Location: 395 South of Lee Vining
“Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair! Shining, gleaming, steaming flaxen waxen–!!”
Our voices bellowed against the heated winds as Arizona and I sang songs from the Broadway musical “Hair.” We rolled into a rest area along 395 south, having come from Travertine Hot Springs with some traffic jams along the way. It is here among the RV’s and mini vans filled to the rim with families that I begin to see the outskirts of Yosemite. Although, I will not be venturing into the National Park this trip, I feel the sensation of peace wrapping around the trees with the breeze unyielding that leads to this unique area among the Eastern Sierras.
There are buildings with maps, snacks and latrines and areas where travellers can walk their dogs and themselves giving them a break from their weary journeys. Or a way to get away from the murderous nagging sensation their passengers bring. The sun, in the heat of the moment, beats down, scorching the parking lot as the vehicle doors swing open. The clown cars with hordes of families from suburbia made their great escape from their vehicles. They pay no attention to the epic scenery that will drape their pee breaks.
I walk across the dry land, attempting to ignore squabbling children upset that their smart devices are not holding a charge. One woman who throws her door open immediately complains about the heat as she escapes from her air conditioned haven. The temperature has risen to 98 degrees. Arizona and I do not run the ac in Lady but rather save on gas and energy. There was only one time on a trip to Vegas when Blue’s eyebrows began to melt off, the cobwebs were dusted off and cool air began to flow.
Arizona left and ventured among the tourists as I went off onto the outskirts of the rest area, stumbling upon a dirt road that led off into the distance. My back facing the black top of civilization I was taken in by the scene that followed. The snowy tops of the Sierras drinking in the sky, luring my soul into the sanctuary of nature. “Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.” John Muir once stated on his trailblazing days among the Sierras. Down this path travelled I saw the power lines of humans and the fleeting motions of the pines that swept in their own green ocean. Through the magical portal a whole new world and state of mind existed and I was urged to explore more. Where did this road lead; maybe into the belly of Yosemite? How many steps have been walked down this strange little road to somewhere? Were they as awestruck by the beauty as I was or had the scenery become so mundane to them that it was filtered past their senses?
We finished conducting our business at the rest area. Refilling our water bottles and cleaning out refuse from Lady. Our eyes set on the horizon of 395 as we began to bring our minds to our home away from home: Bishop California.