Archive for May, 2011

I walk up No Name Canyon. It is not a canyon without a name, rather it is called no name. I venture away from the highway and the town, to a place unknown to me, and encounter something else that it often unnamed. The day is warm and sunny, the first of its kind in a long time, and as i take this short hike of discovery, away from the noisy din of the town, i discover something inside as well.

Few people are about as i enter into this narrow unfamiliar zone. I imagine that i catch a whiff of the scent of bear; and then again – i hesitate. i continue up the access road, passing the last homes and few people are around. I do not know if the bears smell the same here, but i wonder.

I am away from the town and the highway. I am aware of my aloneness. I hear the creek and the birds. I watch the water rushing over rocks and logs, beside trees in new leaf, the sun shining through, the elements connecting and i feel connected too. I feel a gentle breeze blowing through, and if i listen closely enough i can hear it too. It is the trees, grasses or the sparse undergrowth and me in this land.

Entering No Name

I do not venture up too far, i do not go into the back country or even too far into midcountry. At a place where a small stream, a trickle, crosses over the path, i hesitate. i think of the full creeks and flooding, i think of the heavy snowpack this year. i imagine the creek rising though it is a sunny day. i turn around and do not venture forth. Now i sit on a log writing – wondering if to go forth again, or to turn back, but i do not want to go back to the town quite yet.

I remember my first time in Colorado, actually my only other time here, 25 years ago. I was up near Estes Park – somewhere out of town, at a quiet, isolated hostel. It was my first encounter with wilderness. I was amazed and i was scared, afraid of what might be there, of what may come. i was alone, on a short trail, i am not sure where exactly, the air was fresh, and i felt fear, i was out of my element for i was a city girl, one who grew up in the suburbs. All was new to me – had never really hiked – perhaps a bit with girl guides, and never been in the wild, the wild that i craved, but that i now feared. I turned back to the hostel, ashamed, after pacing back and forth in place, but found a few others to go with later or was it the next day. I’m sure i must have held them back but i followed and listened, unsure about going on. I was 20 then, and have lived another lifetime plus since then. 

I sit on the edge of the trail, on a fallen log, wondering what i should do. The path calls me forth, and i do not wish to head back to the town, it is not yet time. I was unsure as i entered, and that uncertainty follows me. The truth is, i am still not truly comfortable in the wild – it calls me forth, but then i turn back to the land that we have built, and once there want to go out again. I know i prefer a tamer landscape, but this is where i am – on national forest land – land that i value, that is accessible to all, that is still untamed. There is a trail which people use, and i am not very far along, but the wild that beckons also feels lonely, and i feel out of my element. I am so aware of my presence here. But i have felt this in so many other locales, along so many trails, calling myself chicken and feeling bad. Still, i think of the access road, and the no trespassing and keep out signs in front of the homes, and that is what is often around in the created world, in the built environment, and that is how i often feel there, looking in to places i may not enter.

I picked a comfortable place to sit, but one without a view, crunched up on the edge of the trail. I feel i must continue on, at least a bit, see if i can cross the stream. For how many times have i turned back and asked myself why, especially after hearing about what lay on the other side, or further down the road. Is it a call to go forth or just a feeling that i should – one those should feelings that have more to do with the ideas of what you are supposed to do rather than to any true call. But i look up, and go on, something is calling.

The creek is easy to cross, in fact after stepping over shallow water, i step onto a log that crosses it – a log that has been smoothed and is an integral part of the trail. the trail passes next to the creek and i listen, listen to the sound of flowing water and feel alive, i pass through trees, and keep telling myself i will go to the next turn and then the next to get another view of the mountain tops. I am at peace. Well almost, for i keep asking how far will i go. But still, my perspective has changed, and with each bend, the lens shifts again.

I come to a place with some boulders on which to sit, a flat area by the water, with both sun and shade. I have climbed a bit and short steep walls

special place on no name creek

enclose the water, a mini-canyon of sorts, and i look down the creek and at the mountain tops in all directions. The trail seems to split here, the main part heading up and away from the creek in a series of switchbacks, another going down closer to the water.

