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April 22, 2018

San Felipe - a week at the beach

We first took Fran’s brother Bobby to San Felipe over 20 years ago, he fell in love with the place!  Soon found a spot to build his ‘Beach House’ at Bahia Santa Maria, 31 km south of town.  He also found Aleida, a lovely señorita to marry.
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Aleida’s mother has suffered a stroke and she (and Bobby) will be spending time with her at her home, and time at Aleida’s home in town and time at the Beach House with us.

While at the Beach House Aleida enjoyed a ride on my quad while her son, Aderly, took one of the motorcycles.   They both enjoyed a nice ride on and overcast day.  Bobby allowed Aderly to take the motorcycle to town for his personal transportation.
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The meds Bobby has for his Parkinson’s continue to work well and painting is something Aleida wants done and something we can do together.  Bobby brought down 18 partial 1 gallon cans of paint, which he mixed together.  At least the paint was FREE!  And it mixed into a real nice blue that matched the sky.
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We set up our golf flags as the Bahia Santa Maria North Course.   The fairway is a narrow strip of sand between the front and back bays.  As Fran demonstrates it is a long walk down the sand when she slices her drive.
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The beach just north of us is known as Shell Beach.
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Shell Beach is reached from a single access road from the back bay.  For some time there have been attempts to develop home sites on the back bay.   Over the past few years 8 dry wells have been drilled, but this one seems to have hit water!  Darn!!!! but that water still needs to be tested …
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With high winds on the incoming tide there was not much for us to do but to wait it out.  The wind driven storm tide brought us a undesired gift of a gray whale (ballena) carcass.  
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Bobby sleeps in the master bedroom, Fran likes it in the loft.  But I like the roof!  On the roof there were meteors every night, satellites and more stars than grains of sand on our beach.  A couple views from my 'bedroom - first north and then south with the Milky Way the dominate feature.
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Despite being mesmerized by the starry night, the sunrise over the Sea of Cortez is not to be missed.  I only had the birds to share it with. 
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Sulfur is fairly common, I tossed a piece in the fire once – not a good idea!
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The desert is trying to bloom despite rather dry spring.  This ancient Cordon has no intention of giving in and there are lots of red blooms on the nearby ocotillo.
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I blogged the Elephant Trees before HERE. This tree was not documented in Anza Borrego Desert until 1935, but in Baja these Torote (tortured/twisted) Trees are common.  Bobby is fascinated with this fine specimen -can you see him in the 1st picture?
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It was a windy day and time to head into town to visit with Aleida’s mother.  She’s a very great lady always nice to us.
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Her house is where the new ballpark and soccer (football) parks are being built.  Tjhe new parks have artificial turf which makes them look great.  The outfield has a lot of rocks, do not want to slide!
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The original ball park is a for profit venue.  But it has real grass!  There is (can be) an inner wall set up for the Little League games, but it will be good for the kids to have their own park.
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We took advantage of town to check out what looked good at the Calimax grocery store.  I picked out a couple tamales ‘elote con rajas’ (corn with slices – typically poblano peppers) … not impressed.
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Popeye’s Fish Market had almenjas (clams) from that morning just delivered.  At $1 USD per dozen I took a dozen.  So awesome fresh!  Bahia Santa Maria no longer has clams and I miss them.
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Meanwhile, back at the Beach House, the high tide has closed off the road and my chores are done …
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April 12, 2018

RICE Treatment - is it right?


I have just 2 weeks of RICE treatment to go and I’ve never mentioned what this entails.  RICE is a mnemonic for the common treatment of a joint or muscle injury. 

RICE = Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

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Rest: allows an injured part of the body to recover
Ice: helps reduce pain and swelling.  Use a soft cloth between the ice and the skin, so as not to cause restricted blood flow

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Compression: helps to limit inflation and (in my case) hold the moving parts in alignment
Elevation: also helps to reduce inflation and, along with a gentle massage, improves blood flow. 

My pain pill of choice is the NSAID Aleve, which works well with RICE to reduce inflammation.
There are lots of variations of RICE, which all include the basic principals:
HI-RICE = Hydration, Ibuprofen, RICE
PRICE = Protection, RICE
PRICES = Protection, RICE, Support
PRINCE = Protection, RI, NSAIDs, CE
RICER = RICE, Referral).
Guess I’m actually doing PRICE or PRINCE, but it’s obvious to protect an injury and not make it worse.  After 4 weeks of RICE, to allow my structural damage to begin mending, I am now ready to start POLICE.  Another mnemonic used for common muscular damage.
POLICE = Protection, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression and Elevation

At this point the Rest requirement has been replaced with "Optimal Loading".  Basically optimal loading is non-impact exercise.  No running (that was never a problem) or hiking yet, but shallow knee bends, leg lifts, walking Mission Bay (with a cane) or riding a bike is fine.  This allows me to increase both my range of motion (pain-free motion that is) and strengthen the surrounding muscles that had almost month off.

