Golden California

Since graduating this past December, I’ve been on a bit of a sabbatical from any form of organized writing, just jotting down half-formed thoughts here and there. In the meantime, Remi and I have been living in the California sun and snow and mountains. From our perch in Mammoth lakes, I’ve been rolling and roaming these mountains of the Eastern Sierra, our temporary home on the road.

Panum crater. Above mono lake, soaking it all in.
Panum crater. Above mono lake, soaking it all in.

With our time here quickly coming to a close, I’ve been feeling conflicting urges in equal parts: on one hand, there’s that persistent desire to nest and nestle deeply into a place, to make home and to be home. And then there’s the powerful opposition, the nagging itch to fly away, fast and high; it’s the rush of exploring new lands, meeting new people and wandering from established roots, the freedom of vagabonding. These two urges are in constant ebb and flow in my life, which I’ve become much more attuned to during the past few months in California. As I explore this world, I feel the pull that orbits me around the ones that I love and the homes I create all the while moving forward and, at times, back.  These cycles make our lives and give them deep meaning.

A shot of our trip up the scenic route 1, a truly impressive road!
A shot of our trip up the scenic route 1, a truly impressive road!

It was at the beginning of February that we bought our adventure mobile in Los Angeles, a 2001 Subaru Forester. We ready for the California mountains, sand, dirt and other elements and so sure of our route; ready for the road we set off north up the scenic coastal route via the historic Route 1. But riding life’s curves, one quickly learns that even the best-laid plans change and evolve, matching the rhythms of this new horizon and its unique syncopations. That’s one of the things that’s been so liberating about this new phase of my life; I’ve been delivered out of academia, suddenly into a wondrously, overwhelmingly vast natural world bright and blinding and deliciously unknown. There are no more semesters to organize my world around, so one month became two became three and this little town in the Eastern Sierra has started to feel something like a home. We’ve worked and we’ve hiked, ran and swam, laughed and cried here. It wasn’t part of the plan but just a part of life, a darn beautiful part and my memories are drenched in the California sun that will light up my memories for time to come.

Our trusty subaru at the foot of the mountains that had a big part in convincing us to stay.
Our trusty subaru at the foot of the mountains that had a big part in convincing us to stay.

These California sunrises and sunsets are the final act in a play that is performed every night, stretching out over the vast mountainscape or seascape, as if the sun itself expands to fill this great space, the sky is just a staging area for the creators creative whim or caprice, with a little bit of a different flair come every dusk or dawn.

Southern california sunset
Southern california sunset
Sunset over the sea, somewhere on Route 1
Sunset over the sea, somewhere on Route 1
The final act
The final act