So which is it exactly. Which was Robinson Crusoe on? A DESERT island as in the Sahara or the Kalahari or the Mojave. Or a DESERTED island as in no one else is there?
Do these words have anything to do with each other? Does deserted start with the root word desert (noun) or desert (verb).
Is Santa Rosa technically a desert island? I donít think so, there are shrubs and trees and creeks. Are desert islands even possible? I have not ever heard of one actually existing. It does not really make sense, does it?
Is Santa Rosa technically deserted? I donít think so either. We did come here and there are Rangers and archeologists and researchers and a farmer family and two other campers just about 100 yards from our tent.
It sure feels deserted though. We have not seen anyone yet today. It is 4:00 p.m. Technically, we could signal that boat sailing on the horizon but I donít really want to. We are fine by ourselves. But Iím sure we could. Just get back to reading your book.
Santa Rosa Island. Your mind just sort of wanders here. There is nothing else for it to do. There are no people, no buildings and no artificial sounds in any direction. Even in remote Parks like the Grand Canyon, Kings Canyon and Isle Royale you hear airplanes. Not here. No one is flying over the Santa Rosa.
The silence is beautiful and disconcerting, especially after spending the last two months in and around the population centers of Los Angeles and San Francisco. What is there for you mind to do? Cars are not attacking from all directions. Decisions do not need to be made. There is no one to talk to and nothing to do except walk around, watch birds and read The Call of the Wild.
Water is such an effective barrier. Maybe not in practice but in my mind. We got here in less than 3 hours but I feel so much farther away. Weíve been more isolated and more remote but nothing feels like being on an island. An island in the Pacific Ocean. We are not even on a continent any more. (Yes we are) So what.
We went on a long hike this morning to the top of Black Mountain, the Island second highest peak. The trails were old automobile roads, used during Santa Rosaís ranching days. The trail did not zig and zag through switchbacks; it just went straight up. The trail was blazed for cars, not people.
Deer and elk met us at every hillcrest. They investigated our presence and continued on their way. Dense fog enveloped us. We marched on without the views we had expected. Once we reached the top, we rested. Magically the fog disappeared. Infinite shades of blue emerged. Islands appeared around us. San Miguel to the west. Santa Cruz to the east.
We saw the Rangers residence and we saw more boats. We were standing by a telephone tower but we still felt alone. We still felt as if the Island was ours. Or at least we were a part of it. The mountains highest peak is named Soledad, Spanish for solitude. We did not need to climb any higher. We had all the isolation we needed right there.