I plan to take Optimal Loading quite literally,and spend next week in San Felipe getting ‘optimally loaded’.  The Beach House needs to be closed up for the summer, and I am sure walking along a soft sand beach would be considered ‘non-impact’.

For a muscle injury, even with inflammation, ARITA seems to be the current Internet craze.
ARITA = Active Recovery Is The Answer

disclaimer:  I am not a medical advisor, I am just relating my experiences on this blog.  Please do not fail to consult a professional for a valid medical opinion.

April 07, 2018

Virtual Hikes in San Diego County Parks with Google Trekker

The doc says 3 more weeks of RICE treatment for my meniscus tear.  So this week a vicarious Google Trekker hike of your choice.

San Diego County Parks and Google have entered into a relationship to improve our experiences and provide information on visitation to our county parks.

The local county park rangers jumped at the chance to don the 40 pound backpack and hike their favorite trails in: Agua Caliente, Barnett Ranch, El Monte, Guajome Regional, Goodan Ranch/Sycamore Canyon, Lakeside, Lindo Lake, Los Penasquitos, Oakoasis, Santa Ysabel, Volcan Mountain and Wilderness Gardens.

Want to try it out?
From Google Maps, type in the name of a park from the above list.
  1. Click on the little yellow man, he's in the legend at the bottom right side of the screen.
  2. Clips will appear, highlighted by a blue line
  3. Click on the line to view the trail and a 360-degree view of that exact spot, with the options to move forward and backward. 

Google Trekker is available for many other areas, check it out!

March 31, 2018

The Naming of California - fact or fiction

The doc says 4 more weeks of RICE treatment for my meniscus tear. So this week a bit of history … how did California get it’s name?

I’d bet everybody who reads my blog has been to California, but I’d be surprised if any know (or even think about) where the name California came from.  On early maps the boundaries of the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific were not explored and California was shown as an island.

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Maybe Christopher Columbus had it right in the journal of his first voyage “a place of women without men”. 

And history seems to follow Christopher Columbus, California was named after Queen Califia, a Black Amazon warrior Queen that Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo, wrote about in his 1500, Las sergas de Esplandián.  The book was part of a popular series of Spanish romance stories.  Where the novel described an island, very close to the Garden of Eden, full of gold, which was ruled by strong and beautiful black women. The name of this magical island of Queen Califia was California.  Personally I consider it the lure of this earthly paradise, that it was named for a romanticized paradise.

No matter, in 1533 Diego de Becerra applied the name California to the region:
“Know that, on the right hand of the Indies, very near to the Terrestrial Paradise, there is an island called California, which was peopled with black women, without any men among them. because they were accustomed to live after the fashion of Amazons . . . In this island called California are many Griffins, on account of the great savageness of the country and the immense quantity of the wild game there . . .  .” gotta love those ‘California Girls’!

and the name has stuck, making California one of the 5 oldest European names in the Western Hemisphere.  Where it remains today as the name of the US state of California, the two Mexican states of Baja California Norte and Sur of Baja California Peninsula and the Gulf of California.

La Jolla artist Niki de Saint Phalle has her sculptures displayed along the Prado in Balboa Park,  along the water font in San Diego, on the UCSD campus and her whimsical colorful works at Queen Califia’s Magical Circle Garden, which is open every Tuesday and Thursday 9-Noon and on the second Saturday of each month in Kit Carson Park Escondido.
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Located at the 17th hole of the disc golf course is a sign providing directions up a short path to the entrance.
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The only entrance into the garden is past 2 of 8 snakes that define the Magical Circle.  The snakes are covered in ceramic, various stones and petrified wood
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Once past the snakes continue into the garden via a maze made of black and white ceramic tile pieces inlaid with mirrors.  The center piece of the garden is Queen Califia standing atop her 5-legged eagle throne.
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Underneath the eagle is a temple sanctuary with golden fountain egg in the center
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The 8 totems that surround Queen Califia portray images of the creatures and crests that have played important roles in the history of California.
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The debate continued if California was an island or peninsula for more than 2 centuries.  The dispute was finally settled when the expedition of Juan Bautista de Anza traveled between Sonora and Borrego Springs, then on to the west coast of California between 1774–1776.  Establishing once and for all that California was part of the mainland.