This is a picture from the 1970's of the beach we used to visit year round for years. It is located about 40 miles south of San Felipe. The fence is made of Ocotillo, which is a spiny cactus that hurts like hell when you step on it
in the sand at night! The ocean is gorgeous in this area, being sheltered in the Gulf of California, the waves are nearly nonexistant...You can tell it is early evening in this picture
due to the shadows. To the East is the ocean, to the West stand the San Pedro Martir Mountains, which turn purple at sunset.
Orange Ocean and Purple Mountains by Kirsten Anderberg
As a teen spending lots of time outside of San Felipe, I liked the time before sunrise and full sunset best. I remember getting up at the first sign of light, when all my sisters
were asleep. My dad would often be the only one to wake up that early. He and I would sit on the sand, watching the sea birds and the fish jump, as the orange red sky took over like a light
show. At low tide in the early morning hours, the flaming sky would reflect in the wet sand. Then the brilliant orb would show over the rim of the earth. It was exciting each and every time,
watching the sun, little by little, creeping over the deep blue Sea of Cortez, lighting up the world's curve to the east, every morning.
The days were so hot, and I sunburn, so days were not fun to be outside or in the water, often for me. (My dad did actually make a wooden upper deck on our boat, just so I
could have shade when we went out to sea.) My sisters did not sunburn so they ran themselves out during the day. But in the early sunset, when the sun had *just* made it over the
first peaks of the mountains to the west, is when I would begin to perk back up every day. I could finally go out without getting scorched, and I would set off on desert treks alone in the eve.
Everything turned purple at sunset. The mountains cast a huge shadow over the whole area, and shades of purple, rosy reds, and bright blues, all came out in things that had glowed orange
at sunrise. The air would cool, animals would slowly come out of their holes, bats began to fly around. My family would light the Coleman lanterns and begin the night's Scrabble tournament.
But it was always twilights and nighttimes I liked the best!
The picture above is a good demonstration of the orange red sunrises south of San Felipe. Click
here for more sunrise and sunset pictures from Baja, CA.
Surviving Desert Heat Every year people die from heat. The summer heat can be a killer if you are not prepared, and do not understand the ways of the sun.
Knowing a few essential things about heat could save your life. Whether you are involved in an auto emergency, or have gotten lost hiking, or even if you are just experiencing high heat levels in the city, there are things you should know about heat and health. For instance, waiting until you are thirsty is not a way to gauge dehydration. Waiting until your skin is pink is not a way to gauge whether you are getting sunburned. It is considerably hotter (up to 30 degrees hotter) at ground level, than if you are sitting up a foot off the ground. These are some of the heat basics you can learn now, to make your life safer in heat.
Make Your Own Desert Spa! In the desert, it can be hard to find a diverse array of cosmetics to pamper yourself with. But you can make your own spa ingredients, using kitchen ingredients.
Homemade cosmetics, the old-fashioned kind your granny used to make, are fresher and healthier for your skin, than products with chemicals in them to expand their shelf lives.
For instance, you can have a fabulous facial by combining in a bowl:
1 egg yolk * 2 T. egg white * 1 T. honey * 1 t. rose water
Beat together and then apply to the face and neck. Leave on for about 10-15 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. You will be amazed how refreshed you feel.
After the facial, you can spritz your face with a facial toner made from:
1/2 c. distilled witchhazel * 1/2 c. rose or lavendar water * 3/4 t. vegtable glycerin (these items can be found at most pharmacies and health food stores and
online at places like sagewomanherbs.com). Shake your toner before each use, and spray or pat on your face when it is feeling dry.
This is a picture of the ocean at low tide, south of San Felipe...from in front of our "trailer" in the 1970's. One of the marvels of this area is the fact that the tides vary widely, thus large portions of the ocean floor
are exposed at low tides making for a wonderful natural playground for kids. As a kid, I remember spending hours just looking at the things on the ocean floor at low tide.
Natural Sunburn Remedies As a fair-skinned, red-headed kid growing up in Los Angeles and Baja, sunburn was a regular part of my childhood. Chemical sprays were not effective and mainstream America was ignorant of aloe's properties. Once back in L.A., after a week in San Felipe, I had bright red burning skin and a sun blister on my eye which made it hard to close. A family friend suggested I smear pickle juice on my skin and hold a pickle on the blister. Desperate, I did it. Immediately, my skin stopped stinging and the blister went down. I stank but I was no longer hurting.
A picture of me driving our dune buggy in the Baja desert at age 12.