This is the year of roadtrips and this post is now horribly overdue. It's been locked in solitary confinement in my draft folder, and it now deeply desires to see the light. So here goes...
One Thursday we began our California adventure centered on Ellen's beautiful wedding in Sacramento.
My California experiences have been limited to Disney Land and several flights into San Diego for cruises. Most of it is uncharted territory.
Our first stop was at the Winston Wild Life Safari where we road camels, were attacked by an emu, fell in love with a stuffed leopard, and gawked at giraffes, bears, lions, yaks, and countless other creatively assembled critters.
We rolled into Ashland and satisfied our hunger with pizza, salad, and a Shakespeare faced cupcake. We were in town long enough to see several terrifyingly wonderful book stores and discover that Ashland is full of arty people of a very different type than Portland...Let's just leave it at that.
We only had time to see Loves Labors Lost, which I read in air conditioned tranquility on the drive down. They did well and humorously (although they explored awkwardness I was blissfully unaware of in the play...some of it primarily exhibited by a excess of men's tights and Russian dancing). They set in the 50s, which I enjoyed.
Loves Labors Lost is fairly new to me, but now it really has me thinking...what was Shakespeare trying to say? I wonder what he thought the conclusion was...judging by the name, I don't know. Another rambling post to come one of these days...
We finished the distance between Ashland and Sacramento Friday, and reunited with people from our own church. Monstrous jolly since I hadn't seen some in ages since I've been elsewhere. We invaded a sizable portion of their Best Western. We explored the gigantic mall and generally had a good time.
Saturday Ellen got married. It's still hard to believe. She was the stunning beyond comprehension and everything was beautiful and good and I wanted to weep through the whole ceremony and beyond. But I didn't of course. I was the soul of propriety. ;-)
It is most strange to have a friend who is Ellen somebody one minute and Ellen somebody else the next. One minute single. One minute a wife. Marriage and love are most distinctly peculiar. And good, of course. :-)
Well everyone disembarked from our Best Western to enjoy Letherbys, the legendary ice cream world, I stayed back to work on a writing project, got nothing done, and went to bed ridiculously early.
It was wonderful to worship and fellowship with Church of the King on Sunday. Another reminder of the blessings we have as one body!
Sadly, we had to get back on the road and didn't have a lot of time to hang out. We stopped a couple podunk towns, and one of the million Clear Lakes of America...which was not even remotely clear, but had a beautiful dock and nearby green grass and prickles to run about in.
We arrived at a beautiful inn in another small town where we had enough time to read a bit, email important people, befuddle the vending machine, write, and watch a girly movie together before giving into sleep at a decent hour.
We got moving on Monday soon enough to visit the continental breakfast where Mama's toast took a flying leap to freedom...a noteworthy and startling event.
We spent 12 hours on the road, primarily starring at big tree. The Redwoods truly are beautiful. I think my next writing trip scheme should include running off into one of the parks and living under a dead log (preferably with internet access). I like open spaces, light, and big hills, but there is something very peaceful, quiet, and promising about a tree that's been going steadily upwards since the signing of the Magna Carta.
We stopped at one park long enough for me to climb up on a fallen log with journal, pen, and Bible and sit six feet above the dry forest bed and do some scribbling.
The Redwoods are good for thinking and they seem to be good listeners too. If you need somewhere to think some serious thoughts, find a stalwart tree-friend, carve your name, or get dizzy in record time, go to the Redwoods.
We visited a strip of California coast, but just missed the sunset and any California warmth.
Our next stop was in Bandon and late into the night after much confusion and turning about, a restaurant with salmon that was indeed food of the gods. We ran wild on the beach for the morning and then visited another miraculous wildlife safari where we got to cuddle with eight week old Bengal tigers, an eleven week old leopard, be thoroughly disturbed by various monkeys, stare into the jaws of a yawning lion, and fall in love with the simple attraction of noteworthy pig, apparently called a Paccari.
Going back to Bandon and ridding horses on the coast is a future must.
We drove all the way back to my brother-in-law and sister's house that night and stayed up way to late talking and staring at the stars on their deck.
After a week that involves much more car travel then generally considered appropriate, it was good to be home. An awesome adventure that now seems like a few years ago. It's been a crazy, glorious summer.
Life is good. Even with all its so very not good moments.