Tag Archives: Exploring

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Part 1

 . . . Much to my amazement, he began, literally, climbing the shelves in this tiny but high-ceilinged shop, in pursuit of the golden liquid of which I wished to partake . . .

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Right off the bat, I must tell you that my title is not referring to the Walt Disney movie Fantasia that included Micky Mouse as the reckless “Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”  Nor does it refer to the 1797 poem, “Der Zauberlehrling,” written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe upon which Disney borrowed for its 1940 film. A film that that became re-energized among the psychedelic counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s, where everybody was dropping a hit of acid, or two, and going to see Mickey Mouse trying to control a bunch of angry brooms carrying buckets of water. 

No, I’m talking about actually meeting a real Sorcerer and his apprentice.  And yes, this is yet another rabbit hole I’m going down after yesterday’s Rabbit Hole post.  It happened at the same time as that story when I was in Mexico for that “agricultural exchange,“ and, with this writing, you could say that I’m still stumbling about in that “Warren.“

Continue reading The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Part 1

Wondrous Souls – Triad

Note: Since this is a continuation of the first and second post in this series (“Wondrous Souls,” & “Wondrous Souls – Dyad”) I’ve begun with the last few lines of the second post to kick this one off. To try to keep you in the rhythm of the story without you having to refer back to the previous post.

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It was truly a trading of energies, and we painted images in each other’s minds with the words we spoke.  And I believe revealed our Souls.  Our true essence.

That has a lasting effect on you.  And it certainly has with me.  It gives you hope for all of humanity.    

One thing she told me about being on those long trails, like the PCT, the Continental Divide Trail and the Appalachian Trail – known as the Big Three – you never have to explain yourself.  

Everyone on those trails has an innate understanding of the ardor of the Soul being activated there.

Continue reading Wondrous Souls – Triad

Wondrous Souls – Dyad

Note: Since this is a continuation of the first post “Wondrous Souls,” I’ve begun with the last paragraph of that post to kick this one off. To try to keep you in the rhythm of the story without you having to refer back to that post.

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I was blessed to run into a few of these shining Souls during my travels this past Summer. I’ve experienced bad ones as well, but that’s another story for another day. And if I’m choosing definitions, I take door number three, or at least a part of it – “emotional or intellectual energy or intensity.” But instead of this intensity being revealed in some other tangible art form, I would say this energy is, as definition number four implies, embodied in those people. I would equate these good Souls with Fine Art! Literally. Because meeting such people awakens something inside yourself and you make contact on an entirely different level.

Continue reading Wondrous Souls – Dyad

Boquillas!!! Dos

When I arrived at Big Bend, half of the National Park, as well as the River running through it, remained closed to us humans due to COVID.  But, nearby Big Bend Ranch State Park, and the section of the River running through it, were still running wild and free.  No restrictions. And as I have learned in the past, one of the best vantage points to take in such alluring scenery is on the River that runs through it.  

I had booked a day-trip and was joined by two other passengers to embark on a leisurely Oar Raft tour meandering through the River’s Colorado Canyon. 

While most of my adventures involve hiking, or utilizing some other mode of travel like river rafting or horseback riding, through the wilderness, another very important part of this exploration, and of every escapade of mine, is a perusal through, and the translation of, the words describing the back country I’m reconnoitering.  (Whew! That was a big sentence.) The words themselves can relay vital pieces of history or give you some historical context. 

Or not.  😊 

Continue reading Boquillas!!! Dos

Boquillas !!!

I was climbing higher, but my body still seemed reasonably acclimated.  For the past four months I had hiked in elevations ranging from being on the beaches of the Pacific Ocean up to 9000 feet above sea level.  My breathing was slightly taxed, but the air was cooling and becoming soothing, almost methylating, as I lumbered higher through the perfumes of Rose-Fruited Junipers, Honey Mesquites, Scrub Oak, Piñon Pine, Texas Madrone, and Manzanitas.  Their redolence encircling the trail as I approached 6850 feet, a 1200-foot elevation gain from where the trailhead began. 

