RogueMuirHead: Photography and Writing

Travertine Traffic Jam!: Roadtrip September 2016

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Location: 395 South Bound toward Bishop

I did checked in on facebook at the Marine Corp training facility. There was enough signal strength my my Samsung Galaxy Core, the bottom line smart phone, to let me do a little silly thing with my social media. I wonder each time I take Sonora Pass what the soldiers must be thinking, to be blanketed by such a view. My father trained near the Adirondack Mountains when I lived in upstate New York.This is what humanity has become though, prepare for battle in the peaceful bliss of nature’s embrace.

Arizona and I stopped outside Bridgeport in the valley with the blazing sun, surrounded by the mountains. Cows are grazing, ignoring the pile of cars lining up to continue along 395 south.

A quick stop to the Travertine Hot Springs will sooth the soul, before the journey continues to Bishop. The peaceful and yet anxious drivers are eager to get underway.

‘Transitioning from summer to fall, the modern desires becoming sanctuary for all. There are no regrets here. Is this who I am becoming?’ These words waned through my head as I stared out at the heat.

“Oh my god swallowing is so good!”  Arizona broke my thought process in the dead of traffic. She had discovered one last piece of ice in her coleman cup. I laughed as she spoke popping her ears from the varying difference in elevation. “What?” She started at me as we both laughed.

Arizona and I had many conversations on friends and life. She is calming. Enjoying these moments that we are creating in the valley.

The cows are still grazing and one gentleman is escaping his minivan to determine the length, and possible time, the jam will continue.

“Welcome to the party, old friend!” I smile and wave at him. He nods in my direction with a sweaty grin as he returns to his mini van.

There is a sign marking the 280 junction to Bodie, six miles. The 167 Hawthorne junction eighteen miles. And then onward to Los Angeles, three hundred and fifty-eight miles. A slightly rusty South US 395 sign hangs in the balance below the view of the mountains.

Behind the sign the mountains slope and jab into oblivion, revealing the natural history that resides on the man dwelt landscape. The top of the mountains are so naked. Only blemishes of snow encapsulate various areas.

We decided not to do Travertine, but keep on the road towards Bishop. The road work is causing issues with the flow of traffic. There would be difficulties getting in and out for sweet volcanic satisfaction.

There was a massive man made fire a few weeks after Arizona and I were here last. It spread, decimating some of the dry pine and other natural wonders of Mammoth Lakes. According to a few articles there was a massive evacuation and 395 was shut down for a while towards the end of June 2016. No injuries or casualties but the dry climate will make it difficult for the ecosystem to bounce back after such an assault.

The mountains cast a shadow over the valley paving way for the sanctuary of it all from the rays of the sun. 

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