Travel Starts Locally

How many places of significance do you pass on a daily basis that you never seem to have time to stop at?  A friend from Paris laughed as I posed the question.  Why are we so different when we travel?  We seek out art, architecture, history, wild places, and adventure on vacation but when it surrounds we are so caught up in our daily routine to stop.  Admittedly, I have a long commute (100 miles).  On my commute, I pass 3 California missions, 2 historic adobes, 1 national park, 1 national forest, countless wineries, and lots of other points of local interest.  It took 7 years of thinking, “I need to climb that” before I stopped to hike Chalone Peak.  It took 9 1/2 years of looking at the state historic marker for the Mission Soledad for me to put my camera in the car 3 days ahead and commit to stopping on my way home from work.  It’s not that I am sitting in a dark basement letting life pass me by.  What amazes me is that we are so busy, it’s almost like a switch is thrown when we travel, and we find the time to stop at what interests us.  Yet, on a daily basis it takes a Herculean effort to change the routine, the priorities, and the distractions.

Pinnacles National Monument (now Pinnacles National Park)
Pinnacles National Monument (now Pinnacles National Park)
Lookout on North Chalone Peak
Lookout on North Chalone Peak

I used to stop by Pinnacles National Monument to run or hike, but Chalone Peak was the allusive goal.  Somehow, I needed to stop and say today is the day.

Steinbeck House
Steinbeck House
B. V. Sargent House
National Register of Historic Places plaque
National Register of Historic Places plaque
Sheriff William Joseph Nesbitt House
Sheriff William Joseph Nesbitt House
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad
Interior of the Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad
Interior of the Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad
Entry at the Mission San Miguel
Entry at the Mission San Miguel
Arcade at the Mission San Miguel
Arcade at the Mission San Miguel
Caledonia Hotel
Caledonia Hotel
Rios Caledonia Adobe State Historic Landmark plaque
State Historic
Historic Route 101 sign at the Rios-Caledonia Adobe site
Historic Route 101 sign at the Rios-Caledonia Adobe site
Estrella Adobe Church
Estrella Church
Graveyard at the Estrella Adobe Church
Graveyard at the Estrella Adobe Church

I took a day off this spring and decided to take the long way home.  Via the Steinbeck House (Salinas, California), the Sargent House (Salinas, California), the Sheriff William Joseph Nesbitt House (Salinas, California), the Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad (Soledad, California), the Mission San Miguel Arcangel (San Miguel, California), the Rios-Caledonia Adobe (San Miguel, California), and the Estrella Adobe Church (Paso Robles, California).  I promise that it won’t take another 10 years to go back.

3 thoughts on “Travel Starts Locally”

  1. Good for you! I sometimes do this for things that are close by my house. Somehow I have no problem driving three hours to check something cool out. But, I won’t go for a short hike nearby the house after dinner on a weeknight. But, you would be proud of me. Two weeks ago I stopped by a local county park off the side of the road that I have always “wondered what was there.” It turns out it is a salmon habitat with a short little overgrown walk on it. Sadly, though I came across a homeless camp… In the spring I also stopped by a park near my work called Hidden Falls. I had always heard it was cool. But, I never felt like driving back up to where I work on the weekend to check it out. Well, I finally did and it was AWESOME. I would go back over and over. It was great fun and very pretty. (Unless we run out of water soon up here in NorCal…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have so many great places near you too. I’ve driven through Auburn a couple of times recently and the number of historic buildings is astounding; I could spend a day photographing just buildings. And that’s just one small town.
      The hard part is changing the routine. We went to the coast today because we heard that the whales were migrating through. Hmm… run cuttings through the chipper when it’s 95 degrees out or play on the beach with the dogs while whales are breaching just outside the break? Well, we actually did both; the chipping was done before it got hot and we went to the coast for the afternoon.
      There was a Huell Howser episode about the salmon habitat that intrigued me. Unfortunately, I need to mark it on the calendar to remember the season for watching the salmon migration. And, then change the routine.

      Liked by 1 person

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