Monday, July 7, 2014

The Journey Begins

The first couple of days...

My husband, Tom, and I headed out on a Tuesday morning with no real plans other than to drive the Pacific Coast Highway. The truth is, we thought we were going to take a route through Flagstaff, Arizona, right up until the morning we left. We changed our plans and decided we'd rather make a loop around. In other words, go across Texas through New Mexico to get to California. We would then ride up the PCH to San Francisco and decide what to do once we got there. We weren't quite sure how big we wanted the loop to be, and we wanted to set our own time schedule. We agreed we wanted to get to California in good time, and then take our time up the coast.

The sky could be counted on for a good show.
We made it to Las Cruces, New Mexico, the first day and spent the night there. It's a beautiful place, where I found myself wondering if the people in that area get up every morning and take those beautiful mountains for granted. When we stopped at a very nice Safeway on our way out of town the next morning, I couldn't believe the beautiful view from that parking lot! Mountains everywhere!

No, obviously this isn't the Safeway parking lot, but it IS one of my views from the highway.

It was a scenic drive from Las Cruces to Dana Point, California. I couldn't take my eyes off the changing landscape. I loved the rugged terrain, the mountains, the steep roads, and the big, white windmills against the bright, blue sky. I never took my eyes off everything around me. In other words, I never opened a book (now that should tell you something). I loved everything I saw...

The clouds not only added beauty to the sky, but they also painted the mountains with lovely shadows.

Good thing we have a Jeep!
At first, the mountains were in the distance. Before long, they were right in front of my eyes, and we were going through them. I took lots of pictures, but none of them do justice to what it feels like when you're in the middle of them, climbing up steep roads, and winding through them. It's really incredible.

Top of the mountain
At the top of one of the mountains, I had Tom to stop the Jeep. I just wanted to take it all in, as the sun was setting and casting a different light on the landscape. I love taking photographs, and one of the most difficult things is letting go of the changing light. It's like...I want a picture of the same landscape with each shade of light and shadow as the sun descends. Every picture is different. I can't do this, of course, so I try to capture a little of the light in different ways - ways that will help me remember stopping in one particular spot along the roadside and trying to take a small piece of that moment with me in a photo.

(In tomorrow's post, we reach the PCH and begin falling in love with the California Coastline!)

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