These past few days, apart from obsessing over U2 and catching up with penpals, i’ve finally started to work my way through the backlog of books i’ve got tumbling off my shelves. And it IS a very necessary endeavor, let me just say…currently i’ve got a lovely edition a friend gifted me of the Once and Future King by T.H White acting like decoration, Cosmos by Carl Sagen dancing an odd tango with my copy of 1Q84 by H. Murakami , not to mention all the other fiction/decidedly not fiction books battling it out amongst my fashion/art magazines. So, with that mess in mind, I decided to slip Unweaving the Rainbow-R. Dawkins into my bag to take to work and read through on my lunch breaks.
I’ve gotten into the odd habit of purchasing books, “sciency” books as my friends like to say, on trips, and Unweaving the Rainbow was one that I bought back in January, when I stopped in at Gallery Bookshop, a beautiful bookstore in the ever gorgeous town of Mendocino, California. I had taken 10 days off to visit my best friend in San Francisco, but after finding out that her time off request had fallen through, I decided to take a small 3 day roadtrip up through Northern California to coincide with the days that she would be working. It was the first time I had gone off by myself on an adventure, a journey of my own design, and getting to see the beauty of Mt. Shasta , the foggy mountains in Oregon the swell of ocean waves in Crescent City and of course the monumental beauty of Redwoods (to name just a few of the places I was lucky enough to explore), it feels like such a big part of my past year, even if in actuality it was only a handful of days.
So, apart from being a ridiculously engrossing book to read while indulging my coffee addiction at lunch time, Unweaving the Rainbow also manages to put a calm joy in my heart that helps me get through the more challenging of days. Already for my next trip (whenever that might be!), i’m hoping to find a copy of Creation Revisited by P. Atkins to keep this “sciency” books tradition going…
There’s few places i’ve been to that I can truly say are blessed with indescribably beauty every where you turn, every curve of the road opening up to passage of even more open mouthed wonder and unbelievable vistas. True, I haven’t been every where on this Earth, so maybe my opinion doesn’t count for much, but I can at least say, with all the places i’ve been, the Northern California coast is just….. without words, without pretenses, lovely in the most raw of ways.
( It’s weird to be writing this so out of order, but apparently that’s just how I awkwardly roll. I already posted about the very last part of the last day of my California roadtrip at the Marin Headlands , and the first day at Mt. Shasta so it’s only fitting that somewhere out of this mad order I should post about the beginning of the second day. I think I’ll probably do some sort of master post when i’ve got it all out, and that will hopefully be soon, considering i’m heading on on another multi-location trip next month, but for now, this is the collection of words and photos I took while heading towards Grants Pass (“It’s the Climate”)- Oregon ,from Yrka, California.)
I woke up in Yrka, California (after driving up from San Francisco the first day) to ice frosted streets and chilly bedsheets. The sun was barely rising over the mountans this town was surrounded by, but by the time I was driving on the wonderfully named Cascade Wonderland Hwy, the valleys were showing signs of life. It’s wonderfully sparse out there, towns are very far and few between, and the landscape is dominated by the gentle mountains and wide, sprawling valleys that catch the early morning sunlight in a beautiful way. You pass the Oregon/California border without any fanfare, once second you’re in the most north part of the golden state and next thing you know, Oregon is rolling on underneath your wheels, and the road you’re on is called Pacific Hwy. My first stop of the day came when I passed what looked like something out of a movie, a tiny town covered by shimmering sunlit fog, and the sight of a lake, clear and crisp, dipped in rays of light. I couldn’t tell you much about Ashland, Oregon…. but Emigrant Lake was a fantastic way to fully wake up and enjoy the beauty of the area I was surrounded by. With the temperature hitting a chillness that could ice bones, matched with a wind that would strip them, I didn’t spend as long as I could have, but it was a privilege to watch the sun finish rising over the mountains in that lovely place.
Some more photos I came across from my trip back in January, from the drive I took from Ft. Bragg to Bodega bay (Ft. Bragg was a legend, Bodega Bay a bit of a disappointment.) Maybe it’s the years I spent growing up in the valleys of California, maybe it’s just that undeniable magic appeal of the sprit inherent over there, who knows what it is exactly, but it makes me want to dedicate months of my life to wandering all over and under it, to get it well and truly under my skin and embedded in my nails.
Still going through photos of my trip back in January through northern California, and I came across the last ones I took on the final day of my mini-roadtrip. Before heading back to my friends apartment in Daly City, I stopped in the Marin headlands, right by the waves, and though there was endless wandering potential, a haunting kind of encounter, I was content to just watch the sun set into the ocean and watch the shadows cast over the gentle slopes.