Alright, whether or not I get this battery stuff figured out and get out of here "on time," I think I can consider the trip officially started.
One of the big themes from my 48 states trip in 2011 was to roll with it. I left myself the ability to always say yes to things and alter my plans, and in return it seemed like amazing things just sort of fell into my lap. From a yacht on a lake in Seattle, to a jam band in Minneapolis, to either a backyard concert or a college concert, opportunities just seemed to pop up all over the place. Not always, but more often than I expected.
And last night was yet another one of those.
It didn't start so great. I spent most of yesterday dealing with battery issues - catching an Uber to Autozone, sitting at a coffeeshop for 2 hours while they charge it, catching an Uber home, finding out it didn't work, taking it to another place, letting them charge it, and then asking them to check it and see if it's at voltage (it wasn't). All this, and the other rider Yoji left this morning for Bahía de los Ángeles without me because I was stuck here, so I was kind of lamenting my lost riding partner.
So most of my day was spent in a not so great mood. But after the last time I left the battery with them, I went to get some dinner at a nearby restaurant. While eating, my friend Oscar asked me if I wanted to join him for a beer or some food at a place downtown. I was kind of tired and thinking about just heading back because I was in a bad mood and had already eaten anyway, but figured I should say yes - it is how I do these trips after all.
I met up with him and some of his friends, and then went to grab a beer. As I was ordering, I look to the left, and...
Wait, what? Double take.
Okay, rewind for a bit. This past July I went to a small festival at a hot springs east of Ensenada. By small, I mean there were 200 or something people there. By the end of the weekend, you had talked to most of the people and knew the rest by sight.
I met a few friends there that I looked up on Facebook afterwards, many who lived in Ensenada. One of them I contacted when I was in town for Spanish Lessons a few weeks ago, and we hung out one night.
And another of them... well, he was standing at the bar next to me last night. Nevermind that we were at a bar not near his house or Oscar's house. Nevermind that he's in LA much of the time. Somehow, we ended up at the same bar. At the same time. Both ordering.
So we sat down and talked for a while with his cousin and Oscar, and caught up on what had happened since the festival. After talking for a while, he invited us over to his house to hang out. We made a short trip up the road to his house, and met his awesome dog.
While we were hanging out, he mentioned a place I should check out when I head south through Mexico. Then his cousin mentioned one. Then Oscar mentioned one. Half an hour later, I had 10 places to check out on the way down through Mexico, and they all look absolutely beautiful.
A friend of mine recently remarked that he has two friends who are currently off traveling the world. One left with a one-year itinerary already mapped out - which days he'd be staying where, a list of attractions to see, etc. While the other... was taking off with no plans at all, just flying by the seat of his pants. (Guess which one's me?) And part of why I'm doing it like this is nights like last night. Because now I do have plans, and if I already had everything mapped out, I might not have been able to divert to them.
So here's to the official start of the trip, and here's to a return to rolling with it.