Some people like to say, "Eat well, do good, get exercise, and die anyway," as some sort of excuse for partying, being unhealthy and/or being inconsiderate. This logic has no place in a happy, fulfilling and successful life. Regardless of when you die, you want the life you live today, and tomorrow to be the best life you can possibly have. There is no excuse for not doing the best for yourself and the best you can for those you love. Even if I were going to die in six months, I still would continue my diet exactly as I do (if not do even better) because I want the highest quality for my life. The quantity is quite irrelevant.
~Raederle Phoenix Jacot
"Are you really sure that a floor can't also be a ceiling?" ~ M. C. Escher
So, late Friday night, nearly midnight, we departed (Lytenian, my father and I) for a weekend adventure north of Lytenian's location. I didn't realize, at the outset, how far we intended on traveling. Lytenian and I slept through the early part of the trip, and a little after dawn we woke up. We were along a coastal highway and had a marvelous view of the ocean. We stopped a few times to admire it's powerful waves.
It wasn't far into the day before the GPS directed us onto a remote dirt rode as being the 'fastest' way to a mountain of interest. (A destination we hoped to reach by nightfall.) Perhaps it needs a setting that says 'no four wheel drive' or 'car' vs being in a pick-up truck.
The winding dirt road was beautiful however. We didn't complain because of the dramatic scenery. Redwood trees rising up far, far, far above the car, and a glimpse into a forest so dense that it was completely dark when you looked deep within despite the bright sunlight. Gnarled white-barked trees covered in green moss that appeared to 'drip' from it's branches were scattered through the forest. Up and up we climbed, and still, the road remained ragged.
“Surely it will lead to a paved road soon,” we thought. We were in a national forest of sorts, and climbing the mountains, higher and higher. Over one foothill, and then onto a larger one. The road began to have more pot holes and more and more often we needed to slow down to ten miles an hour or even five miles and hour for them. The curves were often sharp and unlabeled with signs to warn us to slow down (not that we were foolish enough to go whipping around them), and there certainly wasn't any lines on the road. Thank goodness we did this in daylight.
We began to think of this mishap as a blessing because it was incredibly beautiful. We stopped for waterfalls, and springs and an overlook of a river. We climbed down rocks from the side of the road to examine some large moss-covered rocks more closely and then scaled those rocks as well. Lytenian helped me quite a bit with this adventure, even though it was (sort-of) my idea.
The coast was beautiful, the moss-covered trees and the red barks were wonderful, the rocks and the falls and river were nice as well. The road however, just kept getting worse, and the altitude just kept rising. We begin to see snow along the side of the road, to our surprise. We hadn't realized we were climbing that far up.
Now and again we'd see a little patch of snow on the road. I thought the snow intermingling with the moss-covered rocks was particularly beautiful. The road had essentially only one lane, but it didn't seem to matter since we were the only crazy people up there. We didn't see a soul on that dirt road out there.
We came across hills now and then were the trees had all been cut down. It made us quiet and sullen. It was easy to crack jokes and be merry about the dirt road when surrounded by red bark, green moss, white bark, green plants, red plants, turquoise creeks, gray and pale stones... But when surrounded by the sheer wasted forest stumps we were miserable and subdued, and it highlighted how far up and out of the way we were.
We even passed through an area where heavy machinery (clearly used for logging) was located on either side of the dirt road. The mud was so bad we had to rock the car back and forth to get through one spot. We began to feel a little worried then about how far out we were.
The inclines were often sharp, but not so much that it was troublesome... Until the snow was no longer in patches, but covering the road. At first it was only in areas with shade, and shallow enough that it didn't cause much harm. The trees looked like a postcard for Christmas. They were lovely evergreens, fifty to eighty feet tall I'd wager. Maybe taller, some of them.
The snow itself wasn't so worrisome. The dirt road alone wasn't terrible. The mountain alone was nothing new to us at all. But the three put together meant little traction, rough going, and a sheer drop to the side. It couldn't have been much further from ideal. Then, we began to worry in earnest. Surely this would end? We'd get over the peak and begin back down, wouldn't we?
We hit a patch of snow and showed no signs of moving forward. Without missing a beat I grabbed my shoes and began putting them on. Lytenian seemed a little slow on the uptake. I opened the door and climbed out over him (I had blankets piled in the backseat on the other side.) He followed shortly, and we got the car moving again. It wasn't long though before we were stuck yet again.
I had to drive us out of a couple because we needed both my father and Lytenian driving. Speaking of Lytenian, I believe he's gone to bed and is waiting for me, so I ought to join him.
So, cliff hanger: How did we get out of the mountains?