Wednesday, June 29, 2011
The Road to Shangri-la
The road has always had a calling to me, it has taken me to places that as a child I could only dream about. Those dreams would include trips into the mountains and to oceans in unexplored places far away. It gave me a chance to ski, or climb, ride a bike or surf a distant wave but for some reason I was always looking west. It may have something to do with the geographic location where I grew up in Texas. The land there is relatively flat. Endless fields of grass spread to the horizon but definitely none of those mountains I yearned to cross in those western states have. All my desires were for adventures in those distant places hidden by those mountains.
As I looked into my rear view mirror on the return from one of these Rocky mountain trips recently, I could see the pot of gold setting behind me. I pulled over on U.S. Highway 69 somewhere east of the little town of Gardner, Colorado to take a photo of that sunset. The wind was blowing across the scattered tufts of grass and sage. The fires around Los Alamos far to the south helped create the overly red scene I saw in front of me. The road stretched out to the horizon in an uninterrupted ribbon of opportunities. As I sat listening to the wild stillness, creating just another memory of a wonderful trip to go with the hundreds from years past, the solution to an un-asked question came to me.
Everyone has their own Shangri-la, but for me I will always be traveling to the west to find it.