Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Sabbatical Drive

I'm currently sitting in Moby's Coffee & Tea in North Hollywood, CA. It's a nice little place that my cousin Wesley recommended. I had dinner and several hours of great conversation with Wes last night, catching up on life and family. It was so great to see him. Dude even let me have his bed. Now if I can only find my other cousin, his brother Nelson, who supposedly lives on the south shore of Boston somewhere. out there?  

So, in short, my drive from Portland to LA was spectacular. It was everything I might have imagined it would be.

I was mostly on US Route 101 from Lincoln City, OR, all the way until Route 152, which takes one from 101 to Interstate 5. Rte. 152 was a pleasant surprise and one of the most beautiful segments of the whole shebang. I also got off 101 to go through the "Avenue of the Giants", part of the redwood phenomenon in Northern California. I have driven well over 1000 miles in two days and not once was I tired or even tired of driving. It has been grace-filled, nourishing, and inspiring. 

Somewhere in Oregon between Tigard and Lincoln City, outside a Dairy Queen:

(By the way, I did run the 5K race in Oregon. Didn't do as well as I might have liked, but the whole night was a pleasant surprise as it was actually put on by a church and we worshiped together. The speaker of the Word that night relied heavily on a Johnny Cash song and is currently ministering in Israel. God spoke to me that night. Very thankful.)

This was my first view of the Pacific in some twelve years, Lincoln City, OR. It was about :

This is the car I rented for this whole trip. I got a free upgrade and have thoroughly enjoyed this Hyundai Sonata. The gas mileage has been incredible as I've only filled it up twice and at the moment still have half a tank. 

My drive on the "Avenue of the Giants" happened around 8:00 at night which was great because no one else was on it. There was plenty of light for me to enjoy what I was seeing. I'd seen the redwoods when I was real young (4.5), but with my growing love for trees over the last seven years, this was special for me.  

I have been kept company by a whole bunch of music, but most memorable has been Johnny Cash, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (thanks to my friend who suggested I give it a try), Ennio Morricone, Vivaldi, and Arcade Fire. I honestly cannot remember how long it's been since I've been able to listen to whole albums at a time. I've also spent a lot of time driving in silence. And a lot with the windows down. 

I'm unable to recount everything I saw, but can't wait to share it with my church community in several weeks. I totally miss my family, but have talked regularly to them. 

I've thought lots of thoughts and prayed lots of prayers over these some 1000 miles so far. One thing for now: The world is a really, really, really big place. Chill out and enjoy it.

The first two pics here are out of order, they are in Oregon:

Likely the most photographed bridge in the world. I didn't even stop.

Seriously: Route 152 was a beautiful surprise. Amazing:

This was closer to LA on I-5:

One last thing for now: I began yesterday in Ukiah, CA. It was a beautiful 58 degrees when I woke up. At one point on I-5 about 2 hours north of LA, my car's thermometer said 101 degrees. I remember from an early age being told how California is such a big state that such things can happen. But it was pretty interesting to go between the two extremes.

I've long said that I am not big on California. San Diego is beautiful and all and a great place to visit, but all-in-all, when I think California, I think "lots of crowded people/places" kind of like Cape Cod on steroids. I've always said, "As for me, I prefer Northern Vermont." Friends in seminary from NorCal told me that I needed to check out Northern California as it would change my mind. 

They were right.

Northern California is amazing. Kinda like Vermont on steroids.

Beautiful country, this is.

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