Day 34: San Diego to Alpine
How do we leave a legacy for our children, for the following generations? This awareness is not common in the immediate-gratification culture, thinking ahead, far ahead, past my life, into the future lives of my children, my grandchildren, and on. Commonly quoted indigenous Americans held a consciousness for their actions into the next seven generations. Hundreds of years.
I visited my 89-year-old uncle and cousin in Alpine. Taking the Metro Blue Line to El Cajon turned out to be a wise move, for the following 20 miles required a 2000 foot elevation climb to reach my uncle’s home. I didn’t plan the timing perfectly, ended up pedaling the last 5 miles in darkness, up a very steep incline at one point where strong Santa Ana winds blew warm desert air directly in my face. Dry air, parching my throat as I stood up on the pedals. Nice thought encouraged me on: this will be fun to go down tomorrow!
Arrived at their house, and we left for dinner at a nice Mediterranean restaurant. I found myself at ease in the conversation, something a bit new for me around meeting relatives I’d spent little time with. We talked about everything, running the restaurant, travel, the local energy company which was tearing up the roads to put in underground powerlines for desert “green energy” projects which had already been canceled.
I took a leap and asked my uncle about the atomic bomb. He’d worked on the Manhattan project, seen the first test blast. We didn’t delve deeply into moral implications or politics, and the event seemed a bit distant actually. The event which ended a world war, and changed forever the nature of politics, society, life.
All this brought me to ponder my legacy. What would I be leaving?
I’d just traveled 1300 miles without direct fossil fuel power, but I hold no delusions that my life is any more ecologically sound or petroleum free than the average American. I enjoy riding trains and buses, but I’m not ready to give up my car and getting wherever I want, whenever I want.
I will cycle more, slow down the pace of my travels, use the mode that lets me savor the motion, the muscle, the musing. Pass this consciousness along.