What do you do with Spring fever on an unexpected snowy March day?
Here is one idea. Take a trip with me now.
Today's journey started out to heading to a work related destination. Go make a visit to a site, and snap some photos for a report. We will call this site and all others described below as *Area 52.
*My Tour Guide "Bubba"
After the initial site visit we continued on.. *Bubba is an experienced driver and has traveled all through these mountains. It was snowing and I was a bit nervous to be get stuck and stranded in the middle of nowhere. There was about 6 inches of snow already on the ground. I cautiously agreed, despite my reservations. We curved off the main road on to a small dirt road and then darted into another "road". It was more like a path that was big enough to squeeze a truck through. Trees down, ground eroding from the creeks and waterways that flow over and through the mountains.
It was a bumpy ride in. But it was so beautiful. I wished that I had brought my good camera with me. The one I had was an inexpensive camera, but luckily you can take a zillion pictures with it. I just couldn't get my pictures to speak. If you know what I mean. I couldn't frame out how vast the landscape was. How tall the trees were and the silence and sanctity of it all. I was truly in a Winter Wonderland. Fresh fallen snow and no tracks, except for our own. Hopefully you can capture the feeling from the next two photos, then you can times that by as many pictures that my cheap camera can take.
We continued on deeper into the forest and pretty much skirting the sides of mountains. No houses, nothing but white and wild.
My guide pulled up to a clearing and said, "this is where we get out". I jumped out of the truck excited to see what was next.
*A fellow explorer
Mineral drips, perhaps Calcium Carbonate.
Past the substation was an abandoned coal mine.
Inside the mine entrance.
A bat hanging.
View of the substation from inside the mine.
I have to stop here and talk about the coal mine. Both Bubba and I got a sense of something dark energy. I don't want to call it evil, but it was an uncomfortable feeling. The photo captures the eerie vibe. It was in contrast, both visually and in many aspects to what I had been experiencing just minutes before. I was looking down and found a cool fossil. We didn't stay long. Perhaps it was the manifestation of all things past and present there. I am not sure.
We shook it off, and headed back to the truck. On the drive out I was less in the universe and more in my old body. I got a sharp shooting pain in my leg. I couldn't believe what we had driven through!
On another road we stopped so I could take this photo. It is an area that has been reclaimed from coal mining. As you can see below, the coal seam ran along the mountain. Miners went in and scooped out the coal. It looks like it was recently replanted. The smaller trees were put in after the coal was gone.
It is so wild and wonderful here. There are some stark contrasts to all of this natural habitat. People live here. We do some awful deeds, even in our efforts to help the earth. I don't know if most people are like me in this regard. I seem to search out the loveliness. Even where all hope might appear to be lost. The following photos speak to my view. Along the way...
Love by Defacement
Prejudice and Orbs.
Botanical in Red
God and Goddess
Why not try to find beauty wherever you are? Does it always have to be a pristine view? Can we see the contrast and appreciate what is assumed to be ugly and find some beauty, some attribute we can be grateful for? Appreciate the dark, because without dark, the light would be nothing. Without our sorrow there would not be the overwhelming sense of joy. Like a sad movie that makes you cry, but then when the funny part comes it makes you laugh even heartier. And it feels so good.
Do we get angry at the kid who defaced this bridge, or do we look at the images and cuss-words and and wonder, who did this and why? Join me and remember, even if it is for this second... That all the parts of you are beautiful. The sparkling pure white you is also the graffiti-ed you, and the dark scary part of you is the same as a crystal clear flowing stream you. You can't love only parts of a whole. That is not love.
Love embraces everything. Following the switchbacks and around and through the Mountains...
It was another wild and wonderful day here in West Virginia.
*Places and names have been changed to respect the privacy of others! lol