From Tin Tubes to Endless Sand and Sea

Before I stepped foot into the Sonoran desert landscape for the first time, I would have liked to spend some time reading Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire or Annie Dillard’s For the Time Being. Both discuss deserts: though ones in Utah and China, not northwestern Mexico. Both are full of philosophical and beautiful language which, had I read recently, I’m sure would have made this blog into borderline plagiarism of style.

The view from our beds.

Instead, I was sweating over a final exam in the introductory biology class that finished only hours before I had to travel. Consequently, packing was a blur and so was the entire next day of travel. While going through security before our first flight, my backpack was chosen for additional inspection- I brushed it off as random, or a mistake in thinking some item of my luggage was not on the up-and-up- only to realize approximately 14 hours later in the hotel in Hermosillo that I had brought a multi-utensil for camping which DID include a knife. It will be checked on the way home.
The cacti around the airport entrance were a small hint that we really had traveled to a new place. The air was warm and dry, two things entirely alien to Beaufort spring weather.
The weather was good and the food was better. I should have burst at some point either during or after the breakfast buffet provided at the hotel. But, I had no choice but to stuff myself with chilaquiles and chorizo because our morning task was to go grocery shopping, and it’s universally known that grocery shopping on an empty stomach is a bad idea.

Another view from our beds, and from our classroom, and kitchen. A palo verde tree in full bloom in the courtyard.

My team was also cooking that night, and even though our variation on fried rice was a bit soggier than we had hoped and we were missing black pepper, hunger provided the rest of the seasoning.
The next day was our first full day in Bahía de Kino, and after a brief lecture we went out into the high winds to explore the shore of Kino Viejo, or Old Kino. Because of the intensity of the wind and waves, it was easy to see why so few fishers were put that day, but all of the evidence of a busy, working waterfront remained in the form of bits and pieces from fish and other sea creatures that were scattered along the beach.

An advertisement outside a fish buyer’s bodega.