I look at the trail heading up, ascending, and i know it will take me into another land. I feel that i should go up, and it is a should for the other path calls me more. I am not sure if it is a true path, but say i will take a look, and then perhaps return. i turn down it; it narrows and dead-ends by the water. I return to the overlook beside the creek, sit on the boulders and smoke a cigarette – something i know that i should not be doing here – but as always, i am careful, careful to completely put out the flame, pour water over it, and remove the butt, leave no trace, no trace of my presence.

I think of other mountain trails i have gone up, and the many i have not; the many where i have stopped short of reaching the top. Just the other day, i had gone up the Red Mountain, Jean Golay trail, but i did not make it to the top, the day had turned hot, and i had not brought enough water with me. I got close, to an amazing vista with a view and a bench, but i thought of how many times i had done that, come close and then stopped and turned back.

I think of my recent trip to Yosemite, where i finally reached the top of nevada falls – had turned back a few times before, on previous visits, first at the bottom, and then the top of vernal falls. But this time i had made it, twice, and the second time was much easier. i knew the path, i knew that i could reach the goal, so went up with confidence. I knew that to reach the top took some effort, and i could do it. Up top had amazing views of the valley and beyond, i was happy to have made it but also asked myself why was i here? Many others walked the trail, young and old, fit and not, and so i felt that i should too. But i had shown myself that i could.

I thought of Crough Patrick, and those who encouraged me to make it to the top when i wanted to give up; and again so glad i did not turn back, it was a goal i had set, climb the saint’s mountain, and while the views were grand, up top were gathered groups of people engaged in loud banter, milling about and greater peace was found along the path. But i made it.

And that is part of it, making it. But making what? That and avoiding the feeling of failure, of having missed out. I remember regrets of turning back before the top, of turning back in so many places out of fear, out of the belief that i could not get there or of not knowing what would be there. The volcanoes not climbed, the trails not hiked, turning back before i reached it, or never going for it because i told myself no. And i also thought of others where i continued up or down to prove a point, to prove that i could.

But here there is no single peak to climb, and the trails go back for 8 miles into the flattop wilderness, only to connect to more trails, and there was no where in particular that i wanted to go. Besides, there were no others around to encourage or to inspire me. And the trail veered away from the creek. Was it where i really wanted to go?

I again thought of Yosemite, and the upper falls trail, where i came close to turning back, it was crowded, a solid line going up, some dropping off at various points. I felt closed in on, pushed along at points, at congested vistas, and the trail was narrow so it was hard just to pause and be with the all, to take in the path itself and all it had to show. I had no intention of going to the very top, but to the overlook of the upper falls, and there i stopped and felt at one with the all, found a special place and sat for a while. I got to the place that i had set in mind, and while i did not spend enough time there, i reached my goal. And while later others, the alpha types, scoffed at this, i knew that my hike was mine, and that i also had views and vistas they had missed, and my destination was my own.

looking down no name

I breathe, breathe deep. It is me and the wilderness here – the mountains, the trees, the water, the stone. I watch the rush of the water again, flowing down. I feel its life, and the life of spring in the trees and new leaves. All opens up. all becomes clear. The mountains become alive and reveal themselves to me. A calm floats over me, and i feel that i could be here forever, at one, in this very spot. In this very spot. Then i know, this is where i am meant to be in this moment. This is the spot i came to, this was my destination for the day.


looking over no name

I stay for a while, a quietude coming over, the sounds of nature, its music, filtering in. The creek drowning out all negative thoughts, all thoughts, for a moment we join. The container of the canyon nurtures me, embraces me. Soon, i know it is time to go back, and i am now refreshed and revitalized. Now i am ready to emerge.

looking above and beyond the canyon

I descend. I am now travelling in the same direction as the creek. I am going with the flow and i am in flow. I look up and more guardians in stone appear on the rocky mountains and i thank them for looking over this place. The trees are more vibrant, and a large butterfly almost flies into me. I look down, and many tiny violet butterflies float and dance around my feet, encircling me, calling to me. As i head back, they appear many times, singing the song of new life. as i emerge from this canyon, i feel a new life inside, and for the moment, leaving behind the fears and feelings that often have no name.


