Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cold Hands, Warm Heart

I travelled from sea level at a beach in Ventura today to an elevation over 5000 feet east of Bakersfield at a log cabin overlooking Isabella Lake (along Kern Canyon Rd near Kernville California). The weather and scenery changes were remarkable. I went from a mistywarm ocean vista to a cold and bright rocky landscape. The terrain turned from dry sandy beach to slippery snow covered mountains. Along the way I saw some dry stone walls in Santa Clara enclosing lemon orchards along the 126 . I saw many rocks and stoney outcroppings, as well as rolling hills, mountains and flat flat farm land.

The changing vista along the Kern Canyon Rd is particularly dramatic. The jumble of boulders and rocks peppering both the sides of the steep mountain canyon seems to create an almost messy look to the landscape. By the time we neared the log cabin that my friend Matthew was taking me to see, the snow was everywhere. The road became too slippery to drive on. We had to walk the last half mile up to the site.

Matthew wanted to show me the pile of granite rocks he has been stockpiling at his property which he eventually wants to build walls and a fireplace with. As we stumbled through the thick snow leading to his cabin I stopped to make this hand print in the snow. I thought about the extremes of scenery I had seen today. My hands had held warm stones on the beach this morning and now it was too snowy to find even one of the rocks Matthew wanted me to look at.

My hands were cold but my heart was warmed by the experience of having travelled through the spectrum of sensational California geography and geology, all in one day.

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