Monday, February 21, 2011

Mountains, Clouds and to the Lake

To see snow on our Mayacama's in not an unusual Winter sight, but it is dramatic.  From the high point on our way home from the Lake with the dogs I could see The Geysers puffing.  It is a remarkable sight.

Many love to travel to the snow.  Not me.  I prefer to keep my capers warm.  I have been known to hike into the mountains in Oregon, but the reward was a hot springs bath, either in the freezing stream, or snuggled in old cedar tubs.  I could be convinced to do that again, but not in the snow.  It is much more sane for me to stay warm, that way I am not grumpy.

Hiking is not my favorite sport, either.  It is too much work, and I've never had enough to eat, or any security around my morning coffee.  At high elevations I could never get the water to boil.  Anywhere else, like flatland hiking, I had to drink it black, which means no cream, which brings up the question, "Why Bother?"

The snow is too cold.  You have to drive in it to get to it, which is just wrong, if you ask me.  I much prefer a short little 5 hour flight to Hawai'i, landing warm, purchasing dresses and flip-flops at the open-air vendor, renting snorkel gear and driving for a little while to your house for the week.  Eating fruit and fish for days is my idea of Heaven, with Kona coffee in the mix for good measure.

And swimming.  I love to swim.  No, I do not swim between straight lines.  I can, and love to swim for hours, until I am pickled and weary.  I swim, float, tread water, float, back-stroke, front-stroke, dog paddle, float, tread water:  Bliss.  I am not afraid of the water, and I love all bodies of water; rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, the ocean.  There is a spot on Highway 101 north of here, where a sign is posted at the crest of a hill, "Russian River Watershed."  It feels like home when I see it.  I live in a watershed.  Well, we all do, whether we recognise it or not, I suppose.  With cars and highways and Internets our awareness of canyon, valley, mountain range, ridge, gorge, plateau, deer trail, swamp diminishes, in fact, may disappear altogether.

A watershed encompasses it all, from the top of the mountains to the river bed.

Emerson is a talker.  A whiner.  A moaner.  We just do not get where we're going fast enough for him.  And, I must say, he is one handsome Labrador.  He is big and strong and ready to go for broke.  All day.  Every day.  He also loves towels:  he wallows in his blue towel after his swim, and if he finds one hanging where he can reach it, he wraps himself in it with snorts and grunts.  It does seem a little weird, now that I am describing it, but we laugh and enjoy towels with him.

Yeah.  Yeah.  Let's just get there;  patience, Luna, it is not so long ago that you were the anxious pup, whining and drooling to get to the Lake.

If one happens to listen to NPR, or watch PBS, one cannot help but notice that the world is in an uproar at this point in time.  My head is not in the sand.  I purchase really spiked-up-in-price gasoline, to take my dogs to the Lake.  In ways it does seem crazy, and immaterial to do so.  I could, and do, take them on walks, which does not use gas.

"It's kind of a melancholy day," my friend Gail said this afternoon.  The clouds obscured the sun, creating sky of flat cream colored acres.  There are bursts of pink blossoms, and the Buck Eye is leafing out into bright green umbrellas.  Spring is sending skunks and foxes to their demise on the freeway, the Ravens, hawks and Osprey are in pairs.  Life surges to express, regardless.  Spirit rises to Live.

It is a gift of a day, and now, evening.
Blessing it all.



N2 said...

Wow! I do not remember the elevation on the road back from the lake in Cloverdale being high enough for that outlook. Nice to see the overview with the snow on the peaks. And my Boyfriend and Girlfriend dogs as well, of course.

I'm off to my highest point for the day, the Grenier =o).
Bisous. N2

Jendocino said...

That first photo of the mountaintop and geysers is breathtaking! And I didn't even have to get my feet cold or wet to enjoy it. WIN!! And thanks!

Anonymous said...

LC, I'll lend you Gary Synder's essays on the necessity of honoring the watershed where you live as the focal point for personal political awaremess. And this lovely essay of yours seems ready to be a chapter in a memoir!

Kim and Victoria said...

I guess I never thought I'd love hiking in the snow, but I do when their is a warm yurt waiting at the end.
Water, no, not for me. Too many unknowns I think, in water.
Love your dogs.

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