« Day 9: San Simeon to San Diego »

Be sure to look at the Treehugger Tour Photo Gallery with great captions to enhance these entries.

ed and kelli on the beach in northern california near eureka, a picture for the end of the tourWe awoke in San Simeon to a stormy oceanfront scene. All the rain that I had thought would be with us all through the rest of the trip was had today, nearly every minute of our seven hour drive. San Simeon shouldn't be that long a drive, but the rain was very steady and dense, and the traffic clogged up several points along the way. I drove the whole way today, and we stopped only for the necessary stuff, but also rendezvoused with my buddy/Best Man Mike Thaxton down in Orange County. We didn't chat long, as he got caught in family duties on the holiday weekend, and whatever half-baked plan we had sort of got chucked. Just as well, Kelli was nursing a cold and probably wanted to get home anyway.

The rain was so heavy in places, and the clouds so thick that there was absolutely no demarcation line between ocean and sky. No horizon. Most of the way down, the coastal view we got extended no more than a quarter mile. The gray was continuous, from the rocky shorelines, all the way up and around our heads. It looked like the rocks were actually the edge of the earth.

We stopped at Denny's for the last supper on our little California adventure. For dinner, we had breakfast. Today we didn't eat anything "proper" in the way of breakfast or lunch, so for dinner, we ate breakfast. (In California do things differently.) Upon my return, I got an email (one of about 170—all but about five were spam) from a feller up in the San Luis Obispo area who apparently found a business card I lost on the side of the road or as we pulled up to shoot some pix on the way up. He wrote to tell me he found a lot of good anti-Bush material on my blog, and in the poster pages. He gets the "most unique email of the week" award. Hey, at least he is environmentally conscious. I would have been more so if the wind wasn't so damned strong that day.

And now I return home to the "grind." It isn't really a grind like some know, but it is a routine that sometimes can be a little too similar. This is the first time I have been on a total vacation from life for years, unless you count the week I spent on Halcyon last year (and that wasn't really a total vacation from life, if you know what I mean). Going on this trip, Kelli and I agreed, was good for the soul, but also good for us as a newly married couple. It was a big deal for us to plan and to cooperate enough to get it done without tearing each other's heads off. Actually we were very well behaved, and we got up there and back with nary a messy argument! We both agreed that we felt a lot closer to each other.

But another thing that resonated with us both is how beautiful an environment is in its natural state. We live in San Diego, which is far from a natural place now. And to get to any place that seemed beautiful took about a 200 mile drive. To leave the phony and ugly suburbs was a good thing, but our little house here is wrapped in ring after ring of this shit, reaching out hundreds of miles before we can see a part of our state we don't usually see, but more specifically, land as God intended. We came to nickname our little tour the "treehugger tour" because we really used the time to savor the landscape. It sounds hokey to get excited about this stuff, but really, there is a lot wrong with the way people live now, and a lot of it has to do with a total disconnection from the land we live on. To get out of the "land of the disposable everything" has been a relief for us. At any of the places we saw, we tried to imagine what it must have looked like without all the fast food joints, car dealerships, malls, and parking lots. The simple fact of the matter is, the land is gorgeous and perfect without all that shit, and will never be better in any way with all that shit spread out like vomit. There is majesty in the huge redwoods, and there is art in the wine country, and there is elegance in the rolling hills along most of the 101. The land is perfect as it is. It doesn't need us, we need it. But is such a shame that we are utterly destroying it and calling it "progress." This isn't any new age hippy nonsense. This is stuff that any right thinking open eyed and open minded person should recognize. This is stuff that people around the world already believe and never stopped believing.

So, this trip has been food for thought in a lot of ways. It has given me time to reflect on my marriage, on the future of our way of life, on the oneness of everything. Seeing clouds and fog so thick and gray that they merge the sky and the water is one such example of how things are connected, and how no action exists in a vacuum.

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