In writing about adventures I've been part of, intensity seems as predictable like weather seems predictable - not much. In a section of #inthefootstepsofasaint
story which I'm revisiting this week, I've been reminded that after lowering my guard, just north of a challenging but relatively straightforward month hiking from Mount Whitney to Yosemite Valley in spring 2017, the next section wandered up the Pacific Crest trail to Sonora Pass, in the most spectacular scenery I'd encountered. Yet, as snow yielded to the green of summer, nothing could have prepared my mind for the stress of being constantly challenged by water; sometimes calm water, often fierce water, but always there - ahead, and behind - and often up to my waist.
Periods of uncomfortable solitude were interspersed with the company of other people, as well as the sunshine, flowers, birds and animals of summer. And periods of deep concern and loneliness - then bringing a certain quality of stress - are now special and welcome companions causing joy, as I write some, save some and throw some in the fire. It's fun to craft a story from such a plethora of raw nature experiences.
As I forge on in the adventure of writing #inthefootstepsofasaint
, I do find myself craving the scent of the juniper and pine, the roar of the falls and the deep warmth of Californian sunshine. If I close my eyes, I imagine myself beside falls and creeks whose water has cut channels, to the parts of my pysche which make me feel as intensely alive as the icy spray flinging itself in my eyes on one crossing after another as the days marched on.
The remote north of The Yosemite is one of the wildest places I've ever seen. Get a half mile from the trail and you'll be in spots only four-legged animals have ever been. Spend a week there and I know I'll find parts of my imagination that I've never been.
#yosemite #johnmuir #california #sierranevada #pct2017 #pct2019 #mountains #pacificcresttrail #inthefootstepsofasaint