“A place that never was yet always will be.” words found on a Mt. Shasta postcard
Journal Excerpt: November 26, 2001
I’m sitting in the courtyard enjoying the cool and quiet – I’ve dipped into the P.V. Tribune (an English language free newspaper) that I like to pick up each Monday and now I’m writing down some thoughts. We arrived here in Mexico on Nov.17th and I feel that I have come full circle, we have been travelling to Mexico for eight years now – the last two years we have lived off resort and this year is the same. I’m happy to be here, although there is a culture shock each time, it doesn’t take me long to “go with the Mexican flow” – I’m loving the heat, sun and the freedom here.
At this point in time, I am here for 1 month – the desire for more travel may call us – my future is unknown, I’m going to be doing a lot of thinking and writing down of thoughts, small moments, future goals and dreams. September 11th has shaped our travel plans even if we think it has not. We flew September 13th to Toronto for an almost 3 week vacation with Terry’s family and we flew down here to PV on Nov.17th, both times I had to find the courage to fly, to trust and to let go. Our future travel plans are unknown because there are not so many flights from Vancouver as there used to be, we may have to fly to the U.S. to get home – we have options, it will be an adventure and I hope my courage will stay with me.
My time here in Puerto Vallarta has mostly been spent on getting settled, shopping for food, we travel between 3 stores to hunt for bargains (Rizo’s, Leys’ and the Commercial Mexicana) – we walk and also take the colourful local buses and read on our small balcony. This week we are starting to tan on Burro Beach in the early morning – it feels good.
We are paying more money for our studio this year and some of our favourite foods have gone up in price…
The above journal entry is unique for me, not quite 2 pages and the only writing I have from a planned long stay in Puerto Vallarta that quietly went sideways – the last line says it all. We began to do the math and realized our funds might go farther if we shortened our stay. In those days we would buy airfare only tickets for two weeks, if we were lucky and found a studio or apartment to rent, then we would be AWOL on the flight home. This trip, as you may have guessed, found us on that return flight home and thankful that we kept our tickets. It was sad to leave Mexico but what came after added so much more – the dream of taking a road trip to California!
While still in Mexico we contacted Terry’s nephew who was living in San Francisco at the time to find out where to stay (we ended up in a sweet motel on Lombard St.!) and to check if he would be around for our visit. Once these details were worked out, it made the fuzzy imagining of doing this road trip much more real – this was happening and now the planning could begin. After a whirlwind few weeks at home and the purchase of chains (for our Suzuki Sidekick) in case of bad weather at infamous Grant’s pass, we were set!
Washington state was very familiar to Terry and I as it shares a border with British Columbia and we both had crossed the border several times. It was Oregon and Northern California that caught our imaginations (and they did not disappoint!). If one loves to travel, there is almost a hunger in the wanting to explore, see new sights and the feeling of freedom that comes from heading out on a highway or any straight track. Having to leave Mexico and then to do this in it’s place felt right – this was reflected in a smooth coast down the I-5 until we crossed the border near Ashland, Oregon and came upon a quirky sign on the California side stating that we were nearing Yreka. As I looked at that sign, I began to sense a change in the weather – the wind was picking up smartly and big, fat raindrops were beginning to fall. We decided to push onward and take our chances, hoping to outrun what was going to become a huge storm and we did but just barely!
As it became darker and harder to see because of the driving rain, we began to rely on following the red taillights of an old converted bus ahead of us, during this slow crawl on the highway, we began to be buffeted by heavy crosswinds shaking both sides of the jeep and putting our soft-top roof at risk, it was time to make that call and pull off the highway. By then it was very dark and hard to see where we were but a sign announcing the town of Weed was a welcome sight and we happily turned off the highway. We were greeted by another sign for a “Holiday Inn Express” with the most wonderful words anyone would want to see on a night like that, the word “Vacancy”. We got the last room and didn’t mind that it was retrofitted for persons with disabilities, we were thankful for shelter from the storm. The clerk at the desk said that the town of Weed’s motels and hotels were all full due to so many drivers pulling off the highway. It was time to rest, get up early and hit the road again in the morning, I had no idea that a “bucket list” vista awaited me!
And that beautiful vista turned out to be Mt. Shasta, the Earth’s First Chakra, a seat of primordial energy located as well on one of Earth’s ley lines. Rising above the town of Weed at 14,162 ft it was a sight to behold in the morning sunlight with a huge snow-capped peak, it seemed to fill the sky. Terry and I had no idea that we were going to be able to see such a sight and that’s the joy in having plans go sideways, it is a reminder to be open to the gifts that may come whether you are travelling or simply living your day to day!
- Words written on a scrap of paper (from another road trip with Terry’s sister Karen), May 07,2009: an image near Yreka, California – a big full moon high in the sky beside a snow-capped Mt. Shasta at twilight
- The best fried chicken I’ve ever tasted found at “Silva’s” restaurant in the town of Weed on that very stormy day in December 2001
- That wonderful “first time feeling” crossing the border from the beautiful state of Oregon to the state of California (dreaming)
- The joy of picnic lunches and snacks at the many rest stops on the I-5 highway catching up with the semi’s and cars that passed us miles ago
- The sound of the highway traffic (it never stops!) lulling one to sleep when it’s time to pull in to a motel/hotel for the night