"Afoot, lighthearted, I take to the open road. Healthy, free, the world before me."--Walt Whitman from Song of the Open Road
The best moments, the kind that makes me acutely aware about the pleasure of being alive--happens on the road: booming past Southwest buttes with the west wind shoving the car and a huge blue sky overhead. Tunneling beneath a chromatic woodland of aspens somewhere in the Sierra Nevada mountains, winding along the hairpin curves of the California coast, with the sea stacks shimmering in the Pacific mist. Driving in awe under walls and canopies of centuries-old giant trees, miles of dirt roads that seem to go on forever, until it ends in the promised view. Nothing brings the world back to a personal dimension better than a drive on the open road.
They say who you travel with is just as important as where you're traveling to. When you pack a handful of good friends, or your family in a speeding vehicle winding down majestic scenery, there is no escape from one another. There is nothing to distract from the pleasure of one another's company and the conversation except for the beautiful landscape unfolding before you. All you have is each other, your stories, and the promise of the destination that lies ahead.
This week, I am driving with my family to explore the last remaining California terrains on our list. Worthwhile stories, design notes and scenery when I get back.
Above: The misty splendor of the Big Sur coast.
Right: Driving through the Giant Forest at Sequoia National Park.
Below: The majestic sandstone buttes of Zion National Park in Utah.