There are ghost towns where only the crumbling remnants of overgrown foundations remain; there are ghost towns where a few dilapidated buildings remain; and then there is Bodie, California – an entire town lost to the passage of time in the mountains of California.
The Whaley House. I’m not sure if there’s anything I can say about this location that hasn’t been said before. (Don’t believe me? Click here, here, here, or here for a sample of these reviews). This destination is regularly listed as one of the Top Five “Must Visit” places in San Diego. If that wasn’t strange enough, the Whaley House has received international notoriety as one of the “most haunted” locations not just in California, not just in the United States and North America, but as one of the most haunted spots in the world. That’s right: in the world! (Don’t believe me? The website for the Whaley House discusses its “haunted nature”, and solicits ghost photos! But for more info, click here, here, or here). If all of that wasn’t enough, the Whaley House has its own B-Grade horror movie! (Don’t worry, for research purposes, I watched it, and…..it was truly bad).
Right now, there’s a perception that the term “adventure” only refers to epic feats of swashbuckling derring-do that only can be accomplished on the highest mountains, the deepest oceans, the driest deserts, the wettest jungles, and in situations where one has lost at least one appendage, member of the group. I’m not going to lie: while I do love those situations where I lost a leg and had to make shoes out of duct tape to get down a massive snow covered peak after rescuing eight baby goats, and while I have massive respect and admiration for anyone who accomplishes anything epic, that’s not what adventure should mean in my book. Think about it for a second – life is rough, life is tough, and life is full of those existential moments of boredom that bothered people like Albert Camus.
Each and every morning when I wake up, I lie there a moment with my eyes scrunched shut and my head burrowed into my pillow. Before I let my eyes determine what color they will be that day, based on that morning’s light, I lay still and think two things. I think about what Henri de Saint-Simon was told every day: “Rise, for you have great things to do today”. I’m not sure I’ve necessarily done any great things recently, but for me, it’s always something to aspire to. Second, I lie there and wonder about what I know. I start with the basics: that I am alive, that my heart is beating, I’m breathing, and that my alarm is annoying. From there, I think about what I really know. The answer always surprises me: not much. That’s right, I’ll admit it, I don’t know much. Sure, I’ll concede by all exterior appearances, I know a lot. I’ve experienced things; and I’ve learned things through the course of my life, either by trial-and-error, or actual discovery.