Day 28 . California Coast

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Road trip across America… daily reflections by Ema and Elle.

By Ema ~ I unfortunately was up ill into the night and awoke early with so much pain in my am again that I had to get up. It was only around 4 in the morning so I sat in the drivers seat and fell between waking and my dreams. I tried laying down again hoping I could sleep a little longer only to be waken again soon after with shooting pain through my arm and hand. My hand was so swollen I could not make a fist and no matter what I did the pain just increased even after getting up. It was about 5 in the morning and a little light was filling the sky, but the fog was thick. I could hear the ocean waves beneath the cliff, but it was hidden away behind the veil. I was in so much pain tears over took me and I walked in circles around the van trying to breathe through it and calm my tears. I could not close my hand or hold anything but I got my blanket and mat and found a spot perched upon the hill next to my the van. Large groups of white pelicans passed by appearing through the fog. It was peaceful and I was joined by bunnies and the occasional lizard out exploring. There was a little one that seemed to live under a perfectly placed rock in the cliff that it made me imagine faeries living there. It took about three hours for the pain to lesson before I was able to close my hand. I think all the work of moving boxes of books and all my treasures has amplified whatever is going on with my arm. There as no sign of Elle rising and the fog was not lifting much, although I could now see some of the waves coming into shore. I let her sleep after our hard work the past three days and the exciting event that pushed us onward through the night to this beautiful place. I went down the cliff to the next ledge and found a few rocks. One I see to fit perfectly in my faerie world and the other as a reminder. The hill down was quite steep and I had to kind of ski on my flip flops with my bottom low to the ground. Getting up was not much easier and thankfully there were little bushes to grasp on the way up. I sat upon my spot on the hill wrapped in my blanket for a couple more hours and listened to the waves, feeling perfectly content being near the ocean once again. There is something about the sound of waves that is so soothing to me. I reflected on all the journey has held so far and how much Elle has grown in her spirit and sense of life. We finally made it to California and accomplished my storage. Pulling the trailer is very strange feeling, but I figure it is preparing me for the day I have my mini home to pull. I had an orange juice and the last Made Good rice crispy treat for breakfast.

Elle rose into the day at around 11am and of course was down the cliff to explore, but I soon called her up as I had already seen a few trains pass on the level below. She was happy enough to find lizards on the hill next to the van, but was yearning to touch the waters. I told her we would find a beach.

We got our our Magic Mud bamboo toothbrushes and enjoyed the view and did our morning routine. I had hoped the fog would lift more before we made our sojourn, but it was now after 1pm and I can still not see all the way to the end of where we have stopped. We loaded all up and got on the road again.

We were hungry and needed some supplies so we found a gourmet grocery store in Santa Barbara, which was basically a glorified natural food store and got some coconut lentil soup, and sweet mochi filled with ice cream. They had a vegan version, which is so rare where I have been lately in the world, so we each picked two. I also got some much needed lotion. Of course we also had to get some goats cheese since it has been awhile since we had power in the van for the cooler and could have such. I had hoped to find a little park to stop and eat, but none of the beaches had parking for the van with a trailer, so we found a little neighbor just off the beach and stopped to have our lunch. We still needed to find a beach touch the ocean and thankfully just as I was getting sleepy a state park on the beach appeared.

We made our way to the waters with our Shore Buddies Seagull, but I was so exhausted I could not even reach the edge.

I had also been warned several times by different people about all the recent shark attacks, so told Elle only to the waters edge, but it was not long before she was in up to her knees. It was still quite foggy and no one else was in the water, but soon she was rolling in the waves in pure bliss. She even body surfed and rode her first wave. The wooden prayer bead bracelet she got in Salt Lake was washed away and she was devastated to loose it, but I told her to think of it this way, she will always know where it is and now she will always be connected to the Pacific Ocean. She was soon off to play in the waves again, but I noticed the waves started coming in sets of two and were crossing as they broke, so I called her over and explained about rip tides. She was not thrilled to be told to stay at the waters edge, but understood. She was soaked and her clothes covered in sand so we went back to the van to get her swimsuit so she could rinse her clothes before putting them in the wet bin, but in the short time we were away the fog had come in thicker and the beach had sort of disappeared. The winds had become cold, so we decided to head back and just use the solar shower to rinse her and all. She suddenly bounced off the get a piece of bamboo and in the process stubbed her toe. It did not look good so we hurried our way to the van to clean her up and bandage her battle wound from the beach. Thankfully we found a beach shower to rinse away some of the sand she had collected and got her dried, dressed warm, and bandaged up. We had a little snack of our goats cheese and some rice crackers before getting going again.

