In the Blast Furnace

I Am Dreading the Next Few Days

As a giant high pressure area is setting up over the Southwest, we are expecting two days of high nineties (36-37º Celsius). Although the weather forecasts show a ten degree drop for Sunday, I am predicting the heat will probably persist, as it is wont to do. Santa Ana weather conditions almost always last longer than predicted, sometimes even for weeks.

Oh, but then there’s always the ocean, no? Not in this case. The winds blow the heat and smog westward toward the ocean. Sometimes we can see the smog hovering a few miles off the shore, waiting to be blown back over Southern California. Not only is it ungodly hot at the beach, but one’s feet burn in the superheated sand. Not a pleasant experience?

What to do? I will try to find a movie I can see during the afternoon. My comfort will depend on the theater’s air-conditioning system remaining in good working order. As for our apartment, we have no air conditioning. If there is a power outage (and our little area is subject to at least one or two a year), I will just have to go to bed early.

There are two bad aspects to living in Southern California: heat waves and earthquakes.

No Beach Paradises for Me

Actually, Not My Idea of a Fun Trip

Actually, Not My Idea of a Fun Trip

Once again, I find myself in he minority. I live two and a half miles from Santa Monica Beach and about four miles from Venice Beach. If I wanted to go to the beach, I could walk there. The fact of the matter, however, is that beaches are not my idea of fun. The water is full of garbage and strange parasitic bacteria, the sun is usually too hot, and it’s virtually impossible to read there.

Back in the 1980s, I visited a number of beaches in Mexico at Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta, and Cozumel; and I went with Martine to Cabo San Lucas two years ago this month. I thought they were very nice, but I don’t do the usual things that people do at the beach. If I go into the water at all, it’s to slosh around as I take a short walk. I’m not into swimming, I don’t snorkel or water surf. At Cabo, my sole water activity was a boat ride to see the arch pictured below.

Harbor Cruise to See the Arch at Cabo

Harbor Cruise to See the Arch at Cabo

When I Travel, I’m usually not interested in staying in one place: I like to move around and look around. Instead of brightly colored tropical drinks, I’ll settle for an ice cold beer after a hard day’s touring. The next trip I am planning—to New Mexico with Martin—is far from any beach. But there’s a lot to see, and some good food to be had seasoned with the local hot chiles.