the best adventure

Interesting weekend in California. Quite the adventure. Learned there’s more to San Diego than what most photos show. It’s beautiful and ugly at the same time. There is, certainly, the stunning coast. But there are also tons of nasty areas and dirt and grime and everything that comes with city life.

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The drive an hour outside the city had me attempting to videotape with my cell phone while driving down the highway. Which is not easy since using a cell while driving is against the law here … so using it up against the window was kinda obvious and I’m guessing it’s not that smart to attempt to videotape with a phone while driving. Duh. But I couldn’t believe my eyes. The terrain was so … unpredictable. On one side of the highway it looked like a rock giant (think Neverending Story kinda rock giant. Yeah. That guy) had eaten a huge chunk of rock and crumbled huge boulder crumbs all along the hillsides. On the other, it was green and lush. Made absolutely no sense to me how on one side of a highway it was green and alive and on the other it looked more like the surface of some distant planet.

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I also hiked up into the woods on the side of Volcan Mountain (not too far … but just enough), and took a long, deep breath. Then I smiled. The crisp, clean air filled my lungs and made me miss living away from city life. Away from exhaust. Close to nature. There’s nothing like it, really. That whiff of clean air. People here probably take it for granted. The views as well. Nobody can appreciate this view, this splendor, as much as they should. It’s too stunning for words.

And if you still have a glimpse of nature in your back yard, you’re lucky. Not like those poor people who live in LA. Agh. When I flew in there I almost wept. The smog line hovering over the city was embarrassing and horrific. I have heard about it but never seen it like that. It was disgusting.

And then something amazing happened. While standing surrounded by all the dead, twisted, charcoal-colored crisp skeletons that once were trees, now ravaged by a fire that had hit a couple years ago, I realized something. I was surrounded by death and destruction, and yet … I felt so alive. Being close to nature does this to me. I feel energized. Ready to take on the world. Ready to tackle my dreams … no mountain is too high to climb, I guess.

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So, my advice? Go out into nature. Enjoy it. Smell it. Lie in it. Rub the dirt between your thumb and fingers. Take a deep breath. Listen to its sounds. Linger. Walk down that path even if you don’t know where it goes. Hell. Walk down it ESPECIALLY if you don’t know where it goes. That’s the best kind of adventure.

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