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Entry to energy line

Red rocks and twisted trees.
Red rocks, red soil,
twisted trees
a vortex, or energetic hotspot
something is here
all is dry
a different feel
than other lands where i have been.

feminine stones, soft and flowing
i imagine lava bending into shape

the wind blows
in this bend,
louder here
as if to speak.

Clouds float overhead
My camera does not capture the red.
Around a corner there is more.

Twisted trunks shedding bark
seemingly dead
but with tiny leaves or needles up above

An energy that is unfamiliar
one that is strong,
wind blows again
a high-pitched sound in my ears
a sound not of the wind
a power is here
and i feel it

a dried up creek
but is it
an energetic line

i walk on, up the path
the zigs and zags up the hill
crossing this line
and something is there
veins of minerals, or more?
I know there is more.

I am walking up Red Hill, just on the edge of Carbondale. It is my first time here. As i had passed by on a few occasions, on the bus, these vibrant hills of red called to me. The last time i noticed a parking lot by an intersection where the bus would drop me, and people with dogs heading up what looked to be a fire road. So i came.

A series of trails for mountain bikes, joggers, people walking there dogs starts just up the road on the BLM lands that extends for miles. I veer to the left on the Three Gulch Trail, the one that is furthest from the highway noise. I had read, that the views from this area are wonderful, and that they are, of the valley below, the mountains, especially of the snow covered Sopris peak that glimmers under the changing sky.

But it is the land on this hill that calls to me, that speaks to me. The rocks that seem playful and gentle, the spindly trees that twist around, telling of something in the ground, Despite the cars below, few people are around, and those that pass me as i take almost an hour to walk a mile, stopping at so many places, seem unaware, jogging to get fit, conquering the trails on mountain bikes, or prattling on about the mundane concerns of daily life – not hearing the power of the land, or at least not deeply, for something calls them here.

I look out beyond, and then at the rocks and trees, A power calls to me as i approach an area, one that seems more alive, and different. The rocks call as do the trees and what seems to be a dried up creek or energy line, a vortex perhaps. All becomes sharper and clearer, and i feel different, The sound in my ears, pressure in my head, a sense of energy moving through my brain as my nose twitches and becomes more alive. The earth is red. So many gatherings of worn, gentle stones, a woman reclining before a tree and i smile. In contrast to the soft nature of the rocks, the trees are twisted and contorted, as if reacting to pulses below.

I reach the top, the land has turned grey, a different strata of rock. The magic is gone, a different period revealed up here. I descend, take another path down, less alive, more travelled it seems, away from that line or creek or vein that called. Then i come upon another cluster, and feel something more again. I walk down, and as i hit the dirt road, my left arm starts swinging on its own like a pendulum, as if acting independently, picking something up. This happened a few days before, as i was on another red hill, the Red Mountain Trails by Glenwood Springs, and as i descended, my left arm took on a life of its own, and my hand felt like the hand of another. What i am picking up in this land? What secrets does it contain?

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I walk along the Glenwood Canyon trail from town listening to the traffic on the highway that runs beside. I have no idea of the transformation that will come when i turn the corner and enter into the Glenwood Canyon itself. 

But i get an inkling that something special might lay ahead, as i near both the footbridge that will take me across the highway, and the tunnel that will take the cars away for a short while. I have been looking at the cliffs and the rocks, and suddenly a figure appears to me, overlooking the path and the highway on the north side.

Guardian overlooking path as i approach glenwood canyon from the west

I pause, and am taken over, and wonder what lay ahead. I wonder if any of the cars exiting the tunnel and the canyon from the east notice this spirit that looks over the road, watching all that pass through. But he faces the other way. do the cars who enter this area see?

On the other, southern, side of the highway is another spirit in stone, a reddish hue like the steeper wall that lay behind. I did not notice him on my way in, but on my return. he smiles down.

