Three weeks and almost 5000 miles have passed since I left for the Ride. I met different people from different places, and rode in mountains, deserts, forests, and lakes. Some people leave a strong impression of insights, as do some landscapes. Nature has its own wisdom, helping one discover hidden thoughts and feelings. And sometimes, in the face of billion year old rocks and 300 mile long canyons, nature teaches a lesson in humility.
Last week I went to the City Of Rocks state park in New Mexico. The rock forms that emerge vertically from the ground are a unique phenomenon, a result of a volcanic eruption a thousand times stronger than the eruption of Mt St Helens in 1980, and of thirty million years of polish provided by rain and wind. Roaming the park gives you the feeling that you are at a great art exhibit and would love to meet the artist.
This Sunday I rode through Yosemite National Park. The envelope of snow-covered peaks on the way up on route 395 was just an intro to the depth, colors, and just sheer magnitude of the park itself. The great mountains in particular leave one with a good sense of modesty and with the realization that the world is more than what it looks like on your daily commute.
People I met on the road were different depending on the landscape they reside in. The folks in the vast deserts were quite and somewhat harsh, the people pf the mountains always friendly, and the ones in big cities simply lacking the innate realization that we people cannot control everything. It seems like living in the shadows of snow covered mountains serves as a daily reminder of our place in the universe, and in turn leads to humility and modesty, whereas in the urban hubs we feel that we are the creators of everything around us, inevitably resulting in arrogance and self-importnace.
Have you ever moved to a new place and noticed that type of change? Did it possibly change you?