It is hard to wrap my journey from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon in just one sentence. My first visit from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West was a few years back on a tour bus. My second trip which I took recently from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim was by car. Two different journeys and different experiences. Today I will reflect on my recent journey during which I stopped at several points along the way, some known and some unknown and in turn experienced this trip uniquely.
Category: United States (Page 1 of 5)
The zeitgeist of modern life gives us a quick fix to all our problems in three steps. 1. Set goals. 2. Tie that goal with a number. 3. Strive to reach that number. Think about your health (calories, blood sugar level, IQ..to name a few), financial and social worth, screen time per day, quality hours with family, steps taken per day…just name it! Such a fix can produce feelings of apathy and powerlessness for sure. I am also not immune to this system. But I found an escape from this tiring number game. I escape to nature. I escape to mountains, oceans, forests, gardens, deserts, and sometimes to the middle of nowhere, far away from cities. And if it is springtime then refreshing green leaves and wildflowers everywhere beckon not just me but my pen and my diary. This year I am welcoming spring, with California wildflowers blooming in every corner.
To muse, to creep, to halt at will, to gaze
~ William Wordsworth
“Train” – is a magic word for me. On innumerable occasions, it has covered distances between me and my dreams. It has taken me to the nearest locations to see the magnanimous Himalayas, the Thar desert, surrounded by sand, space and silence, the waves in the oceans, many countries in Europe and recently the wilderness in the USA. Beautiful steam train rides near San Francisco gifted me exhilarating delights when I saw the curls of silent white steam winding its way through the leaves of the redwood trees.
Before driving through the Blue Ridge Parkway in reality in my 30s, I drove through it in my dreams during my twenties! My dream was to drive miles after miles amidst unbound beauty and was not limited to any particular country. In reality, when I drove through the Blue Ridge Parkway, I felt exhilarated not because it is one of the most scenic routes in the USA but because the reality connected me to my long cradled dream. Eventually on the way, on many occasions, my thirty-something me met my twenty-something me.
The rain was pouring incessantly on the sweet Saturday evening while I was inside the beautiful auditorium of the San Francisco Ballet and was reveling in the flow of music, dance, and drama. The on-stage ballet was a welcome break from the constant presence of screens in our lives. Dancers, musicians, background stage sceneries and a spirited audience transported me to a world of chivalry; a world of adventure; the world of Don Quixote. The refreshing cadence of this ballet rekindled a memory and my mind traversed back to Madrid’s Plaza de Espana, which I visited a couple of years ago in Spain. The plaza features a stone sculpture of the author
Miguel de Cervantes and two famous characters of his novel – Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.
San Francisco – the hilly city in northern California which is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay has a unique charm. If you ever visit San Francisco, don’t just see its best views but also feel the vibes that this city has to offer. Let the sweet breeze intoxicate you, let the sounds of sea waves relax you, let the aroma from the restaurants around the Fisherman’s Wharf greet you and let the views ingrain some indelible moments in your mind. Recently, I savored and saw the best views of San Francisco riding an E-tuk from Dylan’s Tours. I managed to pop inside all the postcard-perfect and famous frames in San Francisco in one day.
While standing inside the National Lynching Memorial or the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, in Montgomery, Alabama, I read these death notices.
- After an overcoat went missing from a hotel in Tifton, Georgia, in 1900, two black men were lynched, whipped to death while being “interrogated” in the woods.
- Mary Turner was lynched, with her unborn child, at Folsom Bridge at the Brooks-Lowndes County line in Georgia in 1918 for complaining about the recent lynching of her husband, Hayes Turner.
- William Donegan was lynched in Springfield,
illinois, in 1908 for having a white wife.
- Ernest Green and Charlie Lang, both 14, were lynched in Shubuta, Mississippi, in 1942 after a white girl said they were threatening.
and the list goes on ……
If I could I would divide the rest of the leisure days of my life in two ways. On some days, I would like to roam freely in wide and open spaces in nature – sea, mountains, meadows, forests, deserts and on some days I would rather confine myself in a cozy room and contemplate. Recently during my trip to Blowing Rock, a beautiful mountain village on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, my days were exactly the way I would like them to be.