Lake Tahoe Adventure Day#1: Not the Travelogue
So this is my first day of vacation in Lake Tahoe. And I am having one of those moments of deep appreciation. While I do want to tell you all about this magnificent place, surely one of America’s most beautiful spots, and all the fun things there are to do for a wandering Boomer, what struck me on Day One was sheer gratitude.
It has been a long time since I have wandered out towards the West Coast and I am struck by how different it feels from the Southeast. I love it! It is so unfamiliar to me that it almost feels like I am visiting another country, and the novelty and excitement that inspires. I love how every region of the U.S. has a different vibe. As you move across the country towards the Rockies and Sierra Nevada Mountains, the vibe is kind of laid back and casual, people are really friendly, everyone seems to be into the outdoors. People look unusually healthy here! I feel unexpectedly, totally at home, even though it is unfamiliar territory.
I am grateful that at age 56, natural beauty of this magnitude can literally take my breath away. I will never tire of the adventure or be jaded by yet another vista, as many as I have seen or will ever see.
I love meeting interesting people, and the coolest guy sat next to us on the plane. He is from the Lake Tahoe area and was happy to tell us about all of the hot spots, and in the span of 3 hours, we felt like fast friends. He and his wife are skiers, serious athletes—like Olympic level in their youth—and recently started a thriving company called Mountains Calling. They produce outdoor apparel with the slogan: “No matter what’s happening in your life, the mountains are always calling.” Great philosophy, great introduction to this part of the world.
Lake Tahoe is so beautiful it is almost surreal. The color of the water is a blue that defies description. For this week in October, every day is predicted to be full, brilliant sun. It is cold, a daytime average 55 degrees, while in Virginia it was in the 80s up until the days before leaving for the trip, and humid, after what has seemed like solid weeks of rain. A complete turnaround. While the air is cold here, the sun is so warm, it is perfection. The atmosphere is pure, the sky is cloudless blue. In these high mountains with unlimited visibility, everything looks crystal clear. The colors are vibrant. The aspen leaves have turned to a brilliant yellow and shimmer ephemerally in the breeze. I forgot that colors could be so vibrant and the air so clear, it is kind of a revelation. I breathe it in, just look all around me, and say… Wow. In complete awe.
To look around and feel amazement and awe feels like such a gift. All of us at Boomer Connections agree that producing this blog has been life-changing, because it has caused us to look closer, to have a keener eye, to be called upon to remember things and recount them. It has caused us to live an examined life—and you know what Socrates said about an unexamined life, that it is hardly worth living.
Our work here has reminded us to appreciate what has gone before and to appreciate every day going forward.
Around age 50, all kinds of things started to happen that were unwelcome. Bursitis, achy joints, and a myriad of other health issues. We’ve experienced the loss of our parents as well as friends. So many people we know have battled cancer and other serious illnesses. We no longer take health for granted. Life, especially healthy life, is a blessing.
Since I became an empty nester I have had the chance to travel more. Perspective changes when you are out of the fray and have more time to ponder. I endeavor to appreciate this beautiful world and not take it for granted, not for one minute. I am reminded to look at it all really, really closely and not miss a thing. And this is the lesson from the first day in Lake Tahoe.
#beautifulworld #lookcloser #thisboomerslife.
The travelogue…that comes next.