Saturday, April 11, 2015

Perception, Such a Narrow View of Life

See the Elk?There's actually more than one. It's all about perception.
Sunshine streaming in the window, jump out of bed, fling open the window and I'm treated to colors of a beautiful sunrise, so full, so magnificent and to complete the perception, a cool breeze and a cacophony of birds, dogs, and morning sounds. So big, so filling, so complete...well not quite, but, damn, it sure seems like it from a perceptual point of view. And, for the most part, we walk around
with that feeling of a complete reality all day long and it isn't until something jars us that we realize that there is something that we're missing.

A couple of weeks ago we left La Junta, Colorado and were cruising across the plains enjoying the beauty of the ride. Sometime, in the early afternoon we realized  that we would probably be able to reach Lake Abiquiu, a neat little Corps of Engineers campground, just west of Espanola, New Mexico. We have stayed there several times: beautiful lake scenes, several little hikes nearby, and with that wonderful Golden Age Pass, electric and water camping for 8 bucks.

We arrived at Lake Abiquiu as the shadows were beginning to get long only to find the gates locked and a notice that the campground would be open mid-April. Ok, a set back in the plans, we look at maps and find a National Campground open all year and just 10 miles north toward Chama.  Now the thing is, we have traveled this road many times, even on a bicycle trip and neither of us can remember a campground, but we head off and lo, and behold we find a really
nice campground right off the road in small Echo Canyon.  There are no electric sites, but it's only $5 (Golden Age Pass, I love you) and it has this awesome amphitheater with a multiple echo effect (very cool).  

Kamala and I are both kind of blown away by the fact that we had passed this little campground many times and it had never jumped up into our consciousness.  And especially on that bicycle tour (as a cycling tourist, one is like a pilot who is always noting a possible landing place, well in this cyclist's case one is always picking out possible campsites). What the hell else are we missing?  Why did it take a closed campground to find another wonderful campground? Well, WHY will probably go unknown, but one thing for sure, you see new stuff by jarring your routines, like a different route to Grandma's house, letting the kids choose the movie, or getting a new pet.  Well friends, I'm here to tell you, for me at least, bouncing around the country with my little fiberglass home behind me shakes up my perceptions of this reality. Yeah, I realize, age and experience are in the mix too, but travel gets me out of my comfort zone (home) and opens up new ways of seeing the world. It doesn't take a scientist to realize that we just don't have what it takes to "see" the entirety of the world, but we do get to see a narrow sliver.  Ain't it marvelous?!

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