Day 15: The Places In Between

I’ve never really been a “fan” of tourist attractions, but I can cook up good fun with very few ingredients, and in the absence of other obvious attractions in an area, have probably visited as many as the next person.

Today I took a little day-trip along the Apache Trail, with a plan to stop at Point A: a ghost town/not-real ghost town, and “Point B”: a similarly themed “village” recommended for a meal at the end of the day.

Increasingly, little trips like this feel a bit odd. I think because they represent a car-trip inside of an apparent car trip. I’m aware that although I look like someone on a perpetual car trip, this is no longer what I’m doing. My life on the road is, for the most part, distinctly without destinations.

Road-side attractions are perfectly wonderful places to stop, but I had a hard time sinking into the experiences today; mostly defaulting to skimming. I sensed urgency around me. I suspect this arises when many people working very hard to relax join together in the collective consumption of an experience meant to provide that relief. But I must admit to feeling a bit like I was watching television, except that I was in it, drinking a $3 cup of coffee and being hustled to buy a t-shirt to prove it.

Family Fun at Point “A”

I’m not dissing road-side attractions at all . I’m sure many do receive that reprieve they need from a busy life in the city. I saw many smiling faces today. And curated attractions can be surprisingly satisfying when they are quirky, undervisited and somehow attached to someone’s unique passions.

For example, I found the personal reptile collection at Point A: the ghost town/not-real ghost town, very interesting. It was a personal collection, and the woman with the life-long penchant for venomous snakes was onsite to add her own interesting spirit to the experience. I wasn’t being entertained so much as I was being asked to appreciate a creature I was innately anxious about. I was curious and curiousity takes you places. I like those invitations.

I’d never seen a rattlesnake up close, and for a first-time encounter, I admit to being a bit relieved there was glass between us so I could admire their beauty while I put my healthy aversion on pause. Especially as I am conscious of sharing their living space as the weather warms. They aren’t active in winter, but are beginning to make an appearance now.

So, today I learned I am sharing this neighbourhood with five species in the Soronoran: Western Diamondback, Sidewinder, Black Tailed, Tiger and Mohave; here are two I met personally today.

A sign at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

When we reached Point B, it was too busy for either of our likings. There was a long line for the restaurant and parking was hard to find. Even though this was our final destination, we decided to bypass it; opting for an unscripted drive back through the canyon, where we ate lunch out of the back of the van and took a nap, just because we could.

Canyon Lake, on the Apache Trail

And then we stopped to look at flowers. We stopped to smell the flowers.

I took a deep breath; inhaling peace. I was not being asked to consume them, I was being asked to commune with them.

Yet Unidentified!

This is what I need. This is what I can sink into. Now I can see what has changed. Why I wasn’t so attracted to the attractions.

I just don’t need “Point A” or “Point B” anymore. I ‘ve discovered the spaces in between, and they have become the point.

My Hobbit Feet 😉

4 thoughts on “Day 15: The Places In Between

  1. I anxiously look forward to your travels every day. It is what haskept me sane & connected as Im healing from surgery post auto accident. I lived on the road 18 years and find such JOY from your beautiful perspective. Loving this 💖

  2. So Love this blog! The places “in between” provide space to breathe and soothe the spirit. Bless you for these reminders.

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