Tuesday, March 10, 2009


First an Eco-Plug:

I don't know about where you live, but where I live, the garbage piles up unmercifully along the side of the road during the winter. I plan on getting out and picking some of it up as soon as it gets dry out there again (we've gotten another several inches of snow). So that is my plan, to pick up at least 10 pieces of garbage, or more, every day that I can and hopefully make my little bit of world a better place.

As for now I want to write a bit about some things that I remember about riding through the mountains.

Lay back in your seat as the wind blows past the window, in fact roll it down and feel the air make your hand rise and fall and your hair whip around in the wind, until it gets too cold to bear.

The towering walls of the canyon rise on either side of you, you glance a bit uneasily at the debris of rocks and stone guard rails. The magnificent rock, cut out by dynamite shows the stratus layers of silt and granite, Lyme stone and sandstone, all alternating in prominence as you travel rising steadily upward. The incline so gradual that you hardly notice it, yet you notice as the car yanks your body this way and that as it makes its way over the windy road.

There is a turn off, by the falls. Your body is so used to the yanking and turning, the bumps of the road, that when you slow down to turn the feeling of sudden cessation creeps in.

Slowly you find your way to the road that turns off and up onto the rocky cliff they call Squaw Peak.

The feeling of rising, yanking and bumping begin a new. Rise, yank, bump!! Except this time the guard rails and the edge of the cliff are right outside your window. As you rise the distance between you and the bottom steadily increases. You glance down for a moment then quickly turn away as you realise what it would really be like to topple over the edge.

Rising, rising then suddenly dad decides to do something crazy, he speeds up and runs the car towards the cliff. The shoulder of the road rises up the side of the mountain, and he is speeding full throttle at it. You grip the door handle, you grit your teeth, through clenched jaws you yell at your dad, who has a wicked grin on his face. The wheels of the car bump as you hit the sandy shoulder of the road, then they rise in a circular pattern as you are tipped up and into the side of the car.

Then you come back down and head back towards the lane you were in again, but still anxious because you are temporarily on the wrong side of the road. Suddenly the cliff and the edge seem a lot better than the tipping and speed of shoulder buffing.

But then you remember, your in the car with a maniac who runs towards cliff shoulders and you grip your seat again. Still steadily climbing, higher and higher, until you reach the precipice where other cars are parked.

Feeling relieved, you get out with your road numbed body and walk to the edge that you have been avoiding. At least here the mountain rounds down in less of a steep incline and people are sitting out on the slight hill. To get a better view of the valley you cross the parking barrier and carefully tread your way on the foot path.

As you gaze out, you can see for miles, cities upon cities, emerge from the mists. Gradually the light begins to fade and you can see the homes lighting up, the stadium, the hospital, the magnificent lake. Spread out before you is a sea of sparkling jewels.

A gentle breeze stirs the leaves on the tree's as a reminder of the cliff's and you feel a bit uneasy sitting out there, so close to the edge. But you can't help it, it is fascinating to identify roads and to view the cars, as if ants, driving along them.

After a time, you start to feel a bit chilled, so everyone somehow mutually decides to climb back into the car, with the maniac. You tease him about his driving, poking fun at the anxiety, goading him a little. Then you find that you are descending down, down, round, yank, round. Until you come out onto the main road and the car speeds up buzzing along the road, until you finally get home. Numb and tired you go off to bed.

1 comment:

June Saville said...

I once had a husband who drove like that. Any long trip was so stressful I escaped by going to sleep. Seems impossible, but it's true.
Loved the pix - even though man had got at the mountains with dynamite.
Rubbish collection - that's what we all did in Australia and we have a clean country now. We've changed our culture ...
June in Oz