We needed to stock up on supplies before traveling through the desert and headed towards Walmart, which I don’t usually shop at, but unfortunately they are easy to find for the basics while traveling. I was so thrilled to find a Trader Joe’s in the same lot and went there instead. We got some supplies, but Elle still needed flip flops so we went over to Walmart. The child somehow has already gone through two pairs on this trip. We felt guilty about buying more plastic, but they are needed at the campgrounds to shower. We set our GPS for Joshua Tree National Park and got on our way again. It amazed me to still find rush hour traffic going through LA at near midnight. It was intensive driving with everyone going so fast, and me with my trailer only able to go about 55 mph. I was feeling exhausted and my torturous belly was at it again. I had to get us out of the city to rest, which seemed to go on forever. I was starting to dream while driving and tried a rest stop only to find there was nowhere for us to park once again. I carried on and got us further out of the city to another rest stop not far away. This one is much bigger and I was able to find a spot at the end near some trees. No shade for morning though and even at this hour of almost 2am the winds are still warm. We are definitely heading away from the coast towards the desert. I cleared the bed and Elle crawled in right away as she had already been asleep in her seat for several hours. I will join her soon and pray my body lets me rest and restore. My eyes are shutting as I write, so I shall close for tonight. Thank you for being here and sharing in my reflections of this journey across America. I can barely believe we are finally past our half way point and returning from where we began our sojourn. 

By Elle ~ Today I woke up the beautiful view of the ocean. I peed in a bush and found a lizard. I was really excited as lizards were not as common as they were in Florida. I soon realized there were lizards everywhere. I was really excited mainly because the ocean was right there. I had a granola bar and some grape juice for breakfast. I got dressed and started searching for lizards. There was a giant lizard that was slithering like a snake across the cliff. It was really cool. I also saw a lizard that had this blue tail and was really pretty. I really wanted to swim, but I couldn’t because a cliff was right there. There was a train that would go by about every 20 minutes, so I wasn’t allowed to go too close to the tracks, which made me have a disadvantage as lizards would scurry down all the way down where I wasn’t allowed to go. I didn’t end up catching any lizards unfortunately. After time spent enjoying th beautiful ocean Sissy started getting up, going and getting us ready. I didn’t really want to leave, but as it goes we had to move on and get where we were going. We just found a found a natural food store. I tried some new things such as Mochi ice cream. We had a few more minutes of driving before we found a beach exit and headed that way. Sissy told me to stay in my clothes as sharks were attacking in the Pacific ocean and it wasn’t safe to swim here. I tried telling her I wasn’t going to swim and I just needed a swimsuit. I technically wasn’t supposed to swim, but the water was calling to me. It was a special moment and I needed to go and I couldn’t help it, I don’t think. I played and actually even rode a wave, which is really cool, but unfortunately I lost my bracelet. I almost cried as this bracelet was very important to me, but sissy talked me through it and I still moved on to ride waves. Sissy  soon informed me that there were riptides and I was not allowed to go out to my knees. I must stay at the shore. After a few minutes she called me up and took me to the car. Sissy got me some clothes. I told her that I wasn’t done and I still wanted to swim, so put on my swimsuit and headed back to the beach, but on the beach I ran into some bamboo and stubbed my toe and was very cold, so we went back and I took a short rinse and onto the car were I got dressed and got out the goats cheese and crackers, yum. We started driving and found a gas station so we could fill up for gas. I clean the windows while sissy paid and filled the gas. It was very convenient because the Walmart was right behind the gas station, but we found Trader Joe’s and sissy was very excited as she says she hasn’t seen one of those since Seattle. We went to Trader Joe’s and then to Walmart. I needed to get new flip-flops because I have gone through a lot. Right now we are driving to Joshua tree and I am working on my journal and looking to admire the beautiful trees. Good night.

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