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Time around 1999 seen through Hippo's eyes

We are islands on a foggy shore...  
This hope of a year started with a trip, and ended with another. Whole life seems to consist of trips, we just do not always return to the places we started. And even though you may get robbed on one of the rougher roads, you have certainly seen more. Unless you managed to sleep right through it, or have kept your eyes shut.

We are small islands on a foggy shore. Hoping to be discovered, and united with the mainland of friends and family, but time erodes the slopes, and thick cover of indifference lifts only for a moment, to reveal our beautiful beaches.

  Build   Burn   Fly
You have to get up before sunrise. If you frown at that, you don't deserve the sky. The grass is wet with dew and you don't mind wearing gloves at all. You enter the mystery of gases: some you blow, some you burn, and with some you hold you breath. No seatbelts, no roaring engines, no runway racing away beneath you. The moment, when you silently defeat gravity, stirs a species-old knowledge inside. We were supposed to fly after all.

Fishing ship returns to Moss Landing  
Years ago, I have fallen in love with Monterey Bay, and ever since I wanted to come back and bring friends. I usually went alone, for those I'd love to take with me would not seem to care for the magic, the exciting throb of heavy tourist boom, and just a few steps away, a spot of perfect tranquility.

A friend of mine talked me into getting a better camera, and I'm thankful for that. On this particular weekend, I borrowed his.

  Fig Orchard
Winter months have spread gloom with their low clouds and teeth-rattling chill. It rained, and I followed an urge to drive out and challenge the elements. It was the time of year when Scottish and Irish weather came to the slopes of Southern Sierra Nevada. My desire to go to the Isles would stay unfulfilled this year; what remains are wet memories of a weekend near Tehachapi.

Balloon shadow   Soda Lake  
When you embark on a journey, you're looking for a quality that would not come to you if you stayed in one place. There are mystic valleys in the midst of our populated world where nobody goes. They are the crossroads of our hearts. And though you can fly high and see into the distance, unless you have someone to walk by your side, you're lost.

  Cindercone Crater
Once a minor fiery hell, the volcanoes of Northern California are ready to swallow you in their craters. You're likely to find other hikers there, but they won't be noisy and it won't be a big crowd. Enjoy for a moment a tingling thought of the earth gods reawakening, just this very instant.

Crater Lake  
There are few days and places you can climb the highest mountain just on happiness alone.

Crater Lake from about 8,900 feet altitude.

  Water curtain
In some hidden valleys and canyons of California high desert, it is freezing cold. Yet the earth will warm you up, if you know how (and where) to ask.

Wearing nothing but my camera, I had some difficulty wiping the fogged-over lens.

Hawk   Bunny  
Don't be afraid, my little Christmas bunny! I know, this whole world seems to be just one big rabbit trap, with hawks and foxes on the double.

No matter how much you run, no matter how much you hide, if you're sad and empty, for your close ones stabbed you in your back, it will follow you everywhere.

  Delicate Arch   Eagle Canyon
A new year 2000: Delicate Arch reaches to the sky from the cold cold desert.

A lone tree in Eagle Canyon is weathered by thousand winds, stretching its long long shadow to the northern horizon.

Asilomar sparrow   Pacific Grove surf  
As this sparrow of Asilomar, I will continue searching for grains of love and kindness. I learned patience, i learned to forgive.

You can reach the author by e-mail at sidparal@hroch.net.
Photography & Text Copyright © 2000 by Sid Paral. All rights reserved.