land of dreams - part one: eastern sierra to the desert

road trip of dreams. that's what it was. it was a celebration of our lives and life in general, it was a big firework in the night, a fresh blossom in the desert, a snake uncoiling, a vast and endless view. it's like taking a breath of fresh air deep into your lungs, you look around with clear eyes and the whole world seems to sparkle. that's how it felt, each place we went. we just got back and i am still aglow and like always, i have to tell the story here.

so we started out driving through our beloved sierra nevadas and over to the east side and down highway 395.
this time we listened to the informational cd that mom and jack brought us back from one of their many trips to the east side. it was fascinating!  we learned how the mountains were formed over time, how there were actually ancient ancestors of these mountains, formed by an ocean plate colliding with a land plate 120 million years ago. They loomed into the sky. By 65 million years ago, these mountains were rolling hills like the foothills where i live. The Sierra Nevadas that we know and love didn't start to form until about 4 million years ago, the grand and epic result of so much time, volcanic and geologic activity, shifting and erosion. Crazy to think what they'll be like in another 100 million years!

road trip braids:

enjoying it was a crisp fall day when we left, sunny and refreshing. in the mountains, all those leaves we saw two weeks ago were gone now! now they are tall and spindly little winter trees ready to wait out all the coming storms, brave and true.

by the time we got to bridgeport for some jalapeno poppers (road trip food, oh yeah!) it was downright cold! no one else was on the road. we were their last customers - they closed down early to go home and get cozy. we hit the road again.

arrived in lone pine in the moonlit shadows of those eerie peaks, mount whitney and her sisters guiding us all the way. our plans to camp went out the window with the cold wind. we stayed here instead:

next morning in lone pine we hit up our very favorite espresso joint:

yesterday's braids paid off!

and onward out to the alabama hills for some good old fashioned running around!

the alabama hills are a national recreation area where tons of western movies and car commercials get filmed out on hidden dusty trails. luckily, it was all quiet while we were there and we seemed to be the only ones for miles and miles on these strange little pathways hidden in the curvy rocks.

i am still reading Women who Run with the Wolves (c/o milla) and definitely embracing my wildish woman lately, feeling like a tiny outcropping, a bit of obsidian flaked from these ancestral woman and myths as old as the hills (now i get that expression!)
i wanted to run, jump and dance and howl in big skirts on this trip. i wanted to feel like a rainbow. 
this was my thursday outfit: queen of the hills.

"How does one call up the soul?"

"In order to converse with the wild feminine, a woman must temporarily leave the world and inhabit a state of aloneness in the oldest sense of the world. Long ago the word alone was treated as two words: all one. To be all one meant to be wholly one, to be in oneness, either essentially or temporarily."

we struck down further south along the 395 into missile range territory, long stretches of nothing but ghost towns, straggling telephone poles, and lonely ravens.

made lunch down a little dirt road south of barstow. we could see the san bernadinos ahead of us.
almost there.

and before night fell we found our destination: a place on the outskirts of Yucca Valley affectionately called the "Ranch" by the family: it is owned by Dave's (darin's brother) father-in-law, had long ago been given to his father right after WWII. the family called this grandfather "pop;" he's been gone several years and now ashley's dad and brothers still would not change a thing about pop's place and love to use his little rusty place as their desert hideaway: a glorious one it is! a total little old man's bachelor pad in the desert, full of beebee guns and kites and dusty trinkets and ancient coffee pots. shag carpet about fifty years old, with dust from the desert holding it together. sleeping bags and floral couches and vinyl chairs. perfection.

our front yard:

La Llorona wanderings:

darin gave me my birthday gift two weeks early! he wanted me to be able to use it on the trip.
check out his hand-painted wrapping paper. he recreated images from 80s fantasy movies like Labyrinth and Legend.

it was a fancy and wonderful new lens! he is helping me learn about it, and we were able to use it a little, but we had to send it back because the manual focusing aspect was broken. i can't wait to get my replacement. i will need a new blog format to really show these photos off!

tickled. hanging out at the ranch with my love.

darin drank his Old Rasputin that emily sent along for his birthday.

we read each other's tarot cards.maybe it's taboo to photograph your reading, but this was a really really good one, marriage blessing, love and male/female balance. tickled again.

and late at night took a starry walk up the dirt road toward the strange hills.
jackrabbits crossed our paths and zig zagged away.
the moon was a curandera leading the way through the sands.

i'll be back tomorrow with more from these desert dream lands and my man's birthday! hope your hearts are full of peace tonight, fill those wild souls.


