August 13, 2018

The People We Meet On The Road

"A journey is best measured in friends, rather than the miles."
Tim Cahill
We are on a short hiatus of travels as we assist our family during some trying times. But this respite gives us time to reflect on the treasures found during our life on the road over the last ten years.
We have been blessed with so many wonderful friends. And like the myriad of shades on a painter's palette, they have never stopped illuminating the strokes on our canvas of life. Their friendship has kept the "chills" away and their light breathes back life during those most needed times.
Many of our dearest and lifelong friends are those who we have met during our stints as camp hosts, countless road trips and/or as Imkelina says "everywhere." So it is no wonder that "destiny" becomes such a powerful reason for us to create more experiences. Synchronicity has embraced us and will forever change our lives. Our paths may yet cross, as it truly is a small world.
We have a very large "tribe" and our stories of friendship could be endless. These unique meetings that we have drawn to us have been without the typical parameters/judgements of our culture i.e, race, politics (this current administration provides many trials), financial wealth or religious beliefs. That is not to say that we have not had many a spirited conversation for which I have gone to bed pretty pissed, but our friendships are strong and everlasting, easily weathering the many tests through the years. 
We work our entire lives building friendships, childhood friends, school friends, neighborhood friends, college friends, work friends, best friends, boyfriends or girlfriends. Friendships make us who we are and offer something totally unique. They bring something new to our lives, inspiring us to see us and our world a totally different way. They give us a shoulder to lean on and a cheerleader to to root us on. 
No friendship is an accident or who we have known the longest. Our friendships can be compared to a sprinkle...short, yet impactful and others like a downpour...heavy, continuous, never ending. Our needs change over time and thus, so do our friendships. We detach the old with love and embrace the new with the same. One constant though, our friendships must nourish and refresh our souls.
A heartfelt thank you to all of you within our beloved tribe. Over the years you have been our mentors, our inspiration and our storytellers of life. We look forward to a lifetime of being part of this wanderlust fellowship.

At Waypoint: the West

April 17, 2018

Tuttle Creek...Reluctant Homeward Bounders

"Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. 
You'll find what you need to furnish it - memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey."
Tad Williams
Well we squeaked out a couple more days by convincing ourselves we need to dump our tanks after all these wonderful days of dry camping...a lame excuse (we have a full hook-up rv pad at our home). But we desired more magnificent views, more moments to embrace the stillness that accompanies being and we wanted to bathe in that lingering capacity to pull in the power of these mountains peaks. So we let this High Sierra range seduce us and we drove a few miles south to Tuttle Creek Campground.
Those of you that are part of our inner circle, know that our reluctance to head "home" is not because we live in an asphalt jungle studded with traffic jams, smog and mirages of natural landscapes. Our Central Coast Hidey Hole on the shores of the Pacific Ocean is our Camelot...beautiful, peaceful, protective and very nourishing...but it is no secret...the mountains are my narcotics.

off leash heaven

Owens Dry Lake Bed at dusk
Inyo Mountains
Sierra Nevada view site
Tuttle Creek
Tuttle Creek was the perfect farewell to our Getaway to the Gateway. Sydney and Kiah had plenty of game trails to follow and Imkelina had acres of high desert wilderness to create a new route to Whitney...she always tries. The campground features 
spacious sites, endless views south toward Owens Dry Lake Bed, the Inyo Mountains to the east and the Sierra Nevada pinnacles to the west. The soothing sounds of Tuttle Creek could easily hypnotize you as it meanders through the campground, while the dark heavens cast spells of infinite universes while showcasing millions of bright starlights.  
Although we had to "pause" this short getaway to return to family, we knew full well that the Hwy 395 Gateway will never stop beckoning us to return. This wondrous corridor knows we will never stop inhaling the fragrance, emotions and power of the mountains.