The desert floor beneath me stretches to eternity.  You can easily see 100 miles or more across the horizon in all directions from the top of the Lost Mine Trail in the Chisos Mountains.  The innumerable red, orange, brown, and lavender hues paint the mountainous landscape.  

A watercolor wonderland.  

Sky Islands floating above what seems like a completely barren reddish-yellow-beige terrain. But that view of what’s beneath is as deceiving as this mountain range is enchanting. 

Regardless if this cordillera derived its name from the Native American word “Chisos,” meaning “ghost” or “spirit,” or if “Chisos” came from the Castilian “hechizos,” meaning “enchantment,” you’ll feel an enduring presence in these mountains.  The Ancestors are still here in this once favored stronghold of the Mescalero, Apache, and the Comanche.  Sharing space and time with the Black Bears, Roadrunners, Javelinas, Ravens, Mule Deer, Mountain Lions, Hawks and Vultures, Coyotes, Horned and Earless Lizards, Rattlesnakes, and Tarantulas.  

And there is so much More. 

Continue reading Boquillas !!!

Hiking – Some Thoughts

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”

Aristotle

A while back, I posted a couple of blogs where I talked about hiking, contrasted the differences between “hiking” and “walking,” and dissected the purpose of hiking; whether it be for camping or exploring some aspect of Nature in particular, or to just connect two dots on the map.  And I also discussed the use of mantras for calling cadence, which can have miraculous effects on extending our endurance and the distance we can cover.

Our minds can overcome things our bodies cannot.  And vice versa, our bodies can overcome things our minds cannot.  Harmonizing both mind and body can make the difference between having a wonderful hiking adventure or facing a life versus death scenario.

Continue reading Hiking – Some Thoughts

Returning to the Spirits: Ongtupqa – The Omega

I started out thinking of America as highways and state lines. As I got to know it better, I began to think of it as rivers.
Charles Kuralt

I have to say this quote rings true. It resonates with me because I’ve been traveling for the past four years and what I’ve discovered is that the majority of population centers I’ve encountered are centered upon Rivers.  

And it makes sense.  

In the beginnings of our hostile takeover of these lands, Rivers provided the major sources of water and food. They provided the major travel and trading routes of the time.  Those advantages persist, although they may have shifted in form.   

Many of the people whom I’ve met in these towns have lost that historical connection. They no longer see the River or feel its Presence.  They are detached from how these waterways formed the basis of their communities.* 

And more importantly, how the Rivers shaped the land. 

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Continue reading Returning to the Spirits: Ongtupqa – The Omega

“Match your Nature with Nature”

I love this quote. Of course, I love talking about “Heartbeats” and about “Nature.” Our Heartbeats might be our internal representation of our Universal Clock. They keep us in tune with the Magic of Life.

They should never be wasted.

“There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you’d better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s saying.” ― Sarah Dessen

An amazing insight from Ms. Dessen. Ponder that one for a bit and comment if it resonates with you.

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Well, with yesterday’s post, I hit the 300 mark. That’s really not a true milestone because I’ve already passed it by over a hundred posts that I’ve already taken down, but I kind of like the sound of it. It’s a nice even number, and the odd number 3, the sum of those digits, represents creativity, birth and the mystical. And WP certainly provides us all a great forum to express that magical creativity. Creating images with words. Pouring feelings on to the pages.

Synchronizing Heartbeats.

Now I mention this because I’d like to take a moment to thank the blogging community here on WP. I’ve been absent for most of this past summer, yet you guys still stuck around, came back to read my latest posts.

And I’m grateful for that.

When you read one of my posts, you are spending your time, your Heartbeats, your most valuable possession, to share thoughts with me.

That is a tremendous gift!

