Sunday, 1 March 2009 – Buena Park to Indio, CA
We had a not unusual panic when it transpired that I had left most of my field data, this time for Mexico, on my desktop machine at home in England. Once again Brian Bates saved the day so that we can attempt to name a few of the cacti that we’ll see in weeks to come.
Cliff & I are getting quite used to last minute packing for a trip – the secret is to never unpack. Eunice does not have experience yet, so was into a full last minute panic, while Cliff & I watched while enjoying the use of her fast internet connection.
Alain was due to arrive at 21:10, but at which Terminal? LAX has somewhere between 8 and 12 terminals! We looked up the flight number on the internet, but there was no such flight!. The problem is possibly due to the large number of airlines sharing the same plane, each with their own flight numbers (and pricing). We resolved the problem by positioning ourselves near the airport (Eunice wanted to post a few parcels from the 24 hour post office at LAX. We had already worked out that the majority of flight numbers commencing ‘US’ used the near by Terminal 1. So we relied on Alain contacting Eunice on landing to advice which terminal he was at. Great plan, but in the end his plane was early and his call came when he was already outside the terminal, looking for us to pick him up. We told him to sit tight, as we were only minutes away but had not counted on the very busy Sunday night airport pick ups and drop offs Eventually we saw him and got him and luggage on board.
Next, picking up the rental car. We have a Toyota 4Runner, a bit larger than last year’s Jeep Grand Cherokee, especially more leg room.
Then to Eunice’s place in Bellflower to load up the 4Runner, followed by a 121 miles drive on quiet roads to Indio, our jump off point for Monday’s drive to Tucson. We were all very tired, especially Alain who had been on the road for 28 hours!
Welcome aboard, Alain!