I am writing today from the land of vacation. There is obviously wifi in this land, praise jah. It's been good to get out of the usual scene, to have my perspective turned inside out a but, to see some different landscapes and of course, to spend time with my family.
The history of vacation was something I was wondering about as I started this blog. This is an interesting NPR radio show about it.
Vacation, according tho this is historically a middle class thing to do. We all know poor folks don't have time to travel. They are too busy working multiple jobs, finding people to pick their kids up from school, baking pies for bake sales, mowing their very own lawn. I am not middle class but I like so many Americans, I really like to pretend that I am. Point is, we made our trip happen by saving some money and making the time. So we left.
And then we made it to Mt. Shasta.
Yesterday we went to Pluto's Cave. It sounded simple enough. I downloaded the directions from googlemaps. It was off this road, onto that one. The directions were so specific, I was impressed but we only made it there by a couple hunches. It was worth it.
Yes, it was tagged but it was so much more than that. It was history. It is not actually a cave at all, but in fact a lava tube. There were multiple rooms with air shafts and sections breathtakingly shaded and green, a sharp contrast to the lava scrub of the drive in.
Today we did something much less rustic but also quite amazing. This time we did the tourist thing and took a boat to a bus which in turn took us up a mountain to see the Lake Shasta Caverns.
The photos do nothing to reflect the size of the caverns, the shape and variation of the formations, the humidity, the bats on the roof of the highest room, the adventure...
"The caverns are
Limestone, an unusual carbonate
rock for the region in that it is not highly re-crystallized or
metamorphosed, thus preserving a diverse fossil fauna and flora marine
record from 270 million years ago." (National Park Service)
After all that, we topped off the day with a trip to the snow. There wasn't much left, but enough for a few dozen snowballs.
Perhaps idleness was suspect to the Puritans but my experience of vacation is anything but idle. Road trips and hikes are an adventure. Adventure nourishes the human spirit. It recharges us, makes us push ourselves harder than maybe we would in other aspects of our lives. We grow closer to each other, we are open to new people and we grow. We grow faster than the cave formations.