Vast and Statuesque

Mist Rolling In

Just one day earlier, the depths of Crater Lake lay hidden in the smoky haze of an autumn wildfire. With the north entrance blocked due to fire activity, the sliver of campground along the Rogue River felt like the only moisture in the region. Yet on the following morning, I drifted towards the Pacific, and eventually found myself just inside the California state line nearing the coastal sparkle. Clearly Mother Nature was hoarding every damp drop as the mist created a similar appearance as yesterday’s murky view, but this time the fog hid the vastness in front of me.

I stopped at Wilson Creek Beach, cuddled up not too close to Crescent City where a left turn was a necessity. When I reached this small inlet, there was little to glimpse of the ocean hiding somewhere out there in the fog (see The Sun Comes With You from September 2018). Here I stopped to allow myself to take in the ocean, to breath it in, to gaze upon it, to inhale the salty savoriness, and to enjoy being chilled in its presence. The charcoal shades of the rock added to the darkness cast by the low clouds, eliminating the colors that might appear on the various rocks protruding from the water. I’m enclosed in a small cove on three sides by the road, the low cliffs to my right and left, and the layer of fog preventing me from seeing the edge of the world.

Unimpressed, Yet Inspired

Farther south I weave through Redwoods National and State Parks. In less than twenty-four hours, I hit three national parks, all new checkmarks on my bucket list, this being the second. I find a place to park and again immerse myself in the moisture of the shores and the aroma of the trees. Delano (see Ode to Delano from January 2021) and I meander until we find a cozy spot where my feet can experience strolling among their heights. I discover from the interpretive panels that Lady Bird Johnson herself likewise enjoyed the redwoods trees towering above her, and this trail through this grove are both named for her. Thank you, Mrs. Johnson, for this walk and this moment.

I perceive that these rich redwoods lack the girth of the delicate sequoias to my southeast. While it feels like a lifetime ago, it was a mere four years since I enjoyed a similar path through the Mariposa Grove (see Setting Scouting from May 2013) at Yosemite National Park. In comparison, I find Mrs. Johnson’s redwoods beautiful, yet less inspiring. What truly blows my mind is that in the past four months, I have driven from the Florida coast to farthest opposite edge of the continent (see 20,000 Miles from January 2019). Delano and I have traversed an entire country, seen innumerable beautiful sites, and traveled onward by my own initiative. It wasn’t the ocean view that merited accolade and inspiration, rather my own ability to get myself across four time zones, dozens of states, just to stand tall among the tallest trees and feel large at the edge of the ocean.

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