In John Steinbecks heralded Novel 'The grapes of Wrath' he traces the fortune of the Joad family.
They travel from Oklahoma to California leaving behind them their arid flat lands which have turned into a dust bowl.
There journey takes them in search of 'better' land on which to till and toil, and ply their trade.
Like most of Stienbecks work, the richness of this novel is as much to do with the characters as it has to do with the story. He not only takes the reader on a physical journey across the United States but traces out the respective internal journeys of his subjects.
He lets us feel their pain, their anguish and sometimes their desperation.
For me any journey of consequence, is an adventure.
The more 'bolt ons' the bigger the adventure.
Often the experience can become ingrained inside you and deliver up long lasting multiple emotions.
Mostly positive, but other times, as in the case of the Joad Family things don't quite live up to their expectations.
In the Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck introduces his own Mule of sorts in his character- Muley Graves.
Muley is stuborn, he sees the attraction of moving, but fears the unknown and ultimately remains in Oklahoma.
How many times in your life do you say 'I wish I didn't go?
How many times do you say 'Awwwwwwww I wish that I had gone ?'
Its curious, as I get older, experience would traditionally dictate that I take less risks.
I'd be expected to look for my pipe and slippers, before my cleated shoes and helmet.
But putting tradition aside 'Experience' can also be liberating.
It teaches you that you must grasp things sometimes, or the chance will be gone for ever.
Like San Fransisco, I prefer my life with peaks and troughs - rather than stagnating in the flat lands
And so for the trip.......
As the plane swooped down over the surrounding mountains and made its final approach I could see the land on one side and the sea the other.
Fish nets and Fruit Trees,
Trawlers and Telecom Industries,
Wine and Waves.
Good name choice for the ride I chuckled to myself
The wind was turned off, the morning light intensified, and the clouds were chased off towards the horizon.
Charles asked Paddy sympathetically 'How you doing mate did you go into the red Zone.
Paddy replied solemnly. 'Charlie..........I have never left the red zone.'
As we climbed the wall in the Midday sun Sam very flatteringly used me as a pace maker.
At one point she started to slip back so realising I was close to the top, encouragement was the obvious course of action.
Come on Sam I cried....nearly at the top.
The smile on her face lasted only a few seconds, as I finished my first sentence.
Sam........Its not the top.