Now that it is misleading to state that “it has been an age since I’ve put pen to paper,” do we say instead “it’s been an age since I’ve pressed keyboard to screen”? No matter, it seems as if many changes have occurred, many plans have been made, since my holiday missal on this blog. I’m using this one as a bit of catch up on all that has transpired in the last few weeks.
The title refers to our most recent trip, from Oakhurst, California, where my sister lives, to Lakewood, Colorado, where Max & Dottie & baby Lyle reside. Our travels involved traversing lots of fascinating rocky territory!
We had already flown to Denver on December 14, so that we could celebrate George’s father’s 90th birthday–4 generations of Boecks in one place! Pretty impressive.
We had to return home on the weekend after that event because we had guests coming to stay at our house over the holidays–and we chose the day of a huge snow storm to do our travelling!
More weather-related fun was to come: we had originally planned to drive to Denver for Christmas to be with the kids, but then things got complicated with visits, so we opted to fly out late on Christmas Eve, so that all the relatives would be together for the day. In the meantime, we went up to Oakhurst, to stay at my sister’s house, taking care of their 5 cats while they went to San Francisco (none of us are fans of Christmas sentiment, as you can tell). Conditions at their place, which is about 25 miles from the South Gate of Yosemite, was beautiful and clear, albeit cold, when we arrived. We planned to spend a few cozy days at their house before heading down to LAX and another trip to Denver.
Once again, Mother Nature intervened: a winter storm in CALIFORNIA closed The Grapevine–the treacherous pass across the mountain from the Central Valley into Los Angeles–so we couldn’t get to the airport for our flight. We thought of taking the alternative route via the coast, but even that road was supposed to get floods and mud slides. So we said OK, it’s fated, we’re driving, I guess, and headed out on Boxing Day, December 26….
We were incredibly lucky with the weather: the sun shone the entire way through California, Nevada, a little bit of Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. Crystalline skies and bitterly cold temperatures meant that the snow already there stayed there, and all the rocky and tree-studded hillsides were covered in glorious white snow, causing a softening of the monumentally craggy rock surfaces. The photos above were all taken out of the car window as we drove on the 80-mph freeways through this magisterial landscape. I was fascinated by the patterns that the snowy backdrop created on so many surfaces that in the summer, when we last came through this same landscape, appeared rubbly, congested, and scratchy. I want to make wrapping paper designs or book covers out of them!
Except for my grousing about the bumper-to-bumper traffic all the way from Barstow to Las Vegas–I really do not like Vegas, although friends are trying to convince me that it has worthwhile cultural attributes–our ride was long but pleasant, and we arrived without incident nor storm into Lakewood after some 18 hours of driving in our 2011 Honda. We will be here, in the bosom of the family, for about a week, then begin our trek home by the southern route, hoping to stop in Taos and Tucson to see places we haven’t been to in nearly 40 years. All of this because of one little creature who these grandparents can’t get enough of (the baby, but also the cat):
And then, my friends, the adventures continue! True to our word (see the holiday letter), we are determined to be out of the country for what will surely be a torturous and lamentable 100 first days of this odious new administration. So far, we have arranged to be in Australia in January-February (in the wilds of the South Coast of NSW with no TV and no internet on Inauguration Day!); Mexico in March-April; and (hopefully) Europe in May-June. In each place, we are determining if we could live there more cheaply than in California (we can’t afford our house in Pasadena now that we’re on retirement funds only), but also considering places of refuge for friends and family should it come to that.
So the blogfest begins again! Stay tuned!