Trailer Park Nirvana image created by Stefany Kleeschulte.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hurricane Season

The morning is overcast but I doubt it will rain. If it does, it'll be a test for Vanna's newly-painted roof. There are lots of Ford Econoline vans here and they all have rusted roofs. I wonder why. Why the top? Anyway, El Vikingo ended up doing a pretty good job. The first day he sanded through the metal and that night it rained even though it never rains here. It was a message from the gods: make him stop. I was going to fire El Vikingo but then he got expert advice from The Welder who told him not to sand so hard. El Vikingo took Vanna to The Welder's shop where he fiberglassed the bad spots, bondo'ed everything else and then applied rubber paint - the kind used on the top of mobile homes - only this is a dark blue and not white. Although a different blue than the rest of the van, I like the color.

So if it rains today, I'll find out if the roof still leaks. If it doesn't rain, the roof will get tested when I'm up in Arizona. Hopefully.

Last night the town got sprayed for mosquitoes. This morning they're worse than ever. It's hurricane season.

This part of the Sea of Cortez does not normally take direct hits from hurricanes. The last hurricane to slam Kino was Lester in 1992. When I first got here I remember the shell and sausage lady telling me that she stocked her shell shop from Hurricane Lester (not the sausages). The other night a man talked about living in a house on the beach when Lester hit. He described how frightening it was. He said it was too dangerous to leave the house because of all the cement blocks and roofing materials flying through the air so they had to stay indoors and pray the house could withstand the crashing waves.

Now he lives at this end of the beach. I told him that after Hurricane Henriette I found the best shells in front of his house. Some were painted blue. After his house got swamped by humongous waves he threw out shells he'd  collected over the years. Some he let local kids paint blue.

Even though hurricanes don't normally come this far up the Gulf of California, we do often feel their impact.

Islandia seen from the water. Notice the sea wall, the people at the top of the stairs.
This from Henriette in 2007. Huge sea swells and surges send waves over sea walls, up the boat ramp, flooding homes on the beach and a few blocks into town. Fishermen pull their pangas a safe distance from the water. The whole town becomes a flooded, muddy mess. The beach turns into a cornucopia of scallops and clams. Before dawn people are out with flashlights and gunny sacks gathering all manner of scallops and clams including chocolate clams which are generally agreed to be the best.

Waves crash over the wall, even over the palapas.
The sea reaches the top of the stairs..
...and comes crashing through.

Water surges up the boat ramp and into the park.

Islandia after the storm.
It's hurricane season. I should replace that flat tire on the trailer so I can pull her out of Kino should a Lester show up. Should a hurricane hit, I won't be here - I'll be in Arizona - so new tire or not, the Airstream won't get towed anywhere. With enough warning I could come back and get her, my home, the only thing in the world I own besides Vanna and her newly painted roof.


  1. Nice pics. I wish I could have wander more and taken photos, but I was too busy trying to keep everything together

  2. dear lost...if you are who i think you are, no shit! your photos would've been amazing.

  3. Nice pics, but quite scary! I have a great fear of hurricanes, and I’m utterly terrified because it can do some real damage. Hurricane Sandy tore off our roof, and I think no matter how robust the structure is, it all depends on how well your roof was installed. Our roofing structure now has roof ties and is installed in the roof hoists and the wall.

  4. What I hate the most – HURRICANES! They are so annoying for not only will they cause damage to buildings and other structures, but it will also traumatize you with bad memories. Just like what happened to our house during Hurricane Sandy. Our beloved house was severely damaged; the roof was torn off and part of the sidings were smashed as well.

  5. Tragic memories come to mind whenever I hear that word. I’m also a victim of Hurricane Sandy, and it really traumatized a lot of people. I remember how our house looked as part of the roof tore off that day. Past is past and I’m hoping that nothing like that will ever happen again.