November 2010

Benedicto: May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome,
dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end,
meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells,
past temples and castles and poets towers
into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl,
through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock,
blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone,
and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm
where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs,
where deer walk across the white sand beaches,
where storms come and go
as lightning clangs upon the high crags,
where something strange and more beautiful
and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams
waits for you —
beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.

? Edward Abbey

Both my folks are Scorpios. They were both born on November 2nd, two years apart.

For my dad’s birthday he and Kath came down and we feasted over at Zach and Mara’s house with Gus helping manage a tired Manu and Dona coming by and enchanting us all with her pregnant loveliness.

For mom’s celebration I headed to Stockton for the weekend.? We had a sunny summery Saturday, with lunch outdoors at House of Shaw cafe, then a breeze through a gallery of local artisans (her new scene), then home and off to the park with the kids wrestling soccering and monkey-barring.? Back to mom’s for dinner (menu recommendation by Charlie – Pesto Pah-stees) and birthday cake fun.

After chocolate cake and hot tubbing and right before leaving Charlie and Ben called us into the living room for “a meeting”. They had set up a circle of cushions and had a blanket covering a cushion in the middle as a little stage. Charlie (age 5) informed us they were conducting the survey and he was the Survey Master.
Ben directed who was to speak and we each took our turn standing on the center cushion, giving our responses. We also helped Charlie with sounding out the letters so he could write down the survey results on a piece of art paper and he is already awesome with his letters.

The survey question? “What changes do we want in the world?”; The Answers; J: More Equality (More Fair in Charlie’s notes), D: more Kindness (More Kind),? Auntie KK [that’s me]: for the world to not be going so fast (Slower), Ben: food (Good Food), Betty: (had to think a moment because Ben had spoken the answer she had been thinking of) everyone would feel safe (Safer). The notes were pretty much done, but D finally convinced Charlie to stand up on the cushion. He stood there for a few moments while she softly asked him again “what would you like to be different in the world Charlie?”;? A long quiet, finger pursed over he lips, looking thoughtfully and shyly away…then…. “More Love“, then he ran off to jump on the couch.

After they left (Diedra teary eyed about her wonderful kids) I played guitar while mom looked through her mail and we shared the evening in the den.? Later, out of the full blue sky day the rain and fall cold came in heavy.? Mom and I slept in late to the song on the metal window awnings, ate lunch, then drove through the rainbow liquid ambered streets to? photograph and sketch at her UOP art studio before I headed home.

Over the course of the week, I got my whole family fully, it felt like it was MY birthday.

Full pic here.

Four Lakes Loop of Long Canyon Trail, off trail hike to Lake Anna.

September 2010

Solo hike out of the foggy rainy summer into the warming weather of a sunshiny fall.

Trail to myself mostly, met Sage and Leif of the trail crew scouting next year’s projects around Siligo Meadows – shared a fire and drink with them the first night –

then no one ’til my hike out where I saw someone? – a strong hiker, two shoe sizes bigger then mine –

had come up the drainage while I was Anna, then two fellas pullin in late from the trailhead as I made my last few miles out.

Epic still warm full moon night weather.

Wonderful walk up Siligo Peak and around to visit the lakes.

Epic trip in many ways, also lonely.?? Big owl flyover midnight on Summit Lake.

Full set of pics here.

? Mark Strand (b. 1934), Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet, essayist, and translator. Courtesy of The Fernwood Zen Centre.

Pico Blanco from Botcher’s Gap and back – October 30, 2010.

Twenty plus of us ages teens to 60s meandered down and up the Little Sur River valley, then off-trailed it up a steep ass hill, clambering along a knife edge ridge weaving between oak scrub branches toward a peak layered in clouds. Everything was saturated from the night’s rain, and the coolness of the fall settling in all the drainages.

As we rose, so did the clouds, revealing delicious nappish warm sunshiny vistas.

Perfect for all Hallow’s eve, we saw a tarantula and yuccas, as well as decadent fern and majestic redwoods – so many different ecotones on the hike!

Well worth the 15 miles and 5,000 feet of elevation gain we earned that day.? My pics here and Meetup’s pics here.