The Road Less Traveled

by on May 18, 2010

Sunset from Mt. Ashland

Sunsets and sunrises. Two of my most favorite things. This one was taken on one of our camping trips to a place called R Ranch which is just 18 miles south of the Oregon Border off I-5.

It’s right on the Klamath river and provides plenty of entertainment whether it’s inter-tubing down the river, skeet shooting, horseback riding or just plain relaxing.

Tom and I were tooling around on some of the old fire roads up there at the top of the mountain and I happened to catch this shot. It is one of my favorites. There were tons of quiet, out-of-the-way camping spots up there and some cool pic-nic spots, too. I love to explore.

Sometimes, when I am in the car driving back from one place or another I will decide to take a different route home, along a winding road, truly the road less traveled.It is so much fun. I did it one time heading back up I-5. I decided to take Hwy 198 to Coalinga and the took 25 up to Hollister. It was such a beautiful drive.  I had something fun on the radio and the windows rolled down.  What a total pleasure moment!

Another time I was in Bakersfield for a water works convention and I got there the night before. I had a car and the Greenhorn mountains were beckoning me to explore. It was about 5 PM, almost dusk and I decided to head up the road a ways. I drove past orange groves with the heady scent of blossoms heavy on the air past a little town called Bodfish to pretty little Lake Isabella. I drove a little ways further to where the canyon narrowed to a little town called Weldon and then my stomach started to call for food. It was time to turn around and head back to the Lodge where I was staying. It was wonderful.

Sunset in Sequoia

All of which leads me to a very funny story. One time Tom and I were exploring Sequoia National Park. We had only been married a few years. Tom did not truly know what he had gotten himself in to.What can I say? I had read many tales of what a truly beautiful place this area called Mineral King was. It was in the Southern portion of Sequoia National Park and I decided, ‘What the heck, let’s camp there!’ I then proceeded to sell Tom on the idea. All he wanted to do was find a place to camp for the night. We went past Giant Forest, which seemed like an awfully nice place to camp but I said, ‘No, let’s go to Mineral King.’

Unfortunately, that took us out of the park into a not so nice area filled with mesquite and creosote bushes and California Chaparral. Tom loves the high mountains. He was getting very mad at me but I continued to sell the idea of how beautiful it would be in Mineral King and we persisted up the road. Trust me, it is no easy task. As we climbed back in to the mountains we encountered one of the windiest roads in California. I think there is even a sign that says how many twists and turns there are in the road. Only the heartiest souls are going to get there.

And just when I thought Tom was going to ask for a divorce we turned a bend and there before us was the visage of Sawtooth Peak and the entrance to Sequoia National Park. It was truly magical. I mean that in every sense of the word. At that point we started to look forward to the end of the road. Every twist and turn brought us closer to the end of our journey. And what an end it was!

That night we slept beside the Kaweah River and were lolled gently to sleep by the music of the mountains. We woke the next day and had breakfast at the Lodge at Silver City, a little area within the park where people have cabins that have been in the family for years. They lease the land from the government. Needless to say, Tom forgave me and we wound up having one of the best vacations, ever. We turned many of our friends on to this magical place over the years and have plenty of fond memories of hikes and  campfires along the Kaweah river in the High Sierra.

Be Sociable, Share!

Previous post:

Next post: