Tag Archives: formations

Leaving A Mark

Everywhere we travel, it seems that we are noticing more of something terribly out of place in nature and on man-made structures: people are “tagging” with graffiti. The graffiti shows up in many forms such as names, dates, political or religious statements, drawings, profanity or expressions of love, just to name a few.


I suppose that leaving a mark is in our nature as human beings. From the earliest cultures, we have found evidence of their stories and people left signs of their presence. These marks are part of our history and date back hundreds and thousands of years. The world is a different place now and it would be a much more beautiful world if members of society would chose to protect places of beauty and find an alternative way to leave their mark.

One of the most beautiful and amazing places we see on our trip up and down the Baja is the Cataviña Boulder Field. The Field runs for miles and miles and the hills and valleys are filled with tens of thousands of magnificent, building-sized boulders, gigantic rock formations and amazing cacti. This area, known as Baja’s rock garden, has unfortunately been “tagged” by people who feel they need to leave their mark.

Cataviña Boulder Field

Cataviña Boulder Field

On our way to California last year, we were delighted to see that someone attempted to cover the graffiti with beige paint to match the color of the boulders. By this year, however, many of the rocks were again “tagged”, but fewer than in years past. This entire region is under the protection of the Parque Natural del Desierto Central de Baja California, so perhaps they have been the party responsible for covering the defacement, or perhaps there are some dedicated good Samaritans who have taken that responsibility onto themselves. Whoever it is, we’re grateful.


There is a little white house across and down the street from us that we pass every time we drive to our home. Because the property is deserted, it is constantly defaced with graffiti. Every year, we purchase white paint and try to send a message that the “tagging” won’t be tolerated by painting over the graffiti with fresh white paint. My fear is that the “artists” just see us providing a new, blank canvas every time we do that. Oh well, perhaps more people will get the message.


I find it very sad that “tagging” has become such an accepted way for people to leave a mark. Make memories with photos when you’re travelling through places like Cataviña instead of defacing the boulders, write an editorial if you need to make a political statement, write a book, mentor someone, leave a legacy and just live your life as you’d like to be remembered and eulogized – that’s a much better way for each of us to leave evidence that we existed.

Moab, Utah and Ely, Nevada


When Ron and I left Santa Fe, we drove though southern Colorado to reach Moab, Utah for the night. We wanted to get an early start so that we could explore as much of Utah’s National Parks and natural beauty as possible before heading on to Nevada and ultimately California. Stretch and Mary had warned us that there were some bad storms in the area and we here a bit concerned about how the roads would be along the way.


When we checked in to our motel for the night, we knew that we were in the right place.  On the wall was a picture entitled “Fire and Ice”, which of course was the title of my first cookbook.  I treat coincidences and synchronicity like this as an inspired message to confirm that I’m on the right path.  My Mom thinks that I should write a book on the many situations like this that have and continue to happen in my life.  Maybe I’ll just write about it here instead.

Fire and Ice

To beat the storms, we decided that we needed to get to California and over the tallest passes as quickly as possible, so only took a brief tour through Arches National Park. The formations and color of the rock in this area are truly spectacular – we were awed and amazed!


We hurried on to stay ahead of the weather and quickly passed through Ely, Nevada where we’d stopped at so many times before on our way east or west. We just nicely got about twenty miles west of Ely and it started to snow. Ron’s not used to driving in snow and neither is the BMW, but I didn’t think it was anything to be concerned with initially (being an optimistic Canadian who has always dealt with snow). We continued west and within fifteen more miles, the snow became a whiteout and we definitely decided to head back to Ely for the night.


We drove through Alpine, Nevada and had breakfast at one of our favorite little diners the next day. They’d endured storms all the day and night before and had a serious amount of snow to contend with – about eighteen inches. We were so glad that we’d headed back to Ely the night before – we never would have made it over the high summits.