Fifteen Hours? Both Ways?!

February 6, 2011 · 6 comments

“You guys drive FIFTEEN hours in one day to get back and forth between Teton Vally, Idaho, and Half Moon Bay, California?! Who DOES that?!”

Well, for starters, it’s probably people who really love both places. And each other. And in their better moments, they probably remember and remind each other that every day is a gift not to be wasted, so wherever you find yourself, be there.

They have to be willing to soak in that last sunset, then go straight to bed. O’dark:30 a.m. comes sooner than one even expects it might.

And they have play “team driving” well as they push through the black night for a couple of hours, all four eyes straining forward into the dark, searching just beyond the high beams for seriously stupid deer who decide that a highway is a better place to look for grass than, say, the field they were just in.

But once the sun starts to come up…

… and the alien beauty of the generally disdained scrub between Twin Falls and Wells reveals itself…

… you start to settle in and leave the deer to their own stupidity and let your mind and the conversation wander.

Unexpected opportunities for reflection appear through the mist. Sacred moments that ask “what?” and “why?” and “for whom?” of your singular and collective life.

And then the heat burns off the moment, and the light shifts, and you wonder if anyone’s going to believe that you didn’t futz with the saturation of the photo.

And then you’re pretty sure they won’t.

And then you’re certain.

And once you’ve chatted about how to think about new carpeting for the condo, and what gives rise to spontaneous democratic movements, and, do you remember which exit in Elko has the best grassy patch for the dog?… It’s about then that you notice the mid-day clouds clamoring for their turn in front of the lens.

We’ve done the drive dozens of times now, and last week was the first time we’ve ever seen the Hogwarts’ Sorting Hat descend on the mountains, leading naturally to a discussion about which house best suits the various individuals in our wide range of friends and acquaintances. Threads of this type are good for at least 12 minutes, and can be a surprisingly confirming and aligning team-building exercise. (While we had some variety of opinion on the candidates for Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, we were totally in synch on those we assumed would be sorted to Slytherin.)

And now we’re fully half way there, which is a good thing, since not everybody totally enjoys spending one of their precious days on a road trip. There’s always someone in the back seat asking…

… “Are we there yet?”

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Pegi Chesney February 6, 2011 at 9:19 pm

So I am your neighbor in HMB and I can relate. John and I drive to our second home in Oregon whenever we have the opportunity. We feel so blessed having both places to come and go to. THe weather here has been awesome so I hope you are in HMB and able to take in the beauty…Sunsets have been incredible..

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rickandkathy February 7, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Hey Pegi! Yup… the sunsets have been STUNNING in both places!

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Susan H. February 6, 2011 at 4:53 pm

The beauty of your prose and pictures is not lost on me…. But I gotta say that last pic of Winnie and his glorious poodle mug is the best!!

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rickandkathy February 7, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Is it just too precious if we agree?

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Susan Voss February 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm

John and I love driving together too. It makes it better that we both appreciate the rake of light across a hill, and the low lying valley haze of early morning.
How often do you make the trip? Glad you’re able to enjoy it so :o)

(and that cloud is a lenticular cloud, or “lenny” as sailplane pilots call them. Evidence of a wonderful “wave” of rising air over a mountain range.)

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rickandkathy February 7, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Susan, thanks for the insight about the lenticular cloud. Does that make it the opposite of a tornado? Hadn’t thought about the upside-down version before your comment…

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