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Revive Your Soul Now Or Die Trying

I’ll admit, I’m not much of a city boy. Don’t really enjoy the city life. Quite frankly, it bores me and dulls my mind. I spend every waking minute thinking of how to spend a next adventure away from the city.

I think of our little 4-banger car and where we’re going to rip her to next. Betsy’s a beast and she gobbles up those mountains with as much ease as any gluttonous 8-cylinder.

We took a 3 and 1/2 day road trip, setting our sights high. With a taste for adventure and the combined will power to push it to the max, we bit off more than we could chew and just kept on chewing. Our first stop, a measly 6 hour drive northwest, was San Simeon and the Hearst Castle. We heard the waves crash in during the evening and observed the great fortune of a wealthy family the following day.

Thirsting for more, we did one simple thing – asked a person more than twice our age for recommendations and suggestions of what we should do next. He didn’t disappoint. He pulled out a map, pointed us Northeast and told us to rip it to Kings Canyon National Forest. I’m not one to shy away from 16 hour days, so we ripped it to the national park, descending several thousand feet into the canyon as the sun bleached the canyon walls with its calming light. Our hearts pounded as we raced down the switchbacks in the filtered light, feeling a spike of adrenaline every time we passed under a jutted rock formation that would pulverize us in a second as a result of any seismic activity. In the gut of the canyon, the white rage of King’s river guided us to the lodge by the stroke of dark.

It’s a strange feeling to enter the deepest canyon in the Western hemisphere and come to the end of the road. 8000 ft down, as far as one can go; beside a torrent and powerful river.  Needless to say, I barely slept, feeling the water slowly roll out the sides of my eyes as I wonder how it is even possible we weren’t killed in that car 5 years ago. It sends chills up my spine every time I think about it.

Dawn came fast and General Sherman (the largest tree in the world by volume) was next on the list. A long climb out of the canyon left us with no time to waste. 4 hours later we stood in awe of the General, breathing in the cool mist of the wooded wilderness. 2 more hours ticked by and we arrived at Three Rivers, savoring a hardy lunch beside the convergence of relentless Spring run-offs. We blasted out of Three Rivers and resolved that Porterville would break up the remainder of the trip to something that might be considered sane.

Another morning rolled around and we took the scenic route home; avoiding L.A. traffic at all costs. It was nice to get away overnight for the 1st time in 2 years.

My 2-pronged message?

1st – You wanna revive your soul? Find a way to get that heart pounding and give it all you got.

2nd – You’d have to hire a private chartered helicopter to keep up with me and do what I did.

You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet,

Matthew Polkinghorne

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