The road trip from San Francisco to Death Valley is full of picturesque scenes at every corner. I did this road trip during the early summer months and the journey was as beautiful as the destinations. I stopped at several places before spending a night at Mammoth Lakes on my first day and reached Death Valley the next day at night. I switched into vacation mode the moment I reached Long Barn on CA state route 108. The road was blanketed in mist, a mystery that unfolded slowly. So if you are a California road trip aficionado or are just curious, join me virtually on this super scenic California road trip to Death Valley.
Category: United States Page 1 of 6
The Upper and Lower Mesa Falls on the way to the Yellowstone National Park from Idaho is a must-see place for nature lovers. Wrapped in wilderness and calm, the Mesa falls will instantly uplift your mood anytime. On our long drive to West Yellowstone from Idaho, I loved the short trip to Mesa Falls deep in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest and enjoyed a short hike from the Upper Mesa Falls to the Lower Mesa Falls.
I can’t breathe
I couldn’t breathe when you uprooted me
To the shores of an alien land
Shackled on boats 400 years back
From the cradle of humanity
I couldn’t breathe when you worked me to death
In the sugar and cotton plantations
So that you could colonise the “new world”
The land of the Algonquian and Iroquois
A beautiful public garden with numerous meandering paths by the Pacific Ocean, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens presents the visitor with blooming flowers and sumptuous ocean views. A must visit place in any trip to Mendocino in northern California, especially in the summer. I visited the gardens during one such memorable trip and here I am writing down a memoir complemented by a photo essay. Allow me to fill your screen with flowers – the living poems!
The Memory of Flowers!
When our vision meets a flower, magic ensues. The color of the flower or the fragrance can transport us to so many worlds. Our mind can quickly take a leap to many years back and we could sit beside the favorite flower pot in our childhood home. The smell of the rose can make our love-smitten moments alive that were lived decades ago. Perhaps we can conjure a future moment laden with beauty and poetry just like the flowers. A scope of infinite possibility to dwell in beauty spontaneously. A dynamic event, hard to reproduce or predict. Today, while walking down a known and habitual lane for my morning walk, I saw spring unfurled in almost every corner, and to my surprise, a completely unpredicted event happened. A few blooming flowers whisked my mind away to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg.
Washed in refreshing greens, the morning arrived. I greeted the morning with smiles and eyes full of gratitude. And then without wasting much of my time, I dressed up and rushed out of my room to relish every bit of the morning glory. I saw tendrils of mist were streaming over the Great Smoky Mountains afar under a cobalt sky. The moment aroused a whole orchestra of emotions in me. So I decided to spend some time contemplating with a cup of coffee at McKinley Edwards Inn in Bryson City, my refuge at the time.
In today’s era when technology refutes geographical distance, music helps me to cross the distance within. Music connects me to my inner self. I love spending my evenings sometimes filled with music; only music. It is to me is a tremendous mysterious element, a force of nature that I have to bow before. Recently, I got an opportunity to spend a musical evening with the San Francisco Symphony. I listened to Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique at the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco and went through layers of emotions within. Remembering a beautiful quote by Charles Darwin,
If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would have thus been kept active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.
In this social media and digital era, our minds are increasingly getting saturated with images and videos in different forms. Manipulation, reproduction, and distribution of images and videos can be done within seconds using powerful software that is accessible to all. From my understanding, these have manyfold results. People have the power to express and distribute their work like never before. But, the lack of uniqueness and originality leads to relentless production in order to remain in the top of people’s minds. This overproduction leads to saturation and nothing really registers in the mind of the viewers, good or bad. In other words, the shelf life of such images or artworks has decreased significantly. I being a blogger, who extensively uses various mediums to tell a story, always try to find the subtle balance between art and its commercial and mass appeal, a difficult task in this world of excess. When I heard about the exhibition on the effervescent pop art of Andy Warhol at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art or SFMOMA, I turned to the pop art maestro for inspiration and motivation to keep on creating.
Pinnacles National Park is just two hours drive from San Jose, the home of Silicon Valley, and the city which I call home for the last few years. One spring Sunday morning, when I woke up by the beam of morning light on my eyes, something in me wanted to follow that light. I went out and saw a beautiful morning awaiting with its wide open arms. I wanted to taste that morning glory slowly like one drinks a glass of wine. So, away from the hustle and bustle and ever busyness of city life, wilderness beckoned and off I went without any plans and expectations. Here I present a photo essay, or perhaps more appropriately, postcards from Pinnacles National Park.