Thursday, September 10, 2015

San Diego Wildlife

"What have you learned this year?" My sister asks me at a happy hour meet turned surprise birthday celebration with some friends. I was reluctant to get into a philosophical discussion about life's lessons, while the drinks were flowing so freely, besides I have always been a much better writer, than I have been a speaker. I tried to deflect her query, but she persisted.

"Perhaps, you have learned there is no such thing as making a lifetime career at one company.", she offered. I agreed. 

"Perhaps, you have also learned that you can always have family." I couldn't have agreed more, she is not my sister by birth, but she is my sister by heart! In a land I have made my home over the past 18 years, with my family of birth half the world away, I have been blessed with some very close friends, who have become my family. I have my "aunt" and my adopted family up by Mt. Shasta, I have my American "dad" near Reno, and my wise sister dear here in Sacramento! 

What else have I learned? Perhaps that I have to keep enjoying and living my life, while I explore my options and opportunities, in this niche technical field where I have found employment for the past 16 years. 
Funds have been tight, as I navigate a period of transition, and as a result, the wanderings on a motorcycle have cooled down considerably, except for the occasions where the kindness of friends and family have provided me a roof over my head during my wanderings, knocking off the ledger, one of the biggest expenses while traveling!

On this occasion it was a trip to San Diego, and I was fortunate enough to spend several days in the area. I have been to San Diego multiple times in the past few years, my modus operandi here hasn't varied much - enjoy the relaxed beach towns of north county, photograph the sunsets by the ocean, and ride some magnificent roads east of San Diego.

This time around I didn't chase after the sunsets as much as I usually do, trying my hand a little bit at street photography for a change. Although, the locales I was spending my time in were mostly gentrified, and not too adventurous of places for street photography, it was nevertheless a target rich environment. 

For instance this puppy mill (and not the kinds which are frowned upon for good reason), caught my eye. Perhaps I even found myself relating to it in some regard - caught in the wind, as I am at the moment. The wind churning my legs, but trying to keep my head up high and a smile on my face. :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Mystical Mt. Shasta.

I have been making this pilgrimage for over 8 years now. My adopted family lives here, in this mystical place. This place seems to exist at the confluence of the natural and the metaphysical. It has for millennia inspired lore, legend, and spirituality - from the times when native tribes roamed the land to the present day. 

One such folklore about the origins of the mountain has stuck with me, and I will share it here.

Some time ago in the very distant past - this land was populated by an ancient tribe, which migrated seasonally between the coastal mountains of California, and the great plains which once existed here. 
They were led by a much loved and revered chieftain, who guided them in their passages for many years. There came a time, however, when the ravages of old age had made the chief too frail, and too feeble to make the trek through the coastal mountains. Yet, the chief longed to see the ocean one last time. 
It was unlikely that he would have survived the treacherous journey to the ocean one last time, but his people loved him so much, they embarked on an undertaking which would change the landscape forever. 
If the tribe couldn't get their chief to the ocean, they were going to build him a pedestal so high, that he could see the ocean from atop it. So, they labored - far and wide, and day and night, and they terraformed, carving out earth from the far reaches and building a colossus underneath their beloved chief. 
Thus, the mountain rose, higher and higher into the heavens, until finally - the chief could once again see the ocean, from up among the clouds. His dying wish gratified, he immediately asked his people to stop building. When they stopped, they dropped the rest of the earth they had collected at their feet, where they stood - giving rise to the lesser mountains and hills which surround Mt. Shasta. :) 

I hope you enjoy the pictures which follow! 

Running dry for a lack of rain. A natural spring also feeds this lake, albeit now, a bit feebly.