Tongues of Flame Against Sheets of Rain


Water that burns?

And so I did not necessarily know that I was going to write anything about this trip until we drove through a storm in the desert and I saw gouts of flame spewing from oil derricks in the middle of a thunderstorm.



Meanwhile, back nearer to the beginning. We sold our house in northern Texas and ran the hell out of there just ahead of the flooding rains in Houston and the murderous motorcycles in Whacko, I mean Waco.

We crammed our Toyotas with about all they could carry and more and drove to California. My wife refused to leave behind her shoes. I for one would gladly have left them to drown in the encroaching Texas floods but she would have none of it

We ran flat out across the heart of Texas. My wife took the lead. She had the shoes.

I was clueless. I mean shoeless.


Vale of Lightning

As we sped through desert storms lightning struck the hills on either hand. Flames from oil wells pierced gloom when there was no lightning and hard rain pelted us now and then. The winds weren't bad so it was more like watching a light show then driving through a perilous landscape. Here and there it did look like someone's idea of what hell must be like.


Summiting the Continental Divide

I used podcasts, audio books and music to get through this two day driving ordeal to California. Around the Continental Divide in New Mexico I was using music.

I summited the divide on Desire (Paul Hardcastle) and entered the promised land on Mister Magic (Grover Washington Jr.).


Whirling Dervish

After the storms we entered the arid deserts of Arizona. Dusty devils danced and whirled on the horizon.

One pass was guarded by many armed giants who ceaselessly scythed the air with blades of steel. Or maybe they were those windmill turbines that some think are going to power the nation.

When we actually entered California it was immediately apparent why there is a drought in that state. The sand was endless and there seemed to be some man made water bearing canal running through it toward the border. You could not help thinking: Who in is right mind would build a civilization in the midst of this.

Comments 32 comments

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 20 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

This sounds like a dramatic trip! I'm interested in hearing more about it.

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 20 months ago Author

Hello Alicia. I am not sure there is much more to tell. It was more of a stream of consciousness type of thing.

Be blessed!

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 20 months ago from The Beautiful South

Glad you were out before the floods indeed. Why California though? Isn't that like trading floods for earthquakes? Always seemed like a scary place to me but I am sure many people manage well and have no fear.

My best to you and family.

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 20 months ago Author

Hello Jackie. Thanks for your kind wishes. We are in San Diego and to my knowledge, disasters steer clear of the place. The only long range problem is the drought and even that seems to be ignored by most folks so far.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 20 months ago from Houston, Texas

When my brother was in the Navy back in the 1960's and briefly stationed in San Diego, my parents went out to visit him. They always said that San Diego is beautiful. Sounds like you will certainly have a beautiful place to live assuming the water keeps flowing. That state certainly does have a water problem!

I got a kick out of your stream of consciousness. From shoes to floods to dust devils and the Continental kept me entertained. That is a long car trip! Been there...done that...just not quite as far south as San Diego...and with different music...or none. Ha!

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 20 months ago Author

Hello Peggy. Good to hear from you. I still see some of the automated sprinkler systems in action so I would say no one is getting punished for wasting water here yet. Also, when we went house hunting, although we did not see any big lawns we definitely saw a lot of green grass. It looks like some of the HOAs that maintain some of the common areas in some neighborhoods have not gotten the word yet either.

Have a blessed day!

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 20 months ago from sunny Florida

Hi poetryman You are living on the edge a bit aren't you? Speaking ill of your wife's shoes?? :D

This was a circuitous adventure you took us on. Hopefully you all are feeling settled now.

Angels are on the way to you this evening ps

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 20 months ago Author

Patricia, my wife was willing to risk her life to get those shoes to California. Once we got here we had the occasion to do some serious rearranging and repackaging and it turned out that we did not need the roof bag she kept her shoes in. Oh well.

We are on the cusp of buying a house if only we can navigate the dense electronic thicket that was manufactured to "make the process easier".

Be blessed!

justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 20 months ago from Texas

Well written and evocative. You are lucky to be out of Texas; although, CA seems to be rapidly becoming hell on earth as well. Voted up and interesting.

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 20 months ago Author

Thanks for dropping by Suzanne. I appreciate the thumbs up.