Overlooking the highway - west end of glenwood canyon

 These figures, while the most majestic, only provide a hint of the energies in the canyon they guard. I only explore a small area, around Horseshoe Bend where the path and canyon vere away from the highway on the way to the no name rest area (yes, that is its name). being a narrow canyon in mountainous terrain, both the highway and the railroad tracks closely follow the banks of the Colorado River. I have been through on the train, but on foot i connect in a special way (you can also bike the canyon which is what most people do)

I cross the footbridge, and soon am in another world, the world of the canyon itself. traffic has been diverted through a tunnel, so i feel myself with the elements. The Colorado river runs full in a rainy spring after a winter with heavy snow, so it is the sound of it that i hear.

The walls are steep and reddish with a few trees. What strikes me is the vertical thrust of the layers of stone, and i am reminded of areas on the pacific coast. I ask myself, if somehow, in some ancient way, there is some sort of connection between the two. I am relaxed and calm and walk by this area where i will return and become transformed.

I walk to the rest area, past homes, and then return to the sacred zone of this bend in the river. I look up and see a figure – one so much like another that called to me on the Monterey, CA coast – the one that i had called last kiss. The figures was here as well, close to 6000 ft above sea level and over a 1000 miles inland.

Last Kiss #2

 But it is the wall in the bend that comes alive. Several picnic tables sit under a shelter by the river facing a steep wall. As is often the case, the placement of benches, shelters, lookouts and more, shows that we have an inner knowing, a sense of sacred places.

The first time i sit, the wall becomes alive, faces emerge showing me that life is contained within. all becomes crisper, clearer, and simultaneously, less dense. The faces speak to me, but few let me take their picture. Once again, a few i remind me of others i have seen elsewhere. One area is full of spirits, emerging and fading, all having an openness, and reminding me not to look away.

Crawling out of canyon wall

 He reminds me of the being who appeared in a tree trunk in yosemite, calming me,  after the ‘scarier’ spirits had revealed themselves there. Others are nearby, but the camera will not pick them up. Nearby, another looks out.

Ancient guardian on the wall

The photos become less clear, and they say it is time to look and listen and just to be, the messages will emerge. And that i do. 

I return another day, to the same place, sit on the bench, quiet and calm. The world comes alive as i sing to myself, the canyon wall forming a backdrop for the dance of live contained below. A bush with the new leaves of spring becomes vibrant and alive, the lush lime green standing out, a contrast with the reddish hues beyond; the river that flows full, dances, and small brilliant yellow birds fly above the water, emerging and disappearing into the ledges of the canyon wall. Life is so much more than the stones of old, it is here and now, it dances and my spirit dances too.

I walk again, and the whole area becomes unreal for a moment. The rocks lose their density, and i am one with the all. A woman appears further down, carved into the stone. I had noticed the indentation before, but now it becomes something more.

Female saint of the wall

She looks down, motherly and nurturing. And i feel nurtured myself.

I return to the place where i was before, heavy clouds come in with rain, and then blue sky emerges again. Another face appears, speaks again, the bushes and trees and river become alive, and then it is time to go. At the bend, is one face i see looking over.

Face on the bend

I cross over the footbridge and out of the magical canyon. I walk along the path beside the highway. It starts to rain again. But now i embrace the rain, the all, for i have been transformed, the spirits have spoken, and my spirit has come alive once again, as has hope. 

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The noise, oh the noise, noise, noise. no i am not the grinch above whoville on christmas eve. But that is the way i often feel. and it is not the noise of laughter or merry-making that makes me want to hide my head away, but of the machines, the machines, called cars and trucks, that penetrate the soundscape.

I climb up high, but still i hear the dull roar beneath. I walk the paths, beside the river, but in the narrow canyon, that too, is the locale of the highway, the one that runs from east to west. the town is at the confluence of roads and rivers, and the second highway runs through the center, is the busy four-lane main street, and that is where i stay. the traffic that moves along, heaviest in the morning and evening as the workers make their commute up valley, but it is ever-present, and i feel it. I hear it, and feel the vibrations almost everywhere, i cannot hide, earplugs will not do, for i feel it in my cells and bones. This is it.

