Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Into the Hills, Into the Mountains

ECG and I recently returned from this summer's first expedition. I write expedition because, as I was reminded this journey, that we don't just travel. We full on explore. On this trip, we explored the hills and mountains of Eastern California.

We took few freeways, staying mostly to two-lane windy mountain roads. Occasionally, the roads were paved one-laners. More times than probably wise, we took roads that looked like this:

Although ECG's preparation armed us with two GPSs, a laptop, and a Microsoft Streets and Trips map of the entire journey, there were still times that we were completely lost, but as the wisdom of hindsight always teaches, getting lost usually leads you right where you need to be.

We didn't see much traffic, and when we did, it was different than the traffic we see every day.

The small winding roads brought us to places we forget exist in our non-roadtrip lives, even though they have existed for millions of years and will exist long after we're gone.

The roads brought us to wildlife that doesn't come when called and gardens that don't grow under our care.

They brought us to majesty.

And although that majesty is brilliant and a reminder of all the things that we aren't, after touching its brilliance, it's also nice to come home to all the things that we are.

My garden welcomed me home happily.


Anonymous said...

WOW. I am humbled. The boy and I are heading into the Adirondacks this weekend to spend time with my family. I keep telling him (he who hails from Colorado) to stop making fun of my mountains. They may not be as high, but they're older, and then I'm reminded by pictures like yours that, yes, the 'dacks, while amazing, are a little paltry.
What a wonderful trip you two had, and what a wonderful bounty to come home to!

Anonymous said...

An expedition. I like the sound of that word! The 18th photo (if I counted right) of the pea-looking flowerbud reminds me of a plant back home (in Hawaii) that produces gorgeous flowers for making a particular lei.

I look forward to escaping on our expedition when the time comes. It's just a fab feeling to get "lost" where not many people go!

Wendy said...

Stunning photographs. Since seeing the movie "Sideways" I've been dreaming about a road trip in California. Still dreaming about that trip but now for very different reasons.
An uplifting post. Thank you.

Lucy said...

Rambling - as child, my family would get in the car and just drive. Such beautiful things Christina, such majesty as you say, is to be found when you're least expecting it on trips such as these.

The garden's been good to you in your absence. Enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Susan said...

Grand photos, so many I could choose as favorites. Your tree triptych is quite dramatic. I love road trips; you don't have to get on a plane w/ a passport to see the world.

Christina said...

Ann: I love the Adirondacks. The boy should respect them for lasting so long and being so lush and beautiful. Have a lovely, relaxing weekend.

Rowena: It is a wonderful feeling to be lost and not scared, but happy to be alone. The flower that you refer to is a wild sweet pea. They grow all over the mountains and hills of California and Oregon.

Wendy: There are a lot of reasons to roadtrip in California. Wine is a very good reason, but the coast, the mountains, and the agriculture are all other excellent reasons too. You can see more California roadtrip pictures from last year's trip (if you're interested) if you look at the July 2006 posts in my archives. That was a more extensive trip that covered just about every part of the state and some of Oregon. Thank you for the compliments, and if you do make it here for a roadtrip someday, let me know and we can meet up somewhere beautiful!

Lucy: Thank you! Yes, there is so much to see. How can anyone ever be bored?

Susan: Thanks! The sequoias are so dramatically huge that it is nigh impossible to fit one in a single frame--thus the triptych. They are such amazing trees.

Grover20 said...

Hailing from Oregon and haven been to various parts of the world, you'd think I know what eastern California has to offer... but no I've never made it past the Redwoods in Northern California. Thank you so much for sharing your exploration with us. I love the contrast from the big, nature pictures, to the small domestic elements of life such as garden bounty!

Wendy said...

That'd be truly wonderful. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Just so you know, he now respects my mountains. One of them kicked our butts while trying to climb it!
he's always respected them, but he really does enjoy winding me up! Hope the vege are doing well