It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
LOVE OF PLACE
I've never been outside the United States except for a trip to Vancouver and Victoria on Vancouver Island in Canada..., oh, and a trip over the border to Tijuana once so we could say we had been in Mexico.
A few years ago we were given a very special gift cruise to Alaska( from our family ) for our 40th wedding anniversary which was one of the highlights of our lives. The family took turns staying up here and taking care of the farm. We could not have left if they hadn't been here to watch over everything for us.
The Prospector and I are not "well traveled" folks. We will probably never see Europe, China or Africa, but that's ok. You see, when you have a small farm and farm animals you can't just leave whenever you like. We also have two very old dogs that don't travel very well, and are kind of spoiled ( they sleep inside at night, yes they do. ). We have one neighbor within sight( although at quite a distance ) and lots of "carpe diem" beasts waiting in the bushes that wait for us to leave our animals to their skillful predatory ways.
So we take DAY TRIPS; and in this beautiful state, you don't have to go very far to find somewhere that takes your breath away. You just have to get in the car and drive a few miles in any direction. Sunday we did just that.
Sunday morning we drove south on Highway 49 to Sonora and then east into the mountains to PINECREST LAKE. The Prospector was "scouting a campsite" for next summer's fishing trip. Yes, it's an obsession on his part, but it's also a necessity because reservations open for July camping in February and you can't find a good , long multi car, trailer, people site in 10 feet of snow. So we took a drive up to the lake for the day and what a beautiful day it was. Don't ask me why the boys don't scout the "perfect" site during the summer, WHEN THEY ARE CAMPING, but I think it's part of some family ritual that goes way back before I was a part of all this. It's all about the quest for the "Perfect" place to spend that one week in the summer with fathers, sons and daughters. It's about TRADITION.
The Prospector walked through the empty campground (that is closed for the season) and looked for long, open sites that could accommodate 4 vehicles, a tent trailer, a boat and 7 to 10 people. I took pictures with my new Nikon (I should be getting a kickback from Nikon for all this free advertising) and walked, with wonder, around this beautiful place that has always been such a part of our lives.
We camped up here ,when we were first married, 40 some years ago, and as much as I give my husband and his brother a bad time about all the pre-planning and strategic groundwork that surrounds this week in the summer, I do understand. The rivers and lake are so clear, the mountains so close, the trees reach heaven and the world of Pinecrest Lake shines a little more brightly than most other places on earth...., and then, of course, there's the family history. Their father brought them here. The prospector brought our sons here...., and, for the first time last summer, our son brought his first born up here. The tradition continues. It's important..., its about continuity, love of a special place and memories.
( Please click on photos for a closer view. )