Milla said…
I love you so so much! No seriously, that is the overwhelming feeling I get from this post. I love your lust for live, your adventurous spirit, I simply can't say it enough! These images, this journey you've shared, Heather is so beautiful. You inspire awe in me, the both of you. These photos are a thing of beauty, this place a blessing you've taken us to. There's so much I want to say. So much life in one little corner of the internets. I'm so happy you're rediscovering your wild woman self and grateful I could facilitate it in anyway. I shall re-read my "Women" and journey with you. The last too photos literally take my breath away. Thanks for taking us along. A huge world-embracing hug to the both of you.
Missa said…
Yes! Milla summed it up perfectly. You two are amazing, awe-inspiring souls. These moments are what life is all about, or should be anyway!

So many beautiful images here and you look super gorgeous in that second photo, you are sparkling right along with the world :)

I can not get over how cool that handpainted wrapping paper is and yay for fancy new lenses, what a guy!

Also, "all one"... I love that :)
Kelsie Lynn said…
oh the best life.

since the end of summer, i feel so out of touch with desert soil and being bare foot.

take me there!
lovely pictures. i love darins jacket and black hat. i love love love that landscape and geology nerding out is my one sciencey leaning. i read the WWRWTWolves a few years ago. i liked it a lot but is it just me or does she basically just repeat herself a million times after the book gets about half way done? i felt like she could have wrapped that book up about 150 pages earlier. i love her use of fairy tales and folk tales, but yeah, i just remember reading the last half like "okay. you said that. i get it. i'm wild. okay. you said that too. i swear i get it." hee hee. i'm glad you had so much fun. glad you are back.
anne said…
wow! i love this! what an amazing trip! i wish ruben and i could get away together like this. one day....the last two photos are seriously rad! and how awesome to have a desert get away at your disposal!

darin's wrapping paper is frickin' awesome! ruben and i were looking at this post together and equally appreciate the rad-ness of it!

thanks for adding so much love and light to my morning! you are one of a kind, a real gem, lady!
ashley said…
Oh this makes me so happy! I am glad you two got to escape together. Its good for the soul.

Love the hand-painted wrapping paper, your hotel room strewn with books, music and quilts, your post-braid hair, the night sky photos and the picnic in the desert! Seems like such a fun magical trip. Cant wait to see more phots!

I hope you both had [have]the happiest of birthdays!

ZombieLace said…
Your writing is so vivid and beautiful. It sounds like the journey of a lifetime! Love your photos too, as always. You are the cutest.
Amy Beatty said…
HELLO!!! Why in the world are you and darin the most attractive people out there. I'm totally in love with every single photo. and it's not only because you guys are in them but the beauty that just seeps in from the lighting and the colors. the whole scene and story fill me up with such love and happiness. By the way... your outfits are out of this world perfectly perfect. you both are just glowing. I want to do this trip. Just one long wonderful, wondering dream. every single place. the desert sand to the beach and trees. Your blog alone fills my spirit and senses with such peace, love and pure out of control happiness. I love you guys. glad you made it home safe and can't wait for the next installment.
oh heather! i was just going to leave another little comment to tell you how you are just the manifestation of love...and i'm tickled i'm not the only one who's noticed (milla and missa!). so a full heart to you and your wild gypsy soul. love.
Tera said…
GORGEOUS PHOTOS! LOve your outfits too, yours and your Honey's!

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