WanderingDan’s Weblog

Legs, Trees & Hippies
September 30, 2012, 7:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Trees…hundreds of miles of trees. Oh how I’ve missed them. The L.A. Vortex pushed my memories of these forests far enough back I forgot the feeling of peace this wilderness conjures. Trees…

One great thing about roadtrips is the opportunity to reflect. Four days in Berkeley was refreshing: the air, the energy, the company…the cleanliness (except south of campus). My daily walks around Berkeley campus were chock full of motivation: first, nice legs everywhere…but more importantly a certain focus and optimism in both the students and faculty scurrying about, dedicated…whether appropriately focused or naïvely…to a cause or purpose, creating a thick, almost tangible atmosphere. I feed on this like a ravenous wolf…or more appropriate to the location, like a starving vegan let loose on a plate of tofu and snowpeas.

Through the town of Weed, and up the windy mountain highway towards Bend, years of smog-infused stress begin to unravel. It is finally sinking in that I no longer hold a feigned quasi-identity to a city where I never really identified. Granted, I had a lot of fun there, and made some amazing friends…but the city of Angels is not my angel.

The moon is rising in the west…one evening shy of full…beautiful. The oranges and pinks of the sunset to the west sillouhette the cascade mountains and hills…breath taking. No worries at all right now, except when we go up a hill and the transmission of Gemma’s car clunks hard as it downshifts. It’s a bummer she couldn’t come with us…guesting with Gemma was a unique experience: the AXE house is a fraternity house converted into structured community living for students (mostly). Donovan calls it Hogwarts, and although a sensational stretch, I see the threads of similarity, especially in the huge downstairs common areas, and small nooks and crannies in and around the twisty staircases. Mostly I am treated with either curious interest or nonchalant disinterest, but always courteously, even amongst the skeptical eyes periodically looking up from their mac-books to monitor my meanderings. What amazes me the most is how they are able to maintain a functional residence of twenty-four college kids…it is clean, organized, regimented…and the level of cooperation and respect to the rules is impressive for a group this age…it’s like…a hippie-military. I approve.

Dusk is passing and headlights are now throwing glares off the bug guts on the windshield…we still have another sixty miles before reaching Larry & Carol’s. Donovan is DJ’ing with my iPhone…a lot of flashback tunes. It conjures from my memory a line from an old Ice Cube song: “today was a good day”.


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