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A Real Post

April 8, 2009

Things are as I though they would be.
I knew that being back in California would make it seem like I never had a life on the ranch, and it’s true. When I think about the ranch, I get the bittersweet feeling of waking up from a really good dream. It feels like it never happened. I can’t quite wrap my mind around the fact that a week ago I was in my cozy little cabin in my sweet mountain valley. But even then I knew that the anticipation of leaving is always worse than actually being gone. Now that I’m here, it’s hard to miss something that feels like it never happened. Being back home, surrounded by the familiar smells and routines and sights and sounds puts my body on autopilot…like I never left. Like I said, bittersweet.

I’m anchored by knowing that I WILL be returning in a short month, and that my horse and friends are still there. And in the meantime, I’m happy to drift on this wierd state of floating displacement and ambivalence ( I won’t lie though….this feeling is only acceptable for a short time. My big fear is that this feeling would become my life if I stayed here…a comfortable purgatory that never manages to stimulate me out of simple perfunctory existence and into being and feeling…but that’s for another post). Besides, it’s not that bad here. I get to see my friends and parents, sleep with my cats, eat my favorite pizza, and make lemonade with lemons straight from my parents’ garden. Not all bad.

I also have plenty to keep me busy for the next month: visit my potential future homesite, dabble in the garden, get all my yearly appointments over with, get some tax return fun money, peruse some tack stores, go to a country music concert, see a blm mustang auction, go fishing, buy some boots and western wear, do some renegade advertising for the ranch, loaf around at the bookstore etc.

There is, however, one thing I will not be able to get over while living here: The sky. Colorado has spoiled me with its huge, pristine, blue sky. It’s so close, so clean, so massive.
Protected by large expanses of undeveloped land and mountain ranges, the air around the ranch seems completely free of pollutants. I doubt that one speck of smog has made its way into that mountain valley.
But here…..ick.
I noticed the difference as soon as we left the protective barrier of the Rockies. Even cities as close as Denver showed a slightly less blue sky. It seemed to get progressively worse as we neared the Los Angeles Basin however. It was disgusting when we finally arrived in good ole LA. After months of pure blue, the yellowy brown sky of my home city was like a massive assault. At that point I felt homesick for the ranch more keenly than I have since waving bye to it a week ago. The sky here is just awful. Thanks to the haze and pollution, the blue has turned into a sickly yellowish wash of ick. And it contaminates everything with its hideous cast of yellow. Which is a shame. California is a very pretty state. The classic rolling green hills dotted with oaks, multiple mountain ranges, and coastal areas are all naturally gorgeous. But not when everything takes on a sickly yellow tinge thanks to the pollution. EVERYTHING beautiful here is ruined when it has to be viewed through a lens of haze and filth.

Thanks to Colorado, I refuse to compromise on the quality of the sky. If the SLO area has the same color sky as the LA area does, it’s crossed off my list.

The yellow even managed to infiltrate the Angeles National Forrest where I went camping and ROCK CLIMBING. I’d never climbed a legitimate rock before. My few psuedo experiences were limited to rock walls at fairs and whatnot, where I was half pulled up by the harness. This was my first real time. And it will probably be my last real time. I don’t think I’m meant for climbing up scary tall things when there’s a perfectly good alternate route. (Will remember this next time my horse refuses a jump). Besides, my right arm now has a constant twitch that it didn’t have before yesterday. Even though I didn’t exactly find my new hobby love, it will still a pretty good feeling knowing I did something new. And it got me out of suburbia and back into some forest. Which, by the way, I had no clue existed so close to home. The Angeles forest is apparently only thirty minutes away and has real trees, real mountains, real deer, and real….snow? Who knew.

Pictures to come soon.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 11, 2009 10:45 pm

    Ahhhh…hot coffee…thanks.

    Now I understand the middle level to which you were referring re California: L.A. The mists have cleared. Since we love it so much, I was mystified, but we’re way WAY north of you. Amazing how much one state can vary from place to place. SoCal has it’s beauty spots, glad you’re able to hunt them down for your visit!

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