Every spring I inevitably get bit by the homesickness bug, and thought I'd show off why I get this way. The Owens River Valley in Eastern California is where my ancestors settled down at the turn of the nineteenth to the twentieth century, and where my Grandma Clarice and Grandpa Ira's children (which included my father and the current patriarch, my Uncle Art) and I were born.
I've written many posts for this blog on the history of the area and my family's involvement therein, but I don't spend nearly enough time talking about how achingly lovely the place is. My focus is always on the area between Big Pine and Lone Pine, along U. S. Highway 395. Most people travel this road on the way to somewhere else: North to Mammoth, Lake Tahoe, Reno, or south to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or even Death Valley.
The opening shot is related to one labeled on the Farm's home page as "The Auld Sod." This is the view from the back of the old Robinson house which, I think is the oldest house still standing in Big Pine, and built by one of our Chrysler ancestors after she and her husband moved to town in 1897. The ivy has recently been removed because it was quite literally pulling the place apart, but I was lucky enough to get this picture of the house during a family reunion. The photo of the Palisades was taken more recently, at the last reunion we attended before my father died.
The second Skywatch photo was taken along the Owens River, probably on the road leading to the highway from the old Reward Mine. There's a pond nearby, and I used a picture of it for my Earth Day 2008 post (Surviving Plutopia), but I also love this one with the sky behind the marsh grasses, looking almost directly south, with vague outlines in the background of the Inyo Mountains on the left and the Alabama Hills on the right:
This is where my mother's DNA mixed my father's (well, probably not right in this spot!) to create a child attached umbilically to this place, this valley, so strongly that it exerts an almost physical force that continuously draws me home. I may have to wait another year, but I'll get there.