I have this thing about me. I love the big trips, the Tokyo to Osaka two weeks with seeing everything and everywhere. I love the Italys and the Spains, the Londons and the Paris’. But in an equal and perhaps greater than sense, I love the small trips, too.
I went to Death Valley a little while back, just to see the Sliding Rocks. I drove some 5 hours to stay in a pretty bare bones hotel in the middle of literally nowhere to drive another couple of hours to see a rock with a groove behind it that could have just as easily been created by a park ranger.
It was totally worth it.
And now I’m another however many hours in the middle of another nowhere and having just seen the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Trees.
Not particularly interesting until you learn that some of them are over 4,600 years old and the oldest living organisms on earth. And I touched them. And I thought about how every war in recorded history had happened within the lifespan of these trees. How every person I could ever possibly trace in my family had lived, loved, and died in a blink of the proverbial eye of these trees. I imagined an observer of these trees, looking up through their gnarled branches as century after century relentlessly carried on without cessation or interruption from anything save the occasional bird and winter storm. 4,500 years went by uninterrupted. Then, perhaps, a distant sound…what later would be known as a propeller. The air got a little worse, the weather a little hotter, then people. People touching and poking and prodding.
And they sit just waiting for the people to go away again.