May 2, 1998
Montezuma Valley Road, California, USA

A few days ago, Diane came down to San Juan Capistrano and took me out to lunch. While chowing down, Diane told me that her and a friend were planning on going on a little road trip out to the desert to see the wild flowers in bloom. "If your friend bails on ya... let me know." I told her, "I’ll go!" The next day, She picked me up at Mark’s, and took me back to her place in Costa Mesa in preparation to leave for Borrego Springs the following day.

That evening, I got an email from a 6th grade student in Alaska, named Lauren, asking me to help her with her home work. Lauren’s Teacher, Mrs. Nixon, gave her class an assignment which involved researching my website, and answering a series of questions regarding my journey. I’m a homework assignment--is that cool or what?! I’ve had other teachers tell me they are using my work in their classrooms as well. I think it’s the ultimate compliment.

I especially like communicating with students. If I was still in elementary, junior high, or high school, I think it would be cool to learn about the adventures of someone who isn’t dead for a change. Imagine the educational opportunities that could take place if students had the ability to email Richard Henry Dana, John Cabot, or Louis and Clark, during their journeys. My journey doesn’t have nearly the historical significance, but I am sure I can help to make learning a lot more fun for many students. It’s kinda funny--I got jealous when Mrs. Nixon sent me an email saying that she had assigned her class to do a review of my website as a home project. I thought to myself, "I wish my teachers would have given me cool homework like that." The funny thing about it, is that the Web wasn’t even invented when I was in elementary or junior high school--which wasn’t very long ago.

At this time, Diane is in the driver’s seat, and we are cruise’n through a scenic country side of green open fields surrounded by barren mountains strewn with boulders. We are now on the way back to Costa Mesa from our road trip to Borrego Springs, and the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Yesterday afternoon, we arrived at our destination after driving three hours in a southeast direction from Costa Mesa. After locating the Inn, The Palms at Indian Head, where Diane had made renovations, we dropped our bags in our room, and went for short walk in the desert. For supper, we ate at The Crazy Coyote restaurant. I had a sirloin steak with potatoes and sour cream that couldn’t be beat. After supper, we went out to a local bar and played billiards, then picked up a container of Starbuck’s ice cream and spent the rest of the evening on the couch in front of the tube, watching The Devil’s Advocate.

This morning, I got up at sun rise and limped through the desert taking photographs. Diane was too tired to come with me, and decided to stay in bed. Here’s what she missed...

After a delicious breakfast of eggs Benedict, and apple juice, we heading off to the Anza-Borrego State Park visitor’s center, and watched a couple slide shows introducing the park’s wild life, and flora and fauna. My leg is still very sore, so we decided to go into Borrego Springs and check out the Cinco de Mayo festivities in stead of going on a nature hike. Cinco de Mayo is the Mexican independence day, similar to the 4th of July in the USA, or July 1st in Canada. The main event is taking place at the park in the center of town. There are many local families and a few tourists sitting on the grass having picnics, and watching couples dressed in traditional customs dance to mariachi music. It is still going on now, but Diane wanted to leave early so she wouldn’t have to drive home in the dark.

About a half-hour ago, only a few minutes after leaving Borrego Springs, Diane spotted a big horned sheep trotting along a the mountain side below the highway which we were driving on. She pulled over and I got some photos. Big horn sheep sightings are rare. It made my day.