Monday, October 02, 2006

What's up ahead?

(View from the porthole of a railcar from Alamosa to LaVeta)

On Saturday I embarked on a road trip from Dallas to Alamosa, Colorado, just me, with the ultimate destination of Denver and later, Shell, Wyoming. It's 706 miles to Alamosa, which is almost 12 hours with no stopping (like that's going to happen...). It didn't take me long to stop at a winery outside of Dallas, one that I'd passed by many times on prior road trips. In the past it always seemed too close to Dallas for me to stop on my way out or on the way back home. But it was just me in the car and I decided to stop anyway. I didn't spend much time there, but it was SO worthwhile. I bought a few bottles of Texas wine, and took some pictures of the grapes and the soap-berry trees that I'll put up later when I get back home.

I only stopped a few other times, for gas, snacks and a few must have pictures...a field of spent sunflowers, some beautiful New Mexico clouds in the sunset. I rolled into Alamosa at almost 10 pm, thanks to gaining an hour when I crossed into Mountain time. I stayed with friends Peggy and Wally in Alamosa, and had a chance to taste the fine Texas wine I bought, not bad at all!

Saturday we went on a train excursion, from Alamosa to La Veta, through some beautiful fall foliage. (I'll also put up pics of that when I get home.) The Aspen trees are a bright, golden yellow right now and stand out beautifully against the pine trees. It's a tourist train and there was a lot of ooh'ing and ahh'ing at the fall colors and scenery. One interesting thing I noticed is the natural human inclination to crane our necks out the window to try to see what's up ahead. After a few hours of this, my neck and I were relieved to get off the train and enjoy the sweet little town of La Veta. Check out the pictures and information on this website:

We had a nice lunch and peeked into a local art gallery and before you knew it had to get back on the train to return to Alamosa. On the first craning of my neck, the twinge I felt there made me stop to ponder--why am I so focused on trying to see what's ahead when there is some BEAUTIFUL scenery right in front of me? It's such a strong human impulse, to see what's around the bend, what's in the distance, behind the door, in the box, in the future. What about what is right in front of us, why isn't that as valuable? It should be more valuable, it's ours and it's here and now. The more we focus on what's up ahead, the less we can enjoy what we have right now. I made the return trip an exercise in enjoying what I had right before me, and enjoyed it so much more. The little nap I took helped too...

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