Thursday, October 31, 2013
Words by Greg
Photos by Greg and Trina
The days, now, are cool. Nights are nipping toward freezing. The time for summer road trips is over. But the season for posting photos from our summer road trip is upon us. At last.
Late summer. We headed northward, aiming for a known mountain bike mecca. But then re-trimmed our route and destination in order to avoid the forest fires and smoke that were plaguing that area. And we ended up spending a portion of our trip amid (and as part of) another sort of plague. We dutifully drove our way from one parking lot to another, walked to one designated overlook after another, stood and stared at each stamped, signed, approved scene, bumper to bumper, shoulder to shoulder with others of our kind. Our cameras clicked away amid the dozens, hundreds, thousands of other clicks. As we joined the mass of humanity visiting some of the most iconic scenery in the American West.
Not our usual scene. Our bikes stayed on the back of the truck. The dogs were mostly kept in the truck. We didn't lolly-gag for hours with our surroundings. We came. We saw. We captured. Each view and image an echo of images past. Images from minutes past. Days past. Decades and even centuries past. Millions of views and impressions of each prescribed sight.
And yet, despite the crowded company. Despite the structure. Despite the long, tedious history of people traveling from far away just to see. Despite. We were still taken with awe.
For these landscapes are indeed amazing. They can, and do inspire. There is drama and passion in the workings, made visible, of the planet. Where water and color and motion combine. Where the underpinnings of the earth come near the surface with fascinating expression of heat and steam, pressure and release. With boiling mud, steaming lakes, delicate hues. With soaring, fractured stone, torn, wrenched and eroded into mountains that catch the imagination. With creatures, once common, now sheltered, maybe even stifled, in these places.
We spend much of our outdoor time being awed by smaller, less grand sights, exploring and being amazed by simple minutia. And we found it was easy to open ourselves to the grand, iconic scenery of the West. To look with wide eyes and to imagine the forces and motion that continue to shape an amazing planet. And to stand, shoulder to shoulder, with others seeking that sense of awe.
We came. We saw. We captured. And left satisfied.