Land Sailing in El Mirage
I've always been a water girl. My mom called me a fish cause I used to swim around in the water till my hands and feet turned all pruney. I never wanted to get out. I even wore goggles in the tub and would pretend to dive for my toys and scuba around, forgetting the point of bathing was to suds myself off. My dad also calls me his ski buddy cause I'm addicted to snow and always love racing after him down the mountain. Now he's gotta chase after me ;) Well, sometimes.
Water, in all its forms, has always been a friend to me. So when I found out we were going to a giant dry lake bed in the middle of the desert, I didn't quite understand the appeal. But oh boy, did my excitement level change when I heard that we were land sailing.
We road tripped from La Cañada to El Mirage dry lake bed. It was certainly an interesting drive. We passed abandoned buildings, tiny homes with tons of land, and spiky tumbleweeds rolling along the freeway. I also stared out the window at the numerous cacti, with their prickly arms out and open, trying to spread themselves out to get exposure to the toasty sun. We drove onto the lake bed, no road or lanes in sight, did a few little donuts to kick up the dust, and parked near outpost #2. Named that (we hope) out of arbitrary assignment, not out of the fact that it had a toilet attached....
Since we arrived before the land sail crew, we fashioned ourselves a little fort in the back of Dorothy's car and waited till the winds picked up. Snacks were a must of course. I couldn't get over how flat and clear and quiet it was out there. It was so refreshing to go to a place where the only sounds you could hear were rustling of trees and the crunch of dirt under your feet.
We did our silly running around the desert and walking around tumble weeds before Chris' dad and little sister came with the land sail. Goofing off is what we do best.
When it came time to set up the sail, I did my best to support everyone by stepping aside, snapping photos, and occasionally handing over a tire or screw. Once it was built, it was magical: Blokart and Megan quickly became friends. We hopped in and took off, letting the wind blast us through the open lake bed. We had a few moments in the middle of the open lake bed, just sitting, waiting for the wind to catch our sail. But when it picked up, OH BOY did it pick up. I may or may not have tipped the kart sideways, and given Chris a heart attack. But that's the fun part, right?
I brought my adventure and maker magazine, Wolftree, with me to the desert. It seemed fitting to read about people's adventures in nature while sitting under the blue sky. If you haven't gotten a copy, want to follow them on Instagram to see pretty pictures of people in nature, they're a good one to follow.
Our friends, Lance and Jessie came out and joined us at El Mirage. They brought along a wind sock and kite buggy and embraced the wind with us! They also brought a little growing bump along too. Us girls brainstormed baby names while the guys took the land sail for a spin. Watching Lance carve through the lake bed in his buggy and zip back and forth, wrestling the kite in the strong winds was a marvel. I was impressed his arms didn't fall off!
Last weekend summed up in bullet points:
+ deserts are fun. and dusty.
+ pizza isn't the best food to eat when you're in a dry lake bed. next time fruit and veggies are a must.
+ it's important to get away from it all for a day.
+ the sun is beautiful, warm, and dangerous thing. even when you have sunblock, glasses, and a hat on.
+ being happy is easy when you're surrounded by people you love.
We made our way home by going the shorter route (distance-wise). We took the 2 through the Angeles National Forest and got dropped right on into La Cañada. It was a special way to end the day and was a crazy reminder that the wilderness and clarity is never far from home. You've just got to want to explore.