My latest voyage reminded me why the grandeur of the American West has always been a source of inspiration for me. Whether looking across miles of open space to a distant mountain range or being enveloped by the spirit lifting perfume of mountain sage, I found myself contemplating the journeys of those who travelled this land in years long passed.
We set out from Utah, my brother Joss and I, on what would be an adventurous road trip through the desert and mountains to Laguna, California - his new home. Adult life has taken us far from the hours spent together daily as kids, so it sure was nice to watch the signal bars on my cell phone fade to zero. No more habitual e-mailing or texting, time to soak up the multi-sensory experiences of nature with my brother, and sketch some painting ideas.
Yosemite was the expected pinnacle of our journey and certainly lived up to that, with the Merced river calling us in for an afternoon baptism at the holiest of places, el Capitan... Crystal clear water and the golden sun elevated our swim to something far more spiritual. Truly magnificent, but the great fun of road trips is the unexpected highlights along the way; exploring a long forgotten sawmill, catching glimpses of wild animals focused on survival, watching various features of the terrain alternate from warmly lit to dark and cool as the clouds move across the sky, and experiencing absolute silence while hiking through Nevada valleys! Who would have guessed such serenity could be found in the same state that gave birth to Vegas.
We were welcomed back to civilization by the hustle and bustle of Southern California, but luckily the warm (what a nice surprise) Pacific Ocean provided us with great waves for what would be a family first - all five of us in the line up surfing together!