I had wanted a quiet mountain town, the ones that exist in the imagination – so it seems. I have stopped in Glenwood Springs, CO and the place is anything but quiet. And i should have known as i looked at the map and saw the roads around, something that had occurred to me before, and i had not come here, but something i ignored this time around.

I wake up to the roar as commuters drive alone, each in their individual vehicle, creating this soundscape. In the evening, i sit out front on the porch with another, and we must yell so that our voices are heard; conversation becomes difficult. I go to the hotsprings, but it is there too. The river, where the birds can be heard, and for a moment i am away, not completely, but still. I walk up a trail, views below, of the town and the roads, but also of the mountains, and i imagine what it was like before. In the supermarket the hum disappears; it is set back a bit, a well constructed solid building with musak playing inside. But where i stay, an old wooden home, it is loud – and the home feels it too, foundations cracked and more. And the noise penetrates my foundations, cracking them, vibrating inside.

This is the sound of our lives – machine, motors hum; tires over concrete, there is often no escape from the noise pollution that penetrates our lives. I have sought to escape, but find myself back here. I have travelled cities and byroads of the country, see sub-divisions built along the highways, highways so large they make these look like country roads. Walls as sound barriers build along side, but they do not stop the dull roar, perhaps contain it a bit. But it is there.

I noticed it when i arrived and got off the train. But then it stopped, or slowed. An accident on the main highway, the I-70, and the cars were ‘parked’ and many could not enter town, or turn onto the highway upvalley. But it is here, and louder and more pervasive than i

Get used to it – i hear. perhaps i have been lucky to hear the silence, or the sounds of nature, calming and uplifting to the spirit – the roar of the ocean is different, as is the rush of a stream or river. The calls of animals and birds, even crows, is not at metallic as this – the machines take over. yes, earplugs shut it out, but they shut out all if they work, the beauty as well, and i do not want to make myself deaf. I could the ipod, the tv, the sounds that enter in, a sound healing or noise pollution, but headphones on the street further to the disconnection.  And in putting up sound walls, we all become disconnected, and continue to create this, pretend it is not there.

I pull in and withdraw, as i do when i walk down busy streets, where the main noise if of cars, not stopping, no ebb and flow, but continuing. Where the sounds of other life are muted or drowned out. And that is the key, the other sounds are mainly absent and the din dominates all.

 My body tenses, and i feel it. i feel the vibrations, it is not merely through the ears; it is through the whole body. And it scrambles me, and i feel like i have entered a fishbowl in hell. And there are fewer and fewer places to get away.

Perhaps it is louder here, and it is not just my imagination. Just as valleys can become containers for air pollution, perhaps they can become containers for sound, the waves bouncing back off the mountain walls, reverberating, not dissipating, forming a field of their own. With the thinner air at this elevation, perhaps they travel faster and penetrate with greater ease.

The quiet small town i imagined, is anything but quiet, and so many places are like this. I think of a walk in the redwoods, above Santa Cruz, or camping on the oregon coast the traffic that i heard, the traffic that the trees and birds and plants felt. I remember the cities of Mexico and Central America where the traffic took over, and i quickly became scrambled. I think of other towns, Eugene comes to mind, and large cities, where the highways cut through, and you cannot get away.

What does it do to us?  In the beginning was the word. What is the vibration of the “words” we have created, those of the car age. When we encase ourselves in them, turn on the music, we blot it out, unaware of what we emit. but it is here – all – pervasive so it seems. So many studies of noise pollution, but we often overlook the all-pervasive din. Sound has the ability to heal and harm, and what is this background noise of our lives? How to change it – or is escape the only answer? And how to remove myself without a car and adding to the din?

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Monday in off season, Aspen is surreal. Clouds threaten rain or snow but for the moment the day is warm. i take the bus in and walk around. a cute but empty downtown, a walking zone, trees on streets, high-end shops – many closed as with places to eat. it is empty – the ski season ended and summer season yet to begin. At the moment much is shut and under spring construction. The town has the empty feel with few people around – not deadened like places that have passed their prime, but empty and somewhat surreal.

