Change of Scenery

I drove up from Arizona to Washington these past few days. Along the way I met up with old friends, stayed in some fun cities, and slowly watched the scenery outside the car change.

It’s old hat at this point to draw the parallels between slowly changing scenery and the changes in ones life but I did find it very interesting how different and startling that change was. The trip began in the hot, hot, hot deserts of Arizona – a place that I find very beautiful – and slowly changed as we approached the Inland Empire of California and the cities that came with it. Eventually, lush farmland pasted by and was replaced with more cities – San Jose and San Francisco – before reaching to the jagged mountains of Northern California and Southern Oregon, a very foreign sight to a flat-lander like myself. Then the stunning green of Central Oregon and Washington – another odd image for my desert rat eyes – which I will be calling home for a short time.

The vastly different landscapes are so odd to think back on. How can one roll into the next in such a short time without there being a break for the scenery to be rearranged for the next environment? How do all these starkly different but stunningly beautiful worlds exist within a 25 hour drive of each other?

If I wasn’t a college educated lass I would have half a mind to believe small gnomes and woodland creatures are hard at work behind the scenes re-arranging things to suit their whims. As it is, even with the college education it’s not too much of a stretch of the imagination to believe it could be real… maybe.

Knowing that there is a world that exists between the desert and sprawling cities intrigues me, as does the idea the somewhere there is a land between farmland and mountain. I don’t think I’ve ever consciously been aware of this in-between land, just the knowledge of it makes me wonder what it’s like to live between two distinct environments inhabiting certain traits of both. What does this gray area look like? Who lives there? Do they consider themselves city-folk or mountain dweller?

I know that there isn’t a conscious realization of this change and that the technical definition of the in-between land I imagine doesn’t exist in reality but I would love to see the city-dwelling mountain man (though, I feel like he/she might look like a flannel loving-hipster and I can’t decide if I’m a fan yet or not). The people that thrive in the margin.

Now the world has stopped spinning and I’m off the road for more than a night. Sitting still is sometimes the hardest speed to travel by. Still, if nothing else, it means that I can study the environment around me and know that it’s not going to change too much any time soon.

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