"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

28 December 2012

The Resolve of Exploration

It's been looking and acting a bit more like winter up here the last couple of weeks. Not enough to totally alleviate the drought concerns, but at least enough to make the snowbums happy and have a decent snowshoe. It gives our tiny corner of the world a different perspective, and that is always a good thing to have.

The other day, Sabina, my daughter, a friend of ours, and Sabina's sister went on a snowshoe along the way to the ruins of Waldorf a bit to the side jog that leads back to Pavilion Point, midway up the Argentine trail. It was grand for a change of perspective, the snow having made a tried and true trail new and exciting, and our approach to a familiar destination. From Pavilion Point, my daughter and I took off back to town via a route of pristine powder snow whilst Sabina, her sister, and our friend headed back to the vehicle, stopping to investigate a snow-covered mine along the way. This mine has been tentatively earmarked as a ruins hike come summer; one, in which we may continue on past Waldorf to Argentine pass perhaps.

Despite being rather sore that night and the day after, Sabina was satisfied with the trek. It was her birthday, and her sister said our walkabout was perhaps the best present ever. I am inclined to agree.

Walkabouts, sex, good wine and/or whiskey, and a fine meal-not in any particular order-are the stuff of a great birthday, I say, an endeavor to put into practice...

I pore over maps, not just of our part of the valley, but of other regions of our Sahel, a territory of nearly three-hundred ninety-seven square miles. So much of it is hemmed by national forest and wilderness area that our civilization, if it can be called that, is something of a dubious proposition. Although I've never been one to do one of those piss and wind empty as a politician's promise resolutions for the new year-other than not becoming a serial killer...yet, and so far, so good-I have resolved to explore other parts of this pocket of nowhere.

Another thing I've never been big on is having a reputation. The cats I've encountered who live and die by such things are the ones who've never graduated high school on the mental level and are probably possessed of several other inadequacies too numerous to bother listing here. Be that as it may, there are a few who have decided I'm the one to talk about when it comes to trails in our area. This is queerly flattering, but also disheartening. After all, being accused of having a reputation is something I find insulting, because then you're expected to live up to that, and, well, to say I don't do well with doing what's expected is right up there with pointing out the sun sets in the west.

I could joke with the trails I know that maybe if my eyes were pulled from my head, I was drugged, turned thrice widdershins, and given a concussion, I might get lost, but then I bring up how Miguel Loco makes Sabina and I look like wide-eyed flatlanders that get rescued because of  prideful overestimation of prowess. It's from him I've heard the names of other trails than the ones I know so well and received the inspiration to go explore them. After all, our Sahel is nearly three-hundred ninety-seven square miles, and we've only trekked across a fraction of that, becoming quite intimate with that fraction almost to exclusion of the whole.

Well, I do so dig on being balanced, well-rounded, and otherwise inclusive. The snow making a tried true trail look new, and taking it in from a different perspective help to motivate this seed of an idea germinating within the walls of my skull for a bit now. I mean to trek beyond places I can merely walk to. Although, the fact I even have that option is nothing short of fantastic. The upper west end of the valley is what I know fairly well, and, no matter how many times I wander those bits of outback, I can find something new in which to remind me of what an amazing stretch of geography I live in.

Be that as it may, there is another pass, just a ridge away, and whole wilderness area surrounding a fourteener. Both of those places are as filled with magic and stories as the places I regularly walk. And I made a promise to myself as I came up here when in the context of adventures and stories; I mean to find them all, and I will.

See if I don't...


  1. The title of this post says it all. Perfect way to enter a new year. I'm looking forward to the stories ahead.

    (And not in any particular order, I'm gonna start chanting now for a birthday like Sabina's...) ;p

    1. And I am looking forward to collecting those tales ;). Tally-ho!

  2. There are times I want to live in a place where I can walk everywhere I need to go.
    And then there are times I'd like to explore the next ridge.
    What is that called? Wanderlust? Cabin Fever? Boredom?

    1. There are still some thing i have to bicycle or drive for, but so it goes.

      I think it can be all three depending on the day...