August 30, 2011

Song of the Open Road

AFOOT and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road.

The earth—that is sufficient;
I do not want the constellations any nearer;
I know they are very well where they are;
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.

(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens;
I carry them, men and women—I carry them with me wherever I go;
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them;
I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.)

~ from Song of the Open Road by Walt Whitman

August 23, 2011

Man vs. Nature

The top of the Cajon Pass taking some quick shots of a wildfire from the Mojave Freeway before the race to the bottom.

I took the first exit off the freeway at the bottom of the Cajon Pass to position myself on old Route 66 looking up at the charred hillside.

A special firefighting helicopter leaves to refill with water at nearby Glen Helen Park after dropping its load deep within the canyon.

The brave firefighters start a strenuous climb up a hill in single file to mount an assault from the ground.

The police chased me off so I drove into the town of Devore and watched the plumes from the other side of the Cajon Pass.

The orange color is caused by the colored fire retardant these planes were dropping which marks where the retardant has been dropped.

Residents on the hillside prepare for the worst. Luckily, this ranch was spared and today the fire is totally contained. Over 350 acres were burned and one mobile home was burnt to the ground. No lives were lost and no injuries to residents or their pets were reported. A great big thanks to the brave and experienced firefighters of San Bernardino County.

August 11, 2011

I Stand Alone

To the mother who bore my body;
To the land that mothered my soul;
To the Ultimate Guide who led me
Scarred through battle, but whole;
Mother, and Land, and The Vision,
Stern trails where my feet were set;
Take these from the Price I owe ye—
Whose life is less than the Debt.

Introduction to Cactus and Pine, Songs of the Southwest by Sharlot M. Hall