Last night Jai and I came south from Spokane, Washington to Sacramento, California.
Instead of going down I-5 into California, we chose to go a route we haven’t gone before.. US 395 to US 97.
We’ve discovered that sometimes it really is taking a chance to go on US highways you don’t know anything about. I once took US 51 through Missouri – which is a truck route (barely) – and turned out to be one of the worst afternoons I spent in a long while!
The road was so twisty and windy that I could barely go over 30 mph for nearly 150 miles. This is fine for a lazy afternoon on a motorcycle with your husband …but not so good in a 72 foot long heavy truck with 42,000 pounds in the box that needs to be delivered to the customer by a specified time.
US 395 and US 97, on the other hand, were littered beginning to end with breath-taking eye candy.
While the great Columbia River meandered ahead of me and to the right, still as glass with the mountains, beautifully wrinkled by eons of weather wear, reflected perfectly in it’s expanse… behind me… in the rearview mirror …stood the mammoth Mt. Hood, covered with snow, towering over the countryside.
From rolling hills covered with colossal evergreens, moss-covered rocks and rocky outcrops with natural waterfalls pooling right beside the road… to later in the evening when…
…during our shift switch, we simply had to stop for 10 minutes to try and take it in.
The stars that were visible above Crater Lake.
We stopped the truck in a large truck turn-out. Turned off the lights. Shut down the engine.
When we stepped out of the truck, it was so dark you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. Couldn’t see our feet! And… couldn’t see each other, even though we were standing less than a foot apart. It was amazing.
Looking up… I saw, of course, the massive Orion, low on the horizon. But the amount of stars visible up there – in that wonderful darkness – are beyond anything one could imagine.
It’s certainly not like the sky looks from any city.
I could have lain down on the ground and stared for hours. So beautiful. So breath-taking. So awe-inspiring. Words fail me.
I will hold the vision of that sky in my mind’s eye for a long, long time.
The last time I saw such stars was on my way up to Spokane from Portland, to do a performance there. I can still remember it.
In fact, I was telling Jai about that experience just as we passed Klamath Conversation Area when I looked out the window and said… “Um… you can see the Milky Way.”
That’s when he stopped the truck and said, “I need to see the Milky Way.”
We spent all of ten minutes standing in the pitch dark, staring up saying genuinely intelligent things like, “Wow.”
I love the fact that at the end of my work day — after looking at some of this country’s most beautiful sites throughout the day — I got to see a billion stars (or more).
The pictures below were taken in June of 2014, while going across New Mexico and Arizona. They’re just a few pictures I picked out of our collection that truly are spectacular. I hope you enjoy them!
Keep your shiney side up!
Andrea & Jai
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