reads:

An Empire Wilderness by Robert D. Kaplan.  Kaplan travels North America observing a transition of the US from the large national entity to perhaps a very different model.  With California's huge economy, how does it fit in with the US as a whole.  Local economies along the borders of Canada and Mexico have little to do with their respective national governments but with the large corporations that fuel the economy.  His observations include some possible scenarios of a future Nation. 

On the Trail of Marco Polo by Randy Fotheringham.  Starting on the eastern terminus of the Silk Road in China, Randy rides his bicycle across parts of the Silk Road through a forbidden and the very suspicious world of Asia.  After close calls and several arrests he ends his journey in New Delhi, India. 

Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris covers Theodore Roosevelt's years as President of the US from 1901-1909.  Compared to the world of today, Roosevelt faced a world with similar fears, labor and social issues.  From a strong position, he directed policy and legislation impacting today's world including his conservation policy resulting in the enjoyment of our National Parks. 

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