July 29, 2011
I truly feel sorry for people who have only observed the world from the seat of a speeding car. It all becomes a blur.
The pace of bicycle travel suites me. But even pedaling can propel you too quickly through your surroundings.
To experience the intense beauty of nature, sometimes you've got to get off your bike and wallow in it.
While cycling around Crater Lake, my buddy Thomas and I came upon a huge field of dirt and rocks.
At least from a speeding car that's all you'd have seen. Especially after the grand scenic views of the lake. But at bicycle speed you could still have missed the beauty. Just some flashes of color.
It wasn't until I got off my bike and onto my belly (I was already sweaty and dirty, anyway) that I experienced the beauty of this place. Among the dirt and rocks were thousands of tiny wildflowers. Little explosions of color. In this mountain climate the flowers were tiny, most barely reaching more than a couple of inches above the dry earth. Yet up close their beauty rivaled that of anything we'd encountered on our trip.
While some prefer fast and furious ... I prefer low and slow.
Photos by Willie Weir
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS is posted every other Friday. Willie Weir is a columnist for Adventure Cyclist magazine. His books, Travels with Willie and Spokesongs, will inspire you to hit the road, and might change the way you approach bicycle travel. He lives in Seattle with his wife Kat. You can read about their adventures at http://yellowtentadventures.com.