The feeling is just as unreal and in many ways this is what it is – an unreal zone. On paper, or the intellectual level, it represents an ideal community – a pedestrian zone with benches and trees, walking paths connecting the outlying areas and passing through town, many with lights, a community bus, a wonderful library, parks and art, sidewalks with trees, a transit center, the apsen institute with enlightened programming, an art gallery and more.

I spent little time there on my first visit a week ago, for i felt the effects of the altitude; it sits at almost 8000 ft, and i am sensitive to the heights. And like its location it lofts above, a place for those who have reached the heights of income and status.

I take the bus 40 miles upvalley from Glenwood Springs where i stay – i make the 1.5 hour journey uphill – as many do each day – those who work in the town commute and do not live there, cannot afford to. From Glenwood, and the other towns on the way up Carbondale, El Jebel, Basalt – and also from beyond – from Rifle and other towns that sit more distantly. The communities of those who serve and build. The bus runs frequently – every 30 minutes during the day, and every hour at night until midnight or so. Many of the workers are mexican. On the climb i pass gated communities, large homes, new townhouses and some smaller middle class homes, and the trailer parks where many live – some newer and others jam packed with dirt yards and patched roofs. The divide is great. And i know i do not belong. And to be honest i do not want to.

But the ‘paper’ town and its allure call me back – give it another chance i say. I return, the day is the same, and my impressions become firmer. I have been at 5900 feet for a week so the physical altitude effects me no more. But the attitude, that comes with the altitude of some, does – i feel vibed out in this playground for the rich – as empty as it is today. The energy is prickly and too many faces seem frozen – not just a result of too much botox, but of practicing the look. Hair does not move in the wind. A few tourists, as ‘lost’ as myself wander around, maps in hand, and of course the workers who come in. But i do not want to be here, although it has so many of the elements i feel i want. And i too become more prickly myself, but then i let it go – no longer feeling shut out, wanting in. No longer caring, for it is the vibe, the energy of a place that is important, not the ‘things’ that abound.

The things can reflect an energy, or help to grow or transform one – a path and benches along a river – or they can be merely like expensive clothing – that covers but does not transform what lay beneath. It looks good, but is only on the surface – superficial. And this is a ski town, a resort town, and in these places the surface is key. The powder has mainly melted, the spring growth has just begun, and for the moment the place sits naked, waiting for the next show. The next show, drawing in the well-heeled, who will come to play and spend, who will stay in one of the many resorts, boutique hotels, or condos, who will dine and shop in overpriced restos, who will raft, hike or golf in summer, and of course ski in the winter – appreciating the surface, not wanting to see beneath. Not wanting to see those who make it happen on a daily level, who serve and do, the invisible ones who disappear at night. With the altitude comes attitude. And i know that i too have only scraped the surface, and that is all i will probably do.

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 Yosemite calls you in. The valley is a cathedral and draws out the spirit. Three roads merge into one at the entrance to the valley – one way in and out. Inside this zone trees grow strong and tall, water runs in the spring, cascading down the steep mountain sides, birds sing and fly about, deer walk calmly and squirrels scurry freely. bears wander, often out of sight, and this time cats were seen. It is a magical place, seeming apart, and not quite of this world, and definitely not of the landscape around.

Still i feel not is all that meets the eye – that there is something that lurks underneath – or rather above. For just as there are magical portals taking you out of self, lifting you high, there is also an element that sucks you under. And it is in the land, it is in the rock – the faces upon the walls. At times i wonder if the beauty is to lure you so that you may be stripped bare. Those times that some of the faces on the walls come alive. I recollect the legends or myths of the Ahwahneechee which speak of evil spirits lurking.

I see it in the faces above, those that come alive at certain times. I first felt it last spring, after i had a magical moments as i went up the vernal falls trail, and came back down again after being transported to a different world. I walked along the river or creek, and looked up, and north dome (i believe) seemed alive – as if other beings lived there. I did not know what to make of it at the time.

