Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Day 2 "America, the Beautiful"

It is still unclear to me why I decided to drive to Los Angeles to catch my flight to New Zealand rather than fly down. I knew that I wanted to have the latitude to leave Bend and later return home without the constraints imposed by plane tickets. Otherwise, there was no practical reason not to jet my way to California.  I hadn't really considered the implications of such a car trip, but once I was on the road,  I realized that I had embarked on an exploration of America as a precursor to the big trip that starts Thursday night.

This evening I am in Palm Springs and, other than a six mile stretch of I-10, I have traveled already 800 miles without venturing on any interstate. I chose the inland route skirting the East side of the Cascades and Sierras,  then headed further East across the desert  to Barstow and finally, along rural highways over rocky crags and through mesquite and yucca-covered plains, to Joshua Tree National Park.

On this journey I have seen the grandeur of the snow-blanketed  mountains and azure lakes and felt the mystery of the expansive vistas of the desert. I am in a quandary as to whether anything I see in the following weeks can surpass this natural beauty. It must be, that those who exult the one-of-a kind excellence of other places, have either failed to explore adequately or remembered sufficiently our own landscape. I have snapped a few pictures to share, but really it is of no use. Like isolated words from  America, the Beautiful, they neither form a melody nor a song. It is up to you experience the anthem first hand and to discover internally its notes and lyrics.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Day 1 "America, the Beautiful"

It has been several months since I have written a blog post. My purpose is to inform you that today I started on the first leg of a month-long journey which is taking me to California, specifically Los Angeles, to catch a flight to New Zealand. Tonight I am in Susanville just North of Reno.

My drive from Bend took me first to Klamath Falls and then East and South through high desert to the Eastern slopes of the Sierras. Along the route, while listening to books on CD's, I looked intensely at my country and snapped a number of photos of scenes that caught my eye.

I am including four pictures from the day. Perhaps you may wonder what motivated me to shoot these and then desire to publish them. At this moment, I feel that explaining my thinking detracts from the particular messages of the photos. I'd rather hear your thoughts and reactions and whether you understand my crazy mind and humor. I hope to share with you many days of my adventure, especially those from "across the pond." There will be time for commentary. This evening though, I need to rest, hence I offer quietly an appetizer: a few slices of America that have a tangy taste.