The weather had been rainy leading up to the trip but we were determined, so when the clouds broke we piled into the truck (the van still wasn’t running), and set course for the southernmost point of Monterey County, hoping for the best. As we wound along the California highway, we were ushered on by unseasonably green hills, illuminated by warm sun and crisp air
We arrived at our destination and set up base camp in the late afternoon. We were welcomed by the Varian family, owners of the Parkfield Lodge and Cafe situated on either side of a dirt road that ran through town, who invited us for dinner. Seated around a long wooden table we soaked up the warmth from the oversized fireplace. Light flitted across the visual cacophony of cowboy artifacts that adorned the walls and ceiling.
That night we ate together, and laughed together, and you could feel the excitement for the adventure ahead. We were not disappointed.
And so the next morning we laced up our boots and set out…
The air was crisp and a blanket of frost covered everything outside, which melted and shimmered as the sun lazily slid across it. As all great adventures start, we found our way to the water and let it lead us. Wandering along the rocks, we followed the icy river as it narrowed and widened along the landscape, carving its way through mountains and valleys dancing with the fault line that ran throughout the terrain.
It just felt good to connect with people in a different environment
The rain had reawakened the California landscape, which by this time would normally be retreating into dormancy to wait out the hot, dry summers. But there was life everywhere.
You could see it in the rocks, fossils, and sulfur deposits from springs. It was like the earth was opened up and was revealing its secrets
As we wandered together through the countryside, we would point out this life to one another: new leaves, which smelled sweet and green; moss on a rock, which smelled rich and deep; the leaves of a shrub, which smelled of chamomile and leather.
That place, that moment, smelled like spring. It’s both soft, and present. Both cool and bright, the herbaceous floral notes danced with the deeper coniferous notes of the trees to create something fascinating and unique. All that energy that builds up through winter was beginning to push its way through the cold, reaching for the warmth of the sun, filling the air with the scent of anticipation. That’s what our Mustang Peak Field Lab smells like.
...so green, so vibrant, and so alive!
Mustang Peak Field Lab is a truly unique moment in time and place, and we are thrilled to be able to share that with you.
P.S.- The van has been fixed and is now up and running! We can’t wait to take it out