Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sampler of the Trip to King's Canyon National Park

First business, included in seven or eight pages of "The List" is to harvest the tomatoes, since they are the cornerstone of my diet at this time of year.  These, and five incredible avocados (one at a time!) made each meal, regardless of menu or plan, delicious.  And, I successfully hid them from the bears (one bear to another).

In the car, on Hwy. 12, going East.  The next few photos are taken from the car.  Hehehehee.  I entertain myself easily  ;-)   Highway 12 goes through very barren looking landscape.  Dry.  Brown.  Endless.  Different seasons are astonishingly beautiful in this country.  At this time it appears that the main crop is the wind.

I love the abstract nature of car photography.

The windmills are phenomenal.  Silent.  White.

I fell asleep, woke up somewhere else.  

We were cruising along with a train which was decorated beyond belief.  Amazing.

Heading into the Sierras!  Evening.  Magnificent.

The next morning, sweet rays of sun illuminate the tiny ones who live in the tips of Ceder boughs.

Let's go to King's Canyon!  We head out, to find that the Canyon is burning.  Lightening started the fire, and the Forest Service is not interfering.  Over the years humans have come to a little better understanding of fire, Nature, regeneration.  This fire is closely monitored, as the the Park is so full of people, and it is burning near the Visitor Center.

Sitting on a rock at the edge of the King's River:  we have been here in mountain spring time, late June, and this river is wild.  WILD.  I have no words to describe it at it's spring-runoff time.  It roars and pounds and vibrates the world through which it throws itself.  I was thrilled to sit on a rock and let the cold water rush around me.

This trip was beautiful in every way.  We were with friends.  This being the first time in seven years that we have been to these spots.  

We began coming to The Park when SethO was just 9.  Well.  That was his first trip.  I didn't go, as I could not bear to let my little son go.  His first trip to Diabetes Camp was solo, as they do not allow parents!  That session was when he learned how to administer his very own shots of insulin.  The next year, I believe, we went down and picked him up from Bearskin Meadows.  We stayed overnight, and made plans for the next year to stay longer.  Gradually we worked up to staying a week in the wilderness. 

Our trip this weekend brought back many wonder filled memories of being in the mountains with our sons over a ten-year period.  We laughed.  I cried.  It is weird, but if I had the power to freeze-dry time, I'd do it.  Camping with our boys in the Sierra's was just incredible.

O.K.  This was definitely a "high" light.  Lord.  Yes, "I remember" climbing all the way to the top and praying that Skyler would not jump or fall off of the damn thing.  Argh.

This time, I did not make it to the top.  I made it to the first landing, and my spirit and body said, "No."  The whole mountain top began a slow swirl, and I had to sit down immediately.  In fact, even as I write this I can feel it:  it means:  stop.  you are going to faint.  Every time that I have over-ridden this message I have fainted.  So, I have gotten smarter!

I do not know what this is, other than an alpine shrub.  It is what I focused upon when I reached the solid ground.  The afternoon light causing the spiky seed pods to glow, the slate-gray green leaves, the amazing scent of pines, sun-baked needles, sandy soil, warm granite all contributed to my grounding once again, on Dear, Sweet Mother Earth.

We are re-inspired to go camping.  Our tent is dusted-off, the stove works, the lantern even works.  The pick-up makes life in the woods very easy.  Packing for two adults is remarkably easier than packing up kids and gear.  I think we can do it!  BUT, I really want a bed!  and a bathroom!  (ok.  enough of the confessional stuff).  I did worry over-much about the bears, to the point of hearing them growl in the night, though I have no proof that it was a bear.  The air mattress deflated to the point that when Wayne got up to make the coffee, I was left on the hard hard ground, but did I care?  No.  Coffee.

Last night in my own bed, warm and cozy,  I slept like the proverbial log.  And I think I will go make myself a cup of coffee, just for the mid-day-luxury of it.

It is goooooooooood to be home!


Ms. Moon said...

I can hardly imagine that sort of beauty. Thank-you for sharing it and your memories, as well.
I am glad you are getting smart about the fainting thing.

Merry ME said...

Camping like farming has a mysterious allure about it. I think of myself sitting around a campfire looking at the stars, smelling the forest smells, or gazing out at my own pastures. Then I think of bears and wolves and schlepping milk cans thru manure piles and I come back to my senses.

I must say though, this looks like a magnificent trip. Except for the fire and the fainting!

I really must find a place in the woods to revive my spirit.

Tj and Mark said...

Brings back memories.

N2 said...

Thanks for taking us with you, in a virtual sense. Good to have you back home. x0 N2

Annie said...

Love the trip you took me on, Laura. My packing days are long over but I do still love a good campsite. That and my comfy cot and I can sleep anywhere.

Isn't it true, the seasons really dazzle here. Green one moment, spring flowers, the next, and then on to brown and burnt from the heat.

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