It’s been a good morning. I am happy. Things feel right. There’s a balance here in Lee Vining. Mid-May and snow on the ground, snow on the mountains, snow in the passes, snow keeping me from crossing over Tioga pass and descending down into Yosemite Valley. This scenario – the waiting game, the idle game, the thumb-twiddling, movie-watching, unabashed eat-fest associated with a progress-free few days – was not one expected looking forward to our time in California. But the weather happened. Twenty inches in the high country, six in the mid, four in the low. Life happened. And my rhythm continued, waking me up to sit on a cold bench in the cold dawn and drink a cold coffee whilst looking at the shades of white around me. At first I was bummed. Yosemite, man! The valley, man! The history! The Muir! The climbing culture, the tourist culture, the hiking culture! Culture at large. We’re blowing it, hanging out in this RV park looking out at just another cut in the eastern, impassable Sierras. I want Yosemite but might not have the opportunity this time around, instead rerouting around the north to Highway 108 if it opens within the next three days. Else we’ll have to hitch a ride south, or north, eventually west, so that we can hit the coast by Friday.
I don’t do well with forced flexibility. Control is a real thing in my life. Plans, details. Organizational skills. I have Tabs, baby. Tabs on Tabs. A useful skill, I’ve been told. OCD coupled with conditioning with a dash of personal drive. Put me on a bike and some big snowy mountains in the early spring with a pot of day-old coffee and I’ll work myself up into quite the lather over my lack of control over the current state of affairs. Friends will shun me. I’ll shun myself. I’ll sit around looking at brush in the wind, pensive … I hate sitting around looking at brush moving in the wind. I’ve been part of the rain shadow of the eastern Sierras long enough. Time to find the lush rush coast-side. But I have to wait another day, another coffee, another rising and settling of the sun. It’s not even eight yet and I’ve been watching snow turn to water which glistens as dew on the happy grass and evaporates into the dry sky for two hours this Sunday morning. What am I going to do but keep writing inanities onto this electronic sheet of paper.
Speaking of which – you ever realized what you’re doing when typing on a computer? You’re taking the tactile sense of writing and transferring it to a convenient, savable script of pressed buttons. Weird. It’s like taking a picture of a painting. Not saying that my words are art. I feel like I’m just vomiting sentences for the sake of punching buttons and staring at a screen while the beauty of a new morning slowly slides into the midparts of another day.
What I am doing? Moping because I’m waiting around for a chance to see a part of the country that 4.5 million visitors patronize every year whilst I sit surrounded by nothing other than water and land and snow with my friends? We all want Yosemite, but at the cost of slipping around a day on the road that could be a great day. No! I’m wasting time! I’ve sat here long enough staring at this screen, watching the blank electronic page fill with black electronic buttons as the wind beyond the laptop moves the shrubs in a slow, meaningful way. So I’ll look at the shrubs, and feel the wind, and let slip the hold of worry about the days to come between us and San Francisco. It’s beautiful here, and warming fast, and going to melt all this snow away anyways. I might as well enjoy it while it’s here, and make a bunch of snowballs to throw at Brady and Rachel whenever they decide to wake up and leave the tent.
Lee Vining, I’m going to walk your one street with a purpose today. Just watch me. Watch out for me. Here I come. Oho!