My next door neighbors have been rolling their eyes at me for months now due to my complete lack of familiarity with what lies east of this county. It seems I always go west or south, never east or north. Who knows why? Maybe it’s due to my natural human inclination to go towards what is known, what has served me in the past, where I have friends. Maybe it’s just easy. Anyway, as my past two posts have indicated the Universe has been shaking up my reality a bit, and you know when the Universe moves around what you perceive to be permanent (ha ha ha), cracks in the walls appear and in those lovely cracks new ideas lodge themselves, and some of them get acted upon. Like today. Dragging out a map (gasp!) I actually charted the way to the next county over, which is truly Not That Far, my dears. So it’s really not much of a stretch. Except I’d never done it before. OK, that’s not completely true. I think I went over that backroad in my 20′s once. Or maybe in my 30′s. But who is keeping track? Not I. Today is today and this is the day I went over it today. And guess what? It was beautiful! And easy! And I will do it again! Here’s what I did, and found.
Pulling over into one of the many convenient places for Slow Drivers (we Californians are in a hurry and it is socially imperative for one to get out of the way if one marches to a slower drummer), I was able to walk about. Peering over the edge from where I stood, I was completely enchanted when I found this! (Who installed a swing?? And what fun to imagine the play that ensued here!)
While contemplating the answers to that question and those images I suddenly became aware I was not alone. Someone was down there fishing! Who does this in this day and age? Who finds a secluded spot and drops a line and hopes for the best?
“What will you catch?” I called down to him. “Maybe a bass,” he said. “Is the water clean?” I asked. “Clean enough,” the man said. I loved this exchange. “I’m taking your picture,” I said. And did. He laughed.
Back in the car, inspired and up for more adventure. More I got when I came to a lodge and found myself stopping, hoping to get a better insider view of the lake. Hoping, hoping. No one was in the office, so I sauntered out back with full access to the tourist view of the lake. Lucky me. Camera in hand, I went down to the water’s edge. Two women were engaged in a conversation but no one seemed to mind my presence. Here’s what I got to see.
Kayaks. I wonder if I stayed here if I would be brave enough to go in a kayak? Hmmm…
I am delighted. I now turn my attention to the two women, one of whom, it turns out, does, in fact, work in the office. She tells me I am at Blue Lakes, and that what seems to be a river is actually this blue lake spilling into a second area known as Lower Blue Lakes, so headed the opposite direction from what I had been thinking. She tells me that the lake is fed by underground springs long ago created by an earthquake’s shifting the earth, and that there are areas of the lake where no one knows how deep it is. Aw, the mystery and intrigue! I see myself returning to this lodge, but thank this kind woman and continue on my journey, soon taking a side road that would spill me out into a small town fairly nearby. But, oh the getting there! I found myself pulling over several times, as I would be remiss not to share.
I’d only just resumed my drive when I came full stop to capture this amazing old grove.
I still don’t know what kind of trees these are. One might suspect walnuts, given the area, but they are not consistent with the thickening host trunk one would expect. Any ideas?
No sooner was I in the car than I had to pull over again to peer over a bridge. Yes, glad I did.
Worth every stop. It’s not the destination, right? It’s the getting there. And get there I did, when my back road suddenly became the back door to the little town of Lakeport, which sits at the north end of what (apparently) is the largest natural lake in California, Clear Lake. I for sure had never been to Lakeport before. Charming, charming, my friends. I’d go just to hang out with the birds!
I could never tire of the beauty of a mallard. This one gingerly made his way in another direction but not before I caught his lovely image. Thankfully, he was headed toward the safety of friends. I was a little surprised, but happy, to find seagulls this far inland, among the ducks.
What better way to recall the supreme advantages of moving through any inner resistance to exploring new territories than this day? Lesson learned. What will I do next??
Love and travel blessings,
Another Happy Postscript!: Valerie of Elysian Field has honored Plant Whatever Brings You Joy with a Proximity Award. Details here! (And thank you, Valerie!) http://elysianfieldoriginals.blogspot.com/
Posted on March 28th, 2009 by Kathryn
Filed under: Field Trips