Saturday, February 21, 2004

In the Stars

Loreto, Mexico

Baja kayak trips. It's about the improbable landscape where desert touches ocean. It's about the colorful burst of fish around a rock, brushed with dancing sunlight. Or the miniscule leaf of a palo verde tree. But it's also about the people whom fate has brought together for the week.

When Frank and Katie first met, he thought she was too tomboy, and she plain didn't like him. That was in Georgia almost 60 years ago. This week in Baja, on a desert island, they celebrated 55 years of marriage. Demonstrating respect and tender affection for each other, and a healthy sense of fun, they were a brisk breeze of inspiration to this independent kayak guide.

Lee died in the hospital once, but came back determined to enjoy life. Whatever he and his wife Suzy wanted to do, they would, before it was too late for real. This kayak trip was evidence.

Simon, from the UK via Uganda, was trying to decide what to do next in life, and came close to cancelling his Australia plans to travel slowly up the Baja because he'd fallen in love... with the desert.

All in all, it was an uninhibited group of individuals. The Heavenly Body Exercise demonstrated this well. Not quite what you think, this exercise is a 3-D interactive model of the solar system designed to illustrate the phenomena we see in space in a down-to-earth way.

Venus the Godess of Love (Lee) boogeyed down with fleet-footed Murcury (Dick) around Her Tremendous Radiance, Karen the sun. Simon spun on his tilted axis 365 times per orbit, closely attended by Mark, who'd earned his position by dropping his drawers at us from the lighthouse tower the night before.

The solar system stumbled along in its free-form way when from the far reaches of space came a passing comet, James, from another kayak camp seeking cell phone reception. He had a close brush with Jupiter, the large, gaseous one, played by Linda the Petite, before a dinner call shattered the fine balance of physics with a greater gravity.