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A YUPPIE PUSHES '50' - A MIDLIFE CRISIS BY CARLOS FIESTA
~ Forward ~
by Carlos Fiesta
Bang!!! If there was anyone around at the beginning of the Universe approximately 15 billion years ago, that is the sound they might have heard as it all exploded from nothing to everything in a nano-second. That is of course if you believe in the "Big Bang" theory of creation. Those in the other camp are confident that it all started when God took 7 days off, hoisted a shot of tequila, and created the whole shebang on a whim while Mrs. God was out of town. Both of these theories are equally difficult to comprehend, and the jury is still out as to how the Universe actually got out of the gate. The debate as to how it all started has been around for a long time and it may be a while before we actually figure out exactly how everything came to be. But how it all started is beginning to take a back seat to an even bigger question. Is ours the o-n-l-y Universe in existence?
Anyone who has had a chance to eavesdrop at a cocktail party of rocket scientists, cosmologists and astrophysicists has heard the new question pop up. Is it possible that our Universe of planets, stars and galaxies is only one in a collection of many other Universes located far beyond the edges of our known Universe? Do we really live in an 'Omniverse' with our Universe just one of 100 billion Universes somewhere in an unknown dimension? The more we explore and discover the limits of space the more we begin to realize that the concept of an Omniverse is a very real possibility. The incomprehensible idea of String Theory is just one of several theories that try to explain how it all came about, and how big it all really might be.
And why stop with the concept of an Omniverse? Taking this same incomprehensible concept to the next level, is it indeed possible that there are a whole host of Omniverses out there in a yet unnamed collection of groupings? We can call the whole collection of Omniverses the Googlverse. It all gets pretty difficult to comprehend, and besides you thought this story was going to be about some nut taking a small boat around the Baja Peninsula...so where am I headed with all this space stuff?
The point is that, on the grander scale of things, the day to day drama of our individual lives here on this tiny blue dot spinning through space is really a pretty small piece of the overall big picture. One could even say that most of what is going on here on Earth is somewhat insignificant when put into this larger perspective. Not that some of what we do here isn't of value and possibly even important. But for the most part we simply piss away a lot of time on mindless projects that don't offer a lot of value to anyone or anything. Waking up, eating, working, and then going home and watching the news on television...and then doing the same drill again the next day. Hardly anything to get overly excited about.
This daily drama that hundreds of millions of us perform on a daily basis is normal and socially acceptable. It's just that if you get a crazy idea that stirs your soul it makes it kind of hard to talk yourself out of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure because you think you have something more important to do by staying home...if you keep the bigger picture in mind. Buy a small boat, take a month off work, and then go follow over 2,200 miles of some of the most desolate and starkly beautiful coastline on the planet? What else would I do if I didn't follow this dream, stay home and watch Seinfeld re-runs? Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Over the last 25 years I had explored Mexico's Baja Peninsula extensively. This desolate finger of land provided the perfect venue for a man with a strong desire to explore untamed terrain, experience raw nature and to continually seek out what is around the next bend in the coast. And after 25 years of exploring this spectacular piece of real estate by land, I thought it might be fun to circumnavigate the entire Peninsula by boat to really wrap up the whole enchilada. So with the tepid support of my wife, my daughter, and my friends I left my home on September 11, 2001, drove into the bowels of the Los Angeles basin while I listened to the drama of the terrorists attack unfold on the radio, and purchased a used 19 foot boat with a 40 horsepower outboard motor. If I needed a reminder that life can be short there was plenty of evidence to support that idea on every station on the radio.
As it turned out the trip was one of the most significant events of my life. Never having owned a boat, knowing nothing about ocean navigation, and making the decision to travel alone all combined to give me an adventure that, if it didn't kill me, would be a life event that would stay with me until the day I died. Although I flirted with death on several occasions during my boating adventure I did accomplish my goal alive and in good health. I departed Los Angeles Harbor, boated around the Cape, and then motored my little boat up into the murky waters of the mouth of the Colorado River over 2,200 miles from my start. The trip took four weeks, six cases of Snapple, and a whole bunch of gasoline. I lost 16 pounds on the trip. To the best of my knowledge I am the first person to boat solo around the entire coastline in a small boat from Los Angeles, trek around Baja, and end up in the Colorado River. This is my story.
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