Homeward Bound

After the adventure comes the trek home. This trek can be happy or sad, depending on your outlook; for me, it's usually sad, which should be a pretty good insight into the way my brain operates. 

I'm also of the opinion that if you don't find at least a couple of possibilities for future adventures along the way, you're doing something wrong. Case in point: on the way back from our quick weekend trip, Toby and I passed through the small town of Lone Pine, located at the base of the mountains in a deep desert valley. We kept seeing signs for Mount Whitney, with arrows pointing to the west, up to the jagged rock faces towering above the town. The sun was already about to sink behind the mountain's crest, but I suggested turning right and seeing what there was to see anyway, just for the heck of it. Toby woke up long enough to say, "Sure, why not", and so we took a detour. 

It was so worth it. One minute we were driving through a field of rocks, straight at a mountain, and ten minutes and a few switchbacks later, we were suddenly in full blown autumnal mountainland, complete with a waterfall laced with snow and ice, towering pine trees, and log cabins dotting the gray, rocky slopes all around us. Turns out Mount Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous United States, and we had stumbled upon its portal, where people park and camp before heading up to the top. It was gorgeous. And if we hadn't made the spontaneous decision to turn, we still wouldn't have any idea that it exists. Scenic detours for the win.