As it is for most people who encounter the Green Tortoise, my initial exposure was magically serendipitous. All boiling down to cosmic timing. A demi-glaze of time, if you will...
But rather than boring you with another story about being at the right place at the right time, I will tell you about some things that have happened to me since my initial encounter with the Green Tortoise.
I became a driver in the summer of 2007. In the first season I ticked off at least ten of my life's list of things to do and/or see before I die. Granted these are all things in The Great North American continent, so it's obvious I have a lot left on my list. But to mention a few, I saw great national parks like Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Yosemite, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, and Big Bend. These are all great places to see and to hike and do outdoor activities. But there is soooo much more.
Next are the places and things that I had an idea about. Things that I would want to see if ever given the time, taking a back seat to some of the previously listed items because of lack of knowledge or familiarity. But by no means lacking in meaningful experiences and fun. These are awesome cities like Austin, Memphis, New Orleans, and Chicago. State parks like Kodachrome, and national monuments like Devil's Tower. All still providing equally important experiences. I just didn't think I would ever have the time to get to them so they were on the back burner, so to speak, in terms of places to see.
Then I got to do the things I couldn't even have imagined. Not because of lack of imagination, but because they were the little know secrets of America. I like to call these "the things I didn't know, that I didn't know." These are off the beaten path and prove to be the most valuable experiences to me. Providing my life with moments like soaking under the brilliant Milky Way sky, in a bath tub that has literally become part of a giant geothermal calcium deposit, in Mystic Hot Springs, Utah. Or like the time when I met the "friendly" California gray whales. Having them sail underneath our tiny vulnerable ponga boat to take a look at us from the other side, and finally coming up to meet me nose to hand for a brief encounter of two alien species. Then there was the time that I spent in the Baja, at Playa Escondida. Camping on the beach, right by the water, hearing the sea lions go by at night. Watching the hummingbirds chase each other away in a quixotically territorial display of might. Eating fresh sushi harvested right out of the Sea of Cortez. Waking up everyday just before the sun breaks the horizon with the promise of a new adventure.
But there is still more. That's all great stuff, it's like the banana split of experiences, the fresh bananas are the national parks, the ice cream is the great American cities, and national monuments. The whipped cream is the Mystic hot springs and fresh sushi. But what could possibly make all that any better? What is that cherry on top?
For me the cherry on top is that one friend you didn't know, that you didn't know! That friendly stranger from Madakhazikstralia. The one you feel like you knew all along, They've been having a life that parallels your own, but on the other side of the planet. That person that the conversations just roll off the tongue with, you can have whatever opinion you want, you can agree to disagree. The friend you didn't know at the beginning of the trip but will have for the rest of your life. That, for me, is my cherry on top.
Tuesday, May 19. 2009
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
The author does not allow comments to this entry