Saturday, June 1, 2013

What's That?

Written by Karen.
As we drive down Highway 50, Adam and I have a bird's-eye view of our surroundings - a rolling observation car.  Chinook rides high, and we enjoy 360 degrees of windows all around the mid-section of our VW Vanagon. Our sight lines as passengers are as endless as the vistas we roll past.

We are not in a hurry.  Although the seemingly unchanging landscape of sage green tufts, twisted wood, spots of yellow, red and orange wildflowers, jagged snow-capped peaks, and white and gray clouds might seem to become repetitive, we are soothed by the melodic symphony of texture, patterns, colors, shadows, and conversation as we roll along the nearly deserted highway. It is the journey that we are appreciating and we are not keenly focused on our destination. Most likely because we are not certain what our destination is at any given moment!  

Time is friendly to us these days.  It is not often that we can jump headlong into the idea of being in the moment and swim lazily in its warm waters without hearing the anxious ticking of a clock.  

We stop often - usually in the middle of the road as there are no other vehicles around and I can jump out to take a picture of wildflowers or try to capture the remote beauty of a faraway view. 

But there are unexpected sights and objects that we have come across on our travels thus far. Things that from a distance seem awkwardly random, oddly placed or just unexpected.  We stop for these, as well.  I wonder, how did this get here? What is its story?  And again, I am reminded just how interesting and beautiful the expected - and unexpected - can be on this journey we call life.  

Stop in the language of the Wild West

I spotted this small bit of yellow when I was taking pictures of wildflowers.  Who knows how long this tiny VW bug was forgotten? 
We stopped at a roadside exhibit that described the relationship with the federal park service and the local ranchers.  The exhibit explained that one key area of cooperation was around water as the area around the Great Basin National Park receives approximately ten inches of rain per year. The exhibit had some very cool metal cutouts that showed various scenes of life in the West.
We saw this car from a distance and couldn't figure out what was inside of the car.  In the back seat is a bunch of antlers.
As we walked closer, we could see the remains of this cow in the driver's seat.
Seems relatively happy - considering!
Twisted beauty alongside Highway 50 in Nevada
Dry Sevier Lake, Utah
We were on Highway 50 near Hinckley, Utah when we passed by a tree with a lot of unknown large objects hanging from it.  "Stop, Stop!", I cried, "What is that?"  Adam threw Chinook into reverse and we stopped to see.  It is a tree with hundreds of pairs of shoes hanging from the branches.
When we arrived into Hinckley to get gasoline, I went inside to ask about the story of the 'Tree of Shoes'.  The middle-aged woman answered,"I'm not sure about the story, but I can find out for you.  I've only been here for twenty years, but I'm still considered a "just arrived".  I don't know the ins-and-outs around here yet." After consulting with her co-workers, the general consensus was that this was a tradition started years ago by the local high school kids.
Unknown lake in Utah


Jennifer Chase said...

Great photos! What a wonderful road trip :)

Observers of Life said...

Thanks Jennifer! :)

gus said...

LOve that story on the shoes; 20 years and still just a newcomer, sounds like Texas.....
Thx for the great pix!!

Observers of Life said...

Hi Gus!

I wonder where that line is between newcomer and old timer! :)