Washington, California is certainly not a well known destination. Most Californians couldn't even locate it on a map, and rightly so given it's 200 person population (yes, 200!). But, I immediately fell in love with the raw beauty of the town, situated in Tahoe National Forest, about 3 hours inland from San Francisco. The appeal to me was the utter remoteness, lack of civilization, and gorgeous California mountains and trees sweeping the horizon seemingly with no end. And the river.....oh the river. The Yuba River runs through Washington, and it was on the banks of the river where I lay down to sleep under the stars.
I'm constantly conflicted by how complicated, intense and hurried we've made life in this country, and am always daydreaming of a much simpler existence. My deep attraction to nature and being in the woods is quite Thoreauvian (simplify, simplify, simplify!) in that I yearn to strip away the superficial complications our society has strapped us with. Everything is simple and unhurried in nature.....life just unfolds in the manner it was intended to. I can't help but think human beings weren't meant to be vomiting due to excesses of anxiety, feeling daily pressure and stress to make piles of money, focusing on superficial acquisition, ignoring the truths in our bodies and minds......I'm getting into a deep, intense topic here. Pfew!
It is that constant desire for simplicity and natural genuineness that draws me into the forest. Washington, California gave me a dose of that and a much-needed respite away from the big city I was living in at the time (San Francisco). I ran through the trees in my underwear, skipped stones in the river for hours, and enjoyed the freedom that is to be found when you are "nowhere."
I absolutely love the unexpected, sometimes bizarre things you find tossed aside as trash or forgotten.
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner and reduce it to its lowest terms..."
Previous California road trippin' posts: