Hurricanes and Misery

Buenos Dias
From last week, but I think it captures my emotional state pretty well.

I am hot. I am tired. And worst of all, like one of the many dead cows along the side of the road I am covered in flies. Perhaps they are attracted to a weeks worth of sweat? My clothes are heavier (and smellier) than normal. No, this is Mexico. Even those who shower daily are swarmed with flies. Everything is. What about the knats you ask? Well, when I dropped my drawers to use the deserts version of the mens room… lets just leave it at this: I felt violated. Ants in your pants? Not this time.

Since leaving Guerrero Negro, we are witnessing the devastating aftermath of Hurican Odile. We passed through the town of San Ignacio, once a beautiful desert oasis. We stopped in a hotel for information and water. There a woman showed us the high water mark: 1.5 meters up a window that sits atop a flight of steps. Outside, a man with a shovel chips at ruined floor tiles. The roads have only recently been cleared. They are lined with debris, sidewalks are gone along with entire sections of the road itself. And nearly a three weeks after the hurricane, the town is still without wifi. Oh, the horror!!!

An employee of this hotel uses a shovel to chip away floor tiles ruined by the flood waters.
An employee of this hotel uses a shovel to chip away floor tiles ruined by the flood waters.

Last night, we sought high ground for our desert camp. The outer reaches of a new storm, Hurricane Simon, are upon us. We set up our tents – the first time in weeks – and watched the sun set over a volcano. I used every stake I carry. We cooked rice and beans for dinner watching lighting light up the skies over distant mountains. The wind began as we retired into our tents for the night. The rain sometime later as we attempted to sleep. There is tension in the air. I imagine ancient soldiers on a battlefield and think this must be how they felt; waiting; wondering if and when their foe will arrive.

The picture says it all. We are camped atop a hill waiting on a storm. It sure made for a fantastic sunset! On the right is the volcano.
The picture says it all. We are camped atop a hill waiting on a storm. It sure made for a fantastic sunset! On the right is the volcano.

Now, having survived the night, we are in Santa Rosalia on the Sea of Cortez. The beaches here are covered in garbage. More evidence of Odile. We find a “real” restaurant. Felix orders food. Solo cafe for me. The prices here on Baja are as expensive as in the States. Sometimes even worse. Wifi works and I am able to make some phone calls.

Lately, I think of home and what I would be doing. I love fall in Pittsburgh. It’s my favorite time of year. I would be in the woods. Most likely with a bow waiting on food for the next few months. I miss the taste of venison. I miss my friends and I miss showers. I feel so gross. Whose idea was this again!?!

The roads here are lined with memorials like this one.
The roads here are lined with memorials like this one.
Riding into the sunset once more.
Riding into the sunset once more.
The desert is so beautiful. I especially love the mountains here.
The desert is so beautiful. I especially love the mountains here.

Below are photos of San Ignacio after Odile.

This sidewalk only colapsed. Others were missing entirely.
This sidewalk only colapsed. Others were missing entirely.
The water level is clearly visable on these palm trees.
The water level is clearly visable on these palm trees.
Notice the downed powerline. Is this what happened to the wifi!?!
Notice the downed powerline. Is this what happened to the wifi!?!
San ignacio is in rough shape. Here you can see some of the debris that lines the road.
San ignacio is in rough shape. Here you can see some of the debris that lines the road.
This river looks good now. I can only imagine what it looked like during the storm.
This river looks good now. I can only imagine what it looked like during the storm.
The name of the volcano
The name of the volcano
That is a volcano behind Felix.
That is a volcano behind Felix.
No idea what it is but it is awesome!
No idea what it is but it is awesome!
Of couse I had to pick it up.
Of couse I had to pick it up.
Welcome to Mexico. A burning pile of garbage.
Welcome to Mexico. A burning pile of garbage.
Riding into Santa Rosalia.
Riding into Santa Rosalia.
Garbage from the hurricane.
Garbage from the hurricane.
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2 thoughts on “Hurricanes and Misery

  1. Ryan… You have unbelievable talent with your writing. You’ve shared the beauty and now true devastation. I feel and see through your words and really look forward to your posts and pictures. Be safe and very careful with your health. Remember we are always here if you need us! Love you, Aunt Amy

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