I accidentally ended up at the Sequoia National Forest over the weekend. I was headed . . . well, nowhere in particular, to tell the truth. I was driving on a winding road, unable to see where I’d been, unable to see where I was going. The road seemed never ending. I’d started out with a full tank of gas, and by the time I got down to a quarter of a tank, I began to wonder if I’d ever find a gas station, or any sign of civilization for that matter.
I took a turn around a corner, and there, in a tiny settlement of three or four houses, I saw a run-down market. I stopped to ask if there was a gas station up ahead. The woman asked me where I was going. I said I didn’t know. She gave me a strange look when I admitted I didn’t even know where I was. Finally she said I’d find a gas station at the end of the road to Lake Isobel.
Ah! I knew Lake Isobel from a brief perusal of an online map the night before, and I mentioned that I might be going to the lake. The woman shook her head and said the lake wasn’t that attractive. It was just desert. Then she suggested I turn left instead of right at Lake Isobel and go to Ponderosa.
I thanked her, and since I really didn’t have a destination in mind, I headed for Ponderosa.
As if that weren’t enough, I stopped at sign for the “Trail of a 100 Giants and found myself among the giant sequoias. Wooo. What a treat. It seemed like a natural cathedral to me, though most people acted as if they were at a carnival.
At the end of a trail was a plaque:
As I stared into the pool at the reflection of the sequoias, I reflected on . . . not much of anything. I was still in awe at what I’d seen and felt.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.