"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

02 July 2013

The Happy Place

The end of Grizzly Gulch, the basin of Grizzly Peak; standing at thirteen-thousand, four-hundred twenty-seven feet, between Torrey's Peak, which is fourteen-thousand, two-hundred sixty-seven on one side and Mount Sniktau that's thirteen-thousand, two-hundred thirty-four feet on the other.

There is something fantastic shutting off my phone before my feet really begin to kick up trail dust. Down below, in those past lives I remember but you do not, before we were all hardwired to our cell phones, I'd sometimes go out just to escape my telephone. Although, being misanthropic, I'm not given to getting lots of calls. Still, my outback walkabouts sometimes remind me of those days. 

I'm wandering. See you when I see you. Leave a message at the beep.

Tourists will ask me about my favorite trail, and, because I am [chaotic] neutral-sometimes to a fault-I will say it depends upon the day and what kind of walkabout I want to have. This is not entirely untrue. Every place I go within our little Sahel holds its own magic and mystery and coo-kook-ka-khuche that remind me of what an extraordinary place I live. Out on walkabout, I always find something new, and I fall in love all over again, and that's what love's all about. Well, at least that's romantics like to say, and I wouldn't know anything about that.

Be that as it may, in all of the places I've been within our Sahel, civilized or outback, it is Grizzly Gulch, and, especially the basin and the foot of Grizzly Peak itself, that is my happy place. It's all those bits of purple prose the nature writers ranted about. It's all the wonderful things Howard Carter claimed to see-there is that mine off to beginning of the trail. One of those places where I hear divine voices in the tongues of breeze and water and profound silence. I walk next to two fourteeners-Gray's and Torrey's-and gain perspective of just how massive fourteen-thousand feet of mountain can truly be.

Along the trail, I spied a deer. I thought of an incident, a year to the day before, which has somewhat soured Sabina's feelings toward it. I found myself thinking of reincarnation. Although, in Buddhist thought, the realm of animals is one of fear and hunger, but, be that as it may, it certainly beats out the hellscapes, where Lord Yama, the King of the Dead and the Lord of Hell, pours molten copper down one's throat for an eon-at least-until the negative karma is burned off.

The Buddhist concept of hell is vaguely like the Catholic concept of Purgatory, I once told my daughter; you can eventually escape it, but that's another story...

Despite this being the trail whereupon I most love to get my John Muir/Edward Abbey on, I make no delusions that I am the only one whose been there. The trail itself is well defined and there are fire-rings here and there-Miguel Loco encourages me to dismantle the lesser ones under the auspice of trying to prevent wildfires, a bit of monkey-wrenching, as it were. Still, as I wandered, there was no one else. The only other biped I saw on the trail was toward the very end, when Milarepa and I were but yards from Old Scratch.

Have I ever mentioned how much I looooooooooooove having Tuesdays free?

Up in the basin, amongst the krumholtz and silence, I smiled the most wicked grin of joy. The moment was as perfect as one can have without it getting boring. Part of me wanted it to last forever, and, dependent upon one's philosophical bent, it did. As it came time to leave, I blew a kiss to Grizzly Peak. A queer showing of respect to something that could care less about my existence how grateful was for its. I know I'll be back again, because that's just the way of it. That mountain calls, and I must go.


  1. Another good Tuesday walkabout, Robbie...and I didn't even have to put on my boots! ;D

    1. Considering how my feet got soaked in calf-deep water at the first crossing, I'm considering doing the trail in my sandals the next time ;).

  2. Wow I almost felt as if I was there by reading this. I would love to visit this place someday and explore. Perhaps I should add it to my bucket list!

  3. "The moment was as perfect as one can have without it getting boring." This sentence is so...so real within me. *chuckle* Oh, I do miss those mountains! Robbie, you make them so real again; as if you've drug my memories, nearly buried, from beneath my dreams into the light again. Thank you.

    1. You're welcome and thank you for your kind words.