Tag: California

Finding Forgiveness in the California Desert

Finding Forgiveness in the California Desert

It was cold when I left the town of Brawley. The sun was just starting to make its way up the eastern sky. The dusky morning blanketed the horizon in a gray-blue haze. The world was not awake yet.

With the sun rising at my back, I hummed west with farms keeping me company for a little while. They didn’t stick around long. Everything quickly turned to sand.

I was heading towards Ocotillo. That’s where I would head north and into Anza-Borrego State Park.

On this, the second morning of my California trip, I still had not yet decompressed and shed the go-go-go agitation that peppers everything I do. There was also the matter of lingering guilt about being selfish and traveling on my own. That all rounded out nicely with worrying about all of the other odds and ends that arise when traveling by motorcycle. Those negative feelings were seasoned to taste and put on a low heat to simmer.

I don’t take my personal freedom lightly. I have keen understanding of how lucky I am to pretty much do what I want, when I want to, without any grief from my family. But I still have a cooling down period that I go through in which I have to release myself from guilt. There are always episodes of inner turmoil that I go through when traveling on my own.

As I rode along, I worked through feelings of awe from the desolate landscape and the nagging of my inner tumult. Just a few miles in to the park everything I’d been feeling came to a head. With the way that the morning light hugged the land, the gorgeous colors of the terrain, the scale of the mountains and dipping valleys – my simmering pot boiled over. I stood on the side of the road taking everything in and I cried.

But it wasn’t a sad cry. It was something else. A release. Being in that beautiful desert space told me that right then, right at that very moment – I could forgive myself. I was exactly where I needed to be and it was okay.

This post is part of a month-long writing prompt challenge: Brave, Bold, Blogger Challenge (BBBC) 2017 hosted by Kathy at ToadMama.com.

Prompt:A special memory from 2016

Love Wins and Other Streetart Wisdom

Love Wins and Other Streetart Wisdom

What someone chooses to say publicly in paint fascinates me. I feel similarly about bumper stickers. You might only have one shot at getting the attention of someone’s eyeballs and this is what you want them to know.

My biggest takeaway from this little shack is LOVE WINS. I want that to be true more than anything. But now I’m being told to question it, so…? I don’t think I like the mixed messages here.

That’s better 🙂

Casting a long shadow.

Tony seems like a friendly guy.

Have anice day.

On the quality neighborhood stencil over the B, do you see a sunshine or a taco?

Feeling the Glory Of Salvation Mountain

Feeling the Glory Of Salvation Mountain

For a few days now, I’ve struggled with how to describe my experience visiting Salvation Mountain. I keep coming up short. I am unable to pinpoint the feelings that overwhelmed me there with my cliché words.

Perhaps it was the hopeful romanticism of being on a trip and feeling free. Maybe it was seeing the radiant golden light spilling over the earth. Or, perhaps it was the embodiment of a man’s passion and love – but I tell you shamelessly that being there was awe-inspiring. It felt pure and true and as if there was a message that I’d been needing to receive and I was finally getting it. I am not a religious person but that did not matter. Standing there, in that place – I understood and felt a message of love. My heart was wide open that winter’s day. It was glorious.

Without further commentary:


Road Trip Bucket List: Visiting the Cabazon Dinosaurs

Road Trip Bucket List: Visiting the Cabazon Dinosaurs

There is no doubt about it. My introduction to the Cabazon Dinosaurs was through watching Pee Wee’s Big Adventure a million times in Junior High. I loved that movie. So in December of 2016 while roadtripping in California, I was ecstatic to be able to visit the dinosaurs of my youth. (You know what I mean!)

When I arrived, there were tons of people milling around. The parking lot was full and getting pictures without strangers in them proved to be a challenge. That was unexpected. Before I arrived I imagined myself as being the only person there. Turns out – the world’s largest dinosaurs are hard to resist.


The highlight of my stop was being able to walk up inside of Dinny’s belly and buy a couple postcards. When’s the last time you were in the belly of a brontosaurus?

Claude Bell building Dinny:

Original Photo Source: Unknown

Look how much the dino complex has been built up since Pee Wee filmed. Here is a streetview showing generic chain restaurants and nonsense followed by a scene in the movie that highlights how empty everything seemed in the 80s.

Andy chases Pee Wee:

The Wheel Inn Diner is no more. As Curbed LA says, “Large Marge will NEVER SEND ANYONE to the Wheel Inn AGAIN”. It shuttered in 2013. I suppose the remaining EAT sign is a consolation prize.

Image source: Curbed LA

“Come on, Simone. Let’s talk about your big but…”

The Laser Time Podcast posted a blog called 5 Awesome Appearances of the California Dinosaurs which is pretty neat. They dug up pop culture uses of the dinos in movies and print. Definitely check that out!

This stop was a tick on the ole bucket list!

Cabazon Dinosaurs

50770 Seminole Dr
Cabazon, CA 92230

The World Famous International Banana Museum

The World Famous International Banana Museum

Friends, did you know that there was an International Banana Museum?

“A what?” you might ask. But I assure you that yes, you heard me right.


A museum stuffed to the gills with luminous bananesence. It’s world famous.

It just so happened that on a sunny Wednesday afternoon, the museum was along the way to my next destination. As I cruised south on CA-111, still high on my unexpected Muffler Man sighting, there it was in the shade of a few palm trees and cozied up to a bait slash liquor store.

But sometimes, dear friends, fate can be cruel. I pulled in to the parking lot only to find the International Banana Museum… closed. The sound of my heart breaking skittered across the glassy waters of the Salton Sea, echoed through the Coachella valley and frightened a flock of birds. There would be no banana salt shakers, no plush bananas, no banana popsicles. I would call nary a soul on the banana phone.

But, fear not. If you too have found yourself held at arms length from the banantacular alter, through the magic of the wires and tubes that make up the internet – you can get a peek inside through video:

Until we meet again, International Banana Museum.

International Banana Museum
98775 CA-111
Mecca, CA 92254

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