At the moment, I am working on the next chapter of Ongtupqa, and I hope to post it soon. In the mean time, I’ve gone back and updated a couple of my posts by adding video clips.

I added one about the Chiricahua Mountains to the post “The Miracle Half Mile.” And I added one to Returning to the Spirits: Ongtupqa – The Mu*, showing a little more about our River rafting experience.

If you have a few Heartbeats to spare scroll down to the bottom of those posts and you’ll find the links. I think you’ll enjoy the beauty in those clips.

You can match your Nature with Nature.

In Metta

Returning to the Spirits: Ongtupqa – Sigma

A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very Earth itself.

Laura Gilpin

Not all our time was spent on the River.  We spent time exploring the many creations the River had made; amazing hikes into the side canyons at various stops along the way.  Slot canyons, hidden waterfalls, miniature green oases sprouting from red granite, and magical turquoise and morenci blue tributaries . . .

Continue reading Returning to the Spirits: Ongtupqa – Sigma

Returning to the Spirits: Ongtupqa – The Mu*

The boats fully loaded and with us all onboard, our departure eased out slowly from Lee’s Ferry.   We gracefully slid under the Navaho Bridges (Between Mile Markers 4 and 5), watching the California Condors perch on the bridges’ substructures. 

Transplanted here in an attempt to help seed their survival, Gymnogyps californianus, were slowly clawing their way back from the brink of extinction.   About forty years ago, there were only twenty-two in existence.  These magnificent birds, sporting wingspans of ten feet, glide effortlessly on the thermals.  And their numbers have now rebounded to about 500 today, spread out in Arizona, Utah, California, and Baja Mexico.

But it wouldn’t be long before this incredible peacefulness would be interrupted with the rapids, with names like, Badger Creek, Soap Creek, Brown’s Riffle, Sheer Wall, Redneck, and North Canyon.  Some were simply named for mile-markers, like 23-Mile Rapid and 23.5 Mile-Rapid. 

Where I come from, in the Midwest, . . .

Continue reading Returning to the Spirits: Ongtupqa – The Mu*

Returning to the Spirits: Ongtupqa – Zeta

Crossing the state from the Mexican border driving North, I traversed a number of different biomes.  Ecological zones spanning lower desert and high desert, thornscrub, chaparral, grassland, woodland forest, riparian, and even alpine tundra at the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff.  As I neared what would be our departure point on the Colorado, I came upon the Vermilion Cliffs at Marble Canyon, near Lee’s Ferry. 

The Stone People

They carry the history of the Earth.  These cliffs record the changing environment during the Mesozoic Era – some 248 to 65 million years ago. 

Continue reading Returning to the Spirits: Ongtupqa – Zeta

Looking for Feedback

Good Day All !

I’m in a composition phase right now where I’m working on multiple posts – coming soon – I promise. And while I’m busy pecking away on the keyboard to do some old-fashioned storytelling, I thought I would solicit some feedback.

I’d really like to hear from you and get your insight on a couple of inter-related topics. I’ve been encouraged by a number of people to try marketing some of my photography in various forms, and I’m really not sure how viable that option is as I see tons of stuff on the Net and so many others trying to do the same.

So if you got a couple of minutes, I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Do you think blogs should try monetizing by either allowing advertising on their pages or by doing direct sales?

Do you like the concept of adding a “Donate” button to your blog?

Do you think writing really deserves a separate space, and that monetizing activities should be completely separate – thus, on a separate webpage?

Does this whole capitalistic idea of internet sales simply want to make you puke? 🙂

Let the comments begin! And thanks in advance!

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Photo: I was attempting to take a photo of the florets of a Fennel plant, but the flowers were way above my head. So I held the camera up over my head and snapped, and I didn’t know until much later in the day that I had captured a Yellow Jacket. In that image I’ve posted here, I used a feature on the photo editor called “enamel” that sort of turns your pics into something looking more like a painting. Fun stuff 🙂