|"I will conquer that, for it is there."|
California is in the middle of a heat-wave. As such, we decided that today would be a good day to go for a hike to see the Vasquez Rocks, which is located in the middle of a desert, which in turn is sitting atop a giant frying pan, inside a massive convection oven, that is on fire. It was hot, it what I’m saying, and certainly not the circumstances in which strapping a baby to your back along with the associated baby-infrastructure and climbing up a steep hill with a cranky and underslept toddler would be advisable.
However, I am well aware that no one reads this blog for parenting competency (I am aware that the way I update this thing, I could have stopped, more accurately with “no one reads this blog.” Shut up, wisenheimer).
In any case: Vasquez Rocks are about an hour away from where we live. I insisted that we go through a car wash before leaving: vehicles accumulate a lot of dust in Los Angeles, and we were overdue. This made us late to meet our friends and, unfortunately, gave Amynah lots of I-told-you-so opportunities when we got to the park and immediately drove into a cloud of dust kicked up on the park’s dirt roads. Amynah is not so saintly a person to rise above an invitation to smirk as tempting as that.
Anyway, the temperatures were scorching. Searing, even. The sun was blinding. Small insects were flinging themselves onto my car for the sweet relief that oblivion would bring from the heat. It was breathtaking. Let not my pampered, Northern-bred temperature tolerances fool you: our hiking companions are natives of Tehran (today’s projected high, according to the BBC: 35 degrees Celsius) and they said that the heat was clearly the cruel jest of a malevolent and wrathful god (I may be paraphrasing slightly).
On arrival Sana was thrilled by the landscape and the rocks – she immediately added to my load of camera, binoculors, water bottles, diapers, spare clothes and Inara with several handfuls of mineral specimens. She also made a bee-line straight up one of the larger monoliths, while Amynah and I struggled to keep pace. Clearly, I have done an inadequate job explaining gravity’s universal dominion to her.
In any case, that one climb, 15 minutes total, was enough to knock all of us out. We found a clump of trees that had themselves taken shelter behind some boulders, and hid in their shadows for the next 30 minutes while we waited for the visions and dizziness to pass. We then walked back to the car, even then managing to get slightly lost as we were disoriented by the unrelenting onslaught from the idiot fire beast in the sky.
|Ramin and Atefeh along with proof that no, I did not forget Inara.|
I will allow that the rocks and surrounding landscape were beautiful, and the company – Ramin and Atefeh – were gracious, especially as they allowed us a cool-down period in their apartment (promptly trashed by Inara) and then treated us to the best Iranian food we’ve had since leaving Montreal. But still, let it be resolved that I shall not stray any further than fifty feet from an air conditioner until November.
|Such was the heat that when we took our break, I deliberately sat beneath this spiderweb in order that I could benefit from a few filaments more of shade.|