Summer Solstice at Sailor Lake

Yes, I know. The summer solstice has come and gone…old news, weeks ago, long since moved on. That’s the way it is with me…a little late, after the fact, better late than never. It has taken several years for me to come to terms with that, to accept it and embrace it, but I am at peace now with my belated and not-so-punctual ways. And now that Summer is in full-fiery-force, I am revisiting a few precious moments of celebration as we welcomed this new season with two of my favorite things: a sunset and a starry sky. From a tent, by a lake, with a waterfall, no less.

Sunset and Sailor Lake

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So the Season Begins: Backcountry Camping

It is that time of year again. Temperatures have reached the triple digits, desert adventures have gone into hibernation mode, the cooler runs non-stop as weekdays take on that lethargic summer pace. But when the weekend comes, we head for the hills seeking the shade of those swaying pines, the cool relief of glacial waters and that rejuvenating alpine air. And so it begins. Our mountain season and backcountry camping.

Mt. Goode and Long Lake

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Hidden Dunes

Somewhere between finding my balance and tyring to take it all in stride, I managed to neglect sharing one of the most beautiful, calming and peaceful time-outs I have experienced as of late. Sitting on a desert dune in the golden glow of the setting sun, bare toes buried in the cool singing sands, I literally sat and watched Time slip through my hands as tiny grains of sand fell between my fingertips. Time is precious and I do so hate to waste it. But surely there is nothing wasted in those moments of quiet awe, holding a world of wonder in the palm of your hand.

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A Little Prince, A Little Star

I have a favorite book. We all do, I’m sure. Mine is called The Little Prince by Antione De Saint Exupery, you probably know it. I never tire of the wisdom contained in that one little story. You know, the kinds of insights we grown-ups collect from those precious little people in our lives. 

“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.”

that kind of stuff. The kind of stuff that gives you cause to pause and consider the little things in life, that really, when you think about it, are not that small after all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Taking it in Stride

I often talk about the cycle of seasons and what I love about them. How I love those points of transition as one season slowly fades into another which then begins to bloom into the next. I love to watch for those telltale signs that Mother Nature is preparing for change. In these parts, you really have to be attentive in order to see the signs as spring and fall hardly exist at all. But as the sun begins to shift, the long shadows fall later, wildflowers begin to bloom on the desert floor and the spring winds begin to blow, I know the mountain season is approaching.

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Canyons and Corridors

Day after day, we force our minds and bodies into that workday rhythm. We continually watch the clock as the hour hand dictates our every move. Rise, shower, pack the lunch. Drive, arrive, punch the clock. Dinner, dishes, set the alarm. And so it goes. Tick, tock, task. Tick, tock, task. If we’re lucky, the rhythm becomes an enjoyable one. Even so, we undoubtedly all look forward to those moments when the ticking ceases and nature is allowed to set the rhythm. In those moments, that jarring jolt of the alarm is silenced as we are coaxed into consciousness by the soft whispering light of the rising sun.

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Mystery at the Racetrack

I always love a good mystery. Whether presented in cinematic or written form, I do so enjoy the experience of being drawn into a good plot. Theorizing, hypothesizing, predicting the outcome as you go along. I love the mystery in the unexpected and small surprises, the feeling of anticipation that comes with a little bit of unknown looming on your horizon. I enjoy the satisfaction of that single moment when the outcome is revealed. These things delight me. But it is the mystery in nature that truly astounds me.

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Winter Wandering II: Bodie State Park

If you spend time in this space of mine, you are probably aware of my affinity for hidden treasures. You know those little bits and trinkets you chance upon as you wander and roam in your favorite outdoor playground. Relics from another place in time hinting at a story you can only imagine in your mind. Whether you discover them unexpectedly or hunt them quite intentionally, these deserts hold a treasure-trove of trinkets. During a recent bout of winter wandering, we happened to hit the mother load in the ghost town of Bodie.

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Winter Wandering

At year’s end many of us are granted that blessed little break from the regular routines of daily life, an opportunity to reflect on the adventures of the past year and prepare for that to come.  We celebrate our various holidays as the winter solstice ushers in another cycle of seasons.  Ideally, this Winter Break should be a time for slowing down, pausing, taking time to connect with ourselves and our loved ones.  Somehow, I lost a grip on that ideal and the hustle-bustle energy managed to take hold.  The past few weeks have flown by and I suddenly find myself searching for my break.  I start to worry that I may have missed it, having been swept up in this strong current of commotion.  But then I come to this space, where it has been so quiet for all these weeks, and it is here I find solace in my sacred Winter Break.

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