The governor of California seems to believe that Zen koans can substitute for the water improvement projects he and other governors failed to create in years past (This is his second stint at the governorship). For instance we has implied that the state is overpopulated after he invited millions of foreign criminals (aka illegal aliens) to come and live here.

sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 20 months ago from Southern Oklahoma

Awesome job! I love your descriptions and your sense of humor! Good luck in Cali and watch out for the wild fires!

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 20 months ago Author

Thanks for dropping by Sheila. I am glad you enjoyed the hub.

So far I have not heard anything about wild fires so I will keep my fingers crossed.

Have a blessed day!

Indian Chef profile image

Indian Chef 20 months ago from New Delhi India

Very Nice pics you posted loved them.

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 20 months ago Author

Thanks for dropping by Indian Chef. Have a blessed day!

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

Well written. Makes one wonder what did they do to themselves? Did they jump from the fireman into the fire? I hope that is not the case. Be well, safe and love one another.

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 20 months ago Author

FlourishAnyway I fear I may have confused you. No firemen were hurt during the writing of this hub. In fact, there were no firemen.

In any case, thanks very much for dropping by. Have a blessed day!

lollyj lm profile image

lollyj lm 20 months ago from Washington KS

Good luck with your move across country. Enjoyed reading about the trip.

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 20 months ago Author

Thanks for reading Laurel. So far so good. We are in the midst of trying to buy a house not too far from the ocean.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 20 months ago from Southern California, USA

I think that is cool if people want to have a lawn, but I always thought it was ridiculous when people are pressured to have a lawn. Some people want to plant a few tomatoes and lettuce in their front yard as opposed to a lawn, which actually takes a lot less water and work. Some lady was fined because the way she planted her front yard garden was not up to code. I always thought it was a bit over the top the extremes people went to keeping up with how the Jones decorate or maintain their front lawn. I mean if you have a junk yard going on it might be one thing, but I literally heard people complaining about the height of trees, and other minutiae. This makes me happy to keep renting where a lawn service is included in the rental fee, and I do not have to worry about whether my front lawn meets the specifications of a neighbor who might go out and measure it with a ruler. I have heard of people doing this.

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 20 months ago Author

Thanks for dropping by SweetiePie. If the drought lasts for awhile I don't think people will want lawns and some won't even want gardens.

Have a blessed day!

CorneliaMladenova profile image

CorneliaMladenova 20 months ago from Cork, Ireland

Amazing article, I have never experienced wild fires and everything sounds so scary for me. You must be very brave to survive in such situation. :)

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 20 months ago Author

Korneliya, they do have wild fires in California. But they are far from me so I don't even smell or see the smoke. It's a big state!

Supuni Fernando profile image

Supuni Fernando 20 months ago from Colombo, Sri Lanka

"I was clueless. I mean shoeless."- that made me laugh so hard. I like your humor and this article is pretty interesting. Voted up.

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 20 months ago Author

I am glad you enjoy the hub Supuni. Have blessed day!

Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 19 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

From floods to drought - what an interesting venture. I do hope there will be more to this story. I look forward to a sequel, or more. You have built thoughts of curiosity and anticipation here in my mind, poetryman.

Very well written hub and great photos. Voted Up and shared.

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 19 months ago Author

I am glad you liked the hub Phyllis. We have arrived in California and it has actually rained a couple of times so there has been no scary drought for us here in the San Diego area.

As for a sequel to the stream of consciousness on the drive, I fear they have revoked my poetic license for the time being. But as I shall shortly live nearer to the ocean than I do know, I expect to get that poetic license back or forge a new one and who will know the difference?

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 19 months ago from Minnesota

Yikes-sounds like quite the adventure. I hope your move to California brings you happiness.

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 19 months ago Author

Linda we have bought a house and we are due to move in soon so all is going well.

Beth Buckley profile image

Beth Buckley 19 months ago from Portland, OR

What a fantastic story and great pics!

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 19 months ago Author

Hello Beth. I am glad you enjoyed the hub. Have a blessed day!

the rawspirit profile image

the rawspirit 18 months ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

Well, I'll take earthquakes over floods any day. Makes me miss California for some reason. Great hub. Well written. Voted it up - Blessings, Bobby

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 18 months ago Author

Thanks for dropping by Robert. I have never experienced a flood and I have never been in a bad earthquake. I think I prefer a boring life.

Have a blessed day.

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