Ramblings

ON MY WAY TO FINDING A WEATHER station in Las Vegas, the new home of a friend of mine, I got sidetracked. I did find the proper station so I could follow the weather patterns, but also found myself reminiscing over long ago family trips.

Probably long before the “new” Highway 101 and 5 were well established, my dad used to drive us up and down the old two-lane Hyws 101, 99 and 395 to take us on our holiday-to-the-relatives and our annual vacations. In my wanderings with the map, many memories were triggered. So many. In the past, I’ve actually retraced—or at least tried to retrace my dad’s paths … trying to find any bit of the old roads. Using key landmarks helped, but even those finally disappeared in the name of progress. But lacking landmarks doesn’t stop me. I love poking into the corners of my past.

One path I have not tried—and there are so many memories attached to this route—is Highway 395. June Lake is somewhere off of Hwy 395 and there are some fond memories from that area—both with me as a kid and as a young wife with my husband and my youngest brother. My weather station hunting had me deciding to trace the road on the map to see how feasible it would be to make a trip. It begins just west of Hisperia in the high desert of Southern California, which is about 40 miles south of Barstow. It traverses the desert along the eastern edge of California and up into the mountains, jogging in and out of Nevada several times on its way up into Oregon. It dead ends the small town of Riley at the junction of Hwys 395 an20 (which travels east to west). Well, that’s what I thought. I went back to verify the name of that little town … and after a lot more searching, found that it actually dead ended in the city of Spokane, Washington near the surface streets of S. Lincoln St. and W. 4th Ave (sharing Hwy 90). Mind you, my recollections are that my dad only drove the California section—and only parts of that. I may be wrong … but I won’t know till I look at the map in more detail (was using my smart phone’s map app first, then focused on the route only, once I switched to the laptop computer)—I wasn’t looking at what was around the route.

But the entire route, my friends, is not a quick little jaunt—that amounts to a 1,170+ mile drive! So, if I decide to make it an adventure, I’ll probably stick to the California section. As it is, that will take quite some time—perhaps three separate trips. And, with winter setting in soon, the majority of it will need to wait til spring and summer—I do not have a snow-worthy vehicle. Sure—I’m capable of driving in snow … and I could get chains for the snowy bits, but I’d rather not deal with that much cold and be putting my safety in other driver’s hands (I know I can drive in it, but what about other tourists?) …

So, I will be writing a travel blog sometime next year (maybe) about mapping out the route, packing and the actual trip (I’m sure there will be plenty of photos to insert)—in addition to my “regular” trip blog about another travel across the Pond … this 2018 trip may be my “Swan Song”—the last trip to the UK and abroad, so I’m going to do it up right.

I’ve done so little traveling of late—I am getting restless. On Black Friday, I turned my errand-running into a driving adventure  I took back roads and routes I’ve seldom (if ever) taken to get to my destinations and had a blast—and the weather was magnificent. I’m thinking I need to do this more often—even once the rain begins to be a nuisance. Perhaps once a week will suffice. I’ll have to play with timing to see how it goes—I’m a big fan of spontaneity, so who knows when my next jaunt will be (insert huge grin …)

May your Friday, your weekend and the whole of next week be blessed with spontaneous happenings.

 

Adventures

HMMM…I POSTED A SHORT GREETING directed at my friends this morning on my personal Facebook page that got me to thinking…”May your day be blessed with adventure (of any kind) and joy.”  So many people have such a narrow definition when they think of “adventure”, which is why I added the parenthesis, but I don’t think that really covers it or adequately explains what I was trying to imply.

Perhaps it is because I have encountered so many different types of adventures (and some ‘misadventures’ also) that my definition has expanded.  I decided I needed to look it up…

The dictionary’s very first definition is very precise, and not what I expected — at least not completely:

adventure |adˈven ch ər; əd-|
noun
an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.

Typically hazardous?  Really?  Reading on:

daring and exciting activity calling for enterprise and enthusiasm.

Okay, so looking further (ever noticed that once you look up one word, you need to look up others?), enterprise is defined as a project or undertaking, typically one that is difficult or requires effort.

There we go.  Hazardous, difficult or requiring effort.  I would not think of adventure as requiring any of this.  But then, I’ve never been typical, so I’ll go with the very first part of the definition:  unusual and exciting; daring and exciting…

As far as I’m concerned, anything that takes you out of your ‘box’, out of the ordinary, everyday routine we frequently find ourselves in (and are entirely too comfortable with to change) can be labeled an adventure.  Walking down the street and choosing to take a left turn instead of the usual right could result in a lovely adventure.  The thought of seeing different things to stimulate the mind always excites me.  I shake up my routines on a regular basis because of this — taking different routes to and from places I regularly need to visit; changing the paths I walk to make new discoveries and reacquaint myself with old landmarks.  Those are adventures.

I mentioned ‘misadventures’ — what I meant by that was…well, it’s easier to give an example:  My daughter and I were traveling in Europe by car with me as driver, she as the navigator.  Her map reading skills were good, and improved as we traveled, but even with those skills, trying to find street names — never in the same place, traversing strange (at the time) roundabouts created some serious tension in my navigator (she wanted to get it right!).  That is, until I gave her the simple explanations:  if we didn’t get lost (and we did this in nearly every city we entered–we always figured it out, eventually), these would be areas we would not otherwise discover and the nemesis called roundabouts were a delight because, if you missed your exit, you simply went around…and around…and around, until you got it right.  After that, things became much more lighthearted, more enjoyable — so much more fun, with lots of laughter.  We may have looked goofy (stupid tourists!), but we had a blast.

So, for me, an adventure is anything out of the ordinary, and even then, it could be ordinary, just not expected.  So, when I say “may your day be blessed with adventure,” I am hoping you take a tiny step out of your box to take a peek at life the way God wants you to see it, in all of its beauty and wonder.  Look at life as a child would: new, exciting, wonderful experiences.  Take in and revel in the sounds, the smells and textures of the mundane that surround you.  Enjoy life, don’t just trod through it.

Treasure your adventures today and always.  You will find your life enriched.