At Waypoint 36.5666, -118.1237

April 12, 2018

Getaway to the Gateway-Alabama Hills

"And if these mountains had eyes, they would wake to find two strangers in their fences, standing in admiration as a breathing red pours its tinge upon the earth's shore. These mountains, which have seen untold sunrises, long to thunder praise but stand reverent,silent so that man's weak praise should be given God's attention."
Donald Miller

"Being" has always offered so many textures and colors of living for us to experience...and those experiences have become portals to even more diverse sagas. But the true test that continues to present itself to us is, will we allow ourselves to embrace those opportunities when they materialize? Stay fluid, embrace change and visualize out of the box has been our mantra for many years now...has to of us is a Gemini.
driving on Movie Road through the Alabama Hills
After Fossil Falls, we still were in the mood to see our real we honored our desire to view our Sierra Nevada pinnacles. So onward north we headed to our treasured Alabama Hills. 
Now, for those who feel life is but a grind or that might define carpe diem as hope for tomorrow or wonderment as indifference, we highly recommend that you best get your butt out here and recharge. The views, the energy and the raw power that surround you will illuminate your soul and remind you that there is much more to life than the mundane. You need to be here before you go there!
WeBeGon trying to stay camouflaged
We drove our WeBeGon miles on the many dirt roads zig zagging through the valley, a few with posted warning signs for only off road use, but we made sure not to bury our tires in the sand. We were relentless, yet patient, in our search for a campsite that provided some privacy and magical views. And we were rewarded for taking the time to search. Our two girls were also in heaven with lizard/rodent searches, fresh pee mail and endless boulders to scamper over or lounge around.
You start out with "those" mornings! There are very few landscape murals more breathtaking than the alpenglow reflecting off those majestic pinnacles. And then you have those wondrous Alabama Hills which truly are a sharp contrast to the imposing crags of the Eastern Sierras. Massive boulders scattered throughout the hills have been chiseled by wind and water over time creating natural archways, magical spires, sculpted ledges, rock formations of whimsical shapes and figures and so many color spots tucked in among the boulders. Surreal indeed!
There is fragility in all of us but the energy of our mother earth has the power to strengthen our life simply by us listening to the silence of nature and hearing the force of our inner voice.
As difficult as it was, it was time to leave. Maybe we could squeak out one more day...maybe. 

At Waypoint 36.5958, -118.1092

April 3, 2018

Getaway to the Gateway...Fossil Falls

“The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyong reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only paradise we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need, if only we had the eyes to see.” 
Edward Abbey

Over the course of the past year, extended travel adventures have been checked, thus limiting new posts for our readers' enjoyment. Time has been filled with trips to both the southern and northern part of the state offering love and support to our family. And sad to say our "Central Coast Hidey Hole" has been pretty lonely too. 
Fossil Falls with the Eastern Sierra backdrop
On short notice though, we have headed to a few surreal landscapes for brief respites of soul charging, mental highs and emotional bliss. When the wind calls, I know that somewhere in the mountains there is the fortitude and tenacity we are looking for. The pull of the horizon overcomes our passivity and we must the greeting the sun over the Eastern Sierra pinnacles is pure bliss for my own "Sun"...Imkelina. 

Our recent trip was a short expedition to the "Gateway of the Eastern Sierras"...the southern part of Highway 395. Although this stretch of highway is not new to us, we wanted to explore a few camp spots that we have not been to. 
We have passed Fossil Falls, near Ridgecrest, hundreds of times while at full throttle heading north up Hwy 395...and not once did curiosity work it's way down to the brake pedal. But our dear friends, Tim and Denise, shared their visit and it jacked up our interest. Well our intent was to just stay a night...turned into a multi-day rest stop. Pics tell the story why.  
Imke navigating a trail through the lava fields toward the falls
Cascading Lava Falls
Looks like a close up of black bear scat...but just a huge lava boulder
The name Fossil Falls is a bit of a misnomer. There are neither fossils around to see, nor an active waterfall here. The highlight is...walking through this surreal land of convoluted chasms of shiny, sculpted black lava formations. From what we read, these fields were formed from the rushing water of the Owens River and lava pouring down from nearby volcanoes 20,000 years ago. 

Thistle Sage
Red Hill cinder cone looking down on WeBeGone
We loved this spot so much that the daily 40 mph gusts did not deter us to say "sayonara". Dotted on and among the lava beds were  a brilliant palette of, shrubs and lichen. The distant landscape views were beautiful, the night skies stunning...and then there was the solitude. It is only when we silence the blaring sounds of daily existence (Southern CA) that we can hear the whispers of our truth and what path forward we need to take. 

Fossil Falls...a simple reminder of how ancient our mother earth is, the knowledge gathered within her and the messages stored within this lava of our past. We left only our footprints. We head north toward Lone Pine and them Alabama Hills. 

At Waypoint 35.9728, -117.9119