The end of Route 76 is narrow and unpaved. There were already a couple of SUVs and a car parked on the grassy area where the road ends. We nodded to the man standing beside his red car. He nodded back.
“Have you seen it?” I asked.
“Nah”, he replied. “That guy has been here since daybreak”, he said pointing to a man sitting inside his black Explorer with his eyes closed, “and he hasn’t seen it either”.
We spied some men at the shoreline about a mile away peeping through their scopes.
“Well, we’re gonna try our luck”
We trudged along the seashell-strewn shore, crunching sounds breaking the eerie silence of the early morning. Suddenly we saw four men walking towards us. All are carrying their spotting scopes on their shoulders. We hailed the first one.
“No sight of the bird?”
“No luck”, he said exasperatingly, “nothing but dead fish and flies”
We turned back. No sense in walking a mile for nothing. The no-show bird was a Blue-footed Booby. A rarity. A bird commonly found in offshore rocks and isles. Certainly not in an inland body of water as the Salton Sea.
Back at the Jeep, Cynthia noticed something unusual.
“You have brown shorts, brown t-shirt, brown shoes. A brown hat even. But why, pray tell, are you wearing blue socks?”
We did not see the Blue-footed Booby that day. But we had a Blue-socked Bobby.