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Saturday, December 23, 2000

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Christmas Adam

At 11:00 PM I called for a taxi to be there at midnight. At 12:10, no taxi and I had to call again and finally got a taxi there at 12:25. I always try to be at the station an hour early to get a good place in line and I knew it would be crowded so I wanted to be sure to get there early. Getting on a bus at Tucson that's heading west is always bad as it's nearly the end of a long run and just before a cleaning stop. At Christmas they are extra crowded. Luckily I was only 6th in line but it wasn't enough.

At 1:35 the 1st section (of 4) came in, on time, and it only had room for two people. At 2:00 the second section came and it was full. The driver said we could stand to Phoenix and several of us took him up on it. I didn't want to miss my connection to San Diego and no one knew how late the next two sections were going to be or if they would have any room. We sat rather than stood and the first place I sat was wet. Someone had spilled a coke and even with my plastic sheet my butt got wet. I moved back but had to keep shifting around as I'm just too old to sit like that for two hours. The last half hour I did stand as it was easier on my back and knees.

It was nice to get on a bus at Phoenix that wasn't completely full and that was clean. I hadn't gotten much sleep and dozed off and on. I enjoyed the view when I was awake. We left I-10 and went south on AZ-85 to Gila Bend and then west on I-8. People say the desert is boring but I enjoy watching the colors changing all the time. We went over the mountains east of Yuma which always seem to me to look like rocks that a giant piled up in a heap.

Yuma seems to stretch forever along the interstate and it's not a classy stretch. It's industrial and shipping for the most part. Before you hit the town proper there are the trailer parks stretching for miles. It is a nice place for retirees to spend the winter but except for the historic area downtown it's not a very interesting town. I have visited the old territorial prison and the river crossing but most of the town is based on agriculture, made possible by irrigation from the Colorado River.

We cross the river and continue on I-8 into California and I have to begin to mentally adjust the time since I hate changing my watch and changing it back. It would be easier to just change it but, oh no, I have to be stubborn and double think the time each time I look at my watch. Soon we're passing the Algodones Dunes and riding through what looks like the sahara desert. There are quite a few motorhomes parked near the dunes with ORVs running up and down.

The meal stop is at Calexico at a Jack in the Box. The bus station is tired looking and across the street from the imposing border crossing. It's very convenient but rather menacing. The haze in the central valley is heavy, adding to the slightly depressing feeling as we go through. Finally we cross the Sierra Nevada and come down into the coastal area, stopping at the nice El Cajon transit center and then into San Diego.

I gather my stuff and go out front. I'm just getting out my phone when my son arrives. It's so nice to see him. We do a little stocking stuffer shopping and enjoy just being together. We meet my daughter in law and go up to her grandmother's home, in Del Mar, where I'll be staying. This is a lovely home and Grandma Emily is very welcoming though busy as the whole clan is gathering tonight for Christmas Adam (Adam comes before eve. Ok, it's a family tradition.)

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(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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