Oh. Here. Again?I must admit, I was equally excited and disappointed when I saw where we were going to be living for the next six months. The landscape is familiar. It reminds me of Sonoma County, the parts that are hard to get to, you know, those places that are so beautiful they take your breath away, but you have to drive up ten miles of winding steep hills, on narrow, rocky roads at five miles per hour. It’s all worth it, but you really don’t want to be leaving after dark. It’s wild and isolated, an adventurer’s secret. You have to be persistent, and courageous though. At that point, I was just tired and grumpy, so the adventure had turned into an arduous climb to what I perceived as the middle of nowhere.
Sacramento was the last big city I saw before heading north and slightly east toward the Sierra Nevada foothills. From that point on it was mile after mile of fields and hills dotted with cows and trees and farm equipment. Mile after mile. This is America. Fields and cows. The rest of the scenery didn’t elude me though. I saw how beautiful it was. I remembered walking in the hills of Windsor and Spring Lake near Santa Rosa. I noticed the oak trees and the huge rocks poking up through the brown hills and what looked like an invasion of lichen and green moss all over everything vertical.
Gradually, I went up the hills, pedal to the floor, leg determined to make it to the top. I soon realized that the “foothills” were higher up than I thought. Each road seemed like it would never end. Then it did, and when I turned onto the next road, it went on forever, round and round and up and down and up again, soft brown hills and fields disappearing into the distance below. I kept looking at my GPS to make sure I hadn’t passed the campground fifty miles back. Finally I saw a small sign that told me I was still on the right track, fortunately, or unfortunately.
When I got to the campground gate, I pulled over, turned off the car, and cried out of pure exhaustion. I sat there for five minutes or so, in a state of shock. I could not believe I was so far away from everything, again. And I could not believe that I was looking at the most peaceful, most curious little deer just ten feet away from my car. It saw my tears, stared at me for a few seconds, then trotted away into the Manzanita forest. I woke up and decided it was time to start over.
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