It's Sunday and time for Sunday Favorites, where Chari, from Happy to Design allows participants to share an old blog post with readers, while still taking Sunday off, by reposting an old post.
Years ago, as an over the road truck driver, I collected a few thoughts and stories from my journeys and travels. In my Sunday Favorites posts, I am sharing some of those stories.
This is one of those stories and I call it:
When you drive across the United States, you see many different types of beauty. From the red rock of Southern Utah to the green hills of Tennessee. From the stark beauty of Saguaro National Park to the lush foliage of the Atchafalaya Swamp in Louisiana.
No matter how much I see, I am always eager to see more. Around every curve of the highway, and over every hill and rise is a new and exciting view each with a beauty all its own, each presenting another "Kodak Moment".
One such memorable moment was the first time my wife and I made a daylight crossing of Donner Summit through the Tahoe National Forest. It was December 2000. We had just driven from Las Vegas to Reno, Nevada, over the road that bills itself as America's Loneliest Highway. This road passes through an Air Force firing range terrain that would make the surface of the moon look like a Brazilian Rainforest. The most excitement and activity along this highway occurs whenever a tumbleweed blew across the road.
The contrast between the emptiness of the Nevada Desert and the tree covered peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountain was indescribable. Although I have always enjoyed driving, this was one of the few times that I wished I was a passenger. I hated taking my eyes off the scenery long enough to watch the road. Like so many places I have seen, the handiwork of a higher power was clearly evident wherever we looked.
In computer graphics, there are a possible 65,536 shades of green. Every single one of those shades was apparent in the trees that covered the mountainsides of The Tahoe National Forest. As it was December a light dusting of snow coated the boughs of the evergreens, reminiscent of a Currier & Ives scene. Businesses spend fortunes trying to recreate this look on artificial Christmas Trees, but never quite succeed. Yet there they were,the real thing, in all their glory, not just one, but literally thousands of them, a carpet of green and white that stretched from the side of the road to the bottoms of the clouds.
The story could end there, but it doesn't. In August of 2001, there were extensive forest fires throughout California. One of the areas where major acreage of forest was destroyed, was along the Truckee river, through Donner Pass, the very area, where, just eight months earlier, I had driven, in stunned silence. In late September 2001, I again drove along I 80 through theTahoe National Forest, and once more drove in stunned silence, this time at the barren wasteland left behind by the ravaging fires.
How many times in life do we put off doing something because we don't think we have the time. How often do we promise we'll do it later. How many times do we say "some day"?
If I had not driven through Donner Pass in 2000, I would never have known what it looked like before the fire. A memory, one that reached deep inside me, and touched the very essence of my being, would not have ever existed. I would never know what I had missed.
May I always take full advantage of the opportunities presented to me, so I don't ever have to say: "I wish I had".
Carpe Diem~Seize the Day!
Be sure and join me each Tuesday for Tuesday Trivia Tie-in, where readers are invited to share trivia and show off their treasures.