North Dome - Spirit Comes Alive

Last summer, iwent up top for day, up above the walls, and there the energy felt so different, the boulders that lay strewn about remnants of some ancient war or cataclysmic destruction, I walked around Tenaya Lake, and spotted this dome, again alive, feeling ‘monkey’ beings or some others that could live there. It was so similar to the other dome i viewed from down below.

Spirit of Tenaya Lake

This visit i stayed in the valley, the uplands still full of snow. Yosemite Falls called me as they always do, for there is often a magical feeling to the walk below – the path lined with giant ponderosa pines, and the boulders off to one side. Now in spring, the falls and creeks ran full and you could feel their energy. I felt like the place was not quite real, as if it belonged to another world or dimension, and i basked in the bliss a few early mornings. But near the base, i spotted a stone, that called to me, off kilter with rest of the magnificence around.

A Poloti of Yosemite Falls?


The Ahwahneechee called Yosemite Falls “Cholock” which is a bad spirit, and believed that several witches called “Poloti” lived in the plunge pool at the base. while this was downstream, i could not help but wonder if this was one of the spirits they talked about. Still, the faces that embrace Upper Yosemite Falls seem kind, but sad.

Two Faces of Upper Yosemite Falls

As i walked in the meadow near the swinging bridge, the falls seemed to be seperating the two faces – one night i imagined the falls as a giant tear – two tears joined together. The walls near the falls came alive in the evening, and once again i felt that something was looking down at me.

The Wall Has Eye


On my previous visit, i had been fortunate enough to camp under the full moon, and at night these walls lit up and shone with an unearthl quality. As I walked along the loop trail, out towards El Captain, i noticed a shine in the wall although it was the middle of the day. A face appeared to me, one that did not seem benovolent.

Eerie Luminescent Spirit

I felt an evil force in this face and tried not to look, but still i had to. I did not go as far as Bridalveil Falls, who the Ahwahneechee called “Pohono”, another ‘evil’ spirit that means ‘windy spirit’. It was thought that the waterfall spirits would mesmerize you and get you into the mist and make you fall in and you would die. Instead i go to Cathedral beach which calms the spirit.

I walk back on the other side. I glance up and this spirit comes out.

Scary Spirit

It haunts me – i feel an evil force. I try not to look up but i do and spot  another – more benign.

Smiling Creature

Still, the kind nature of this one, fails to shake the feeling from the other spirit that la nearby. I am reminded of one of the spirits i saw one of my first days here this time, something crawling out of the walls, something that threw me off.

What is this crawling out of the wall?

After seeing this creature, i tried not to see images and focused instead on the multitude of life that blooms in the valley in the spring. Once again i did, listening to the birds and the waterfalls and the streams and looking at the trees and making to connection with the other life forces. and this was another face i saw, a bear or something coming out of a tree.

Bear Tree Spirit

I have seen many more spirits in stone at Yosemite. Some i have not photographed, and some do not want their picture taken – they do not want to be revealed. But the walls are alive, with a past much more mysterious than we know. Who are these spirits? I cannot say, all i know is they are there, magical in many ways, seen and unseen. And i know that each time i visit the valley, i come alive as if imbued with a magical force, i experience a whirlwind of emotions, and after i leave, i feel that something has been taken from me. A loss of the magic, or something more?

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Night Eyes from Above

 Who is watching over us?  is question that came to mind as i was walking along a street the other day – looking up for a change. I was not looking at these lights, but at the twisted branches of some trees, attempting to photograph them from underneath. I see trees as transmitters of energies between heaven and earth, much as we are, connecting the over and underworlds. I looked up and this came into view


Who is Watching Over Us?

I was strolling along the other day, and began to look up at the forms of branches and leaves in trees. My gaze went higher, and this is what i saw, and i began to ask just who is looking over us?

Towering Over the Valley Below

Once i had noticed the tower, it appeared everywhere. I would walk up the various hills, and it would loom above. And i began to wonder what it transmits along with the cell signals.

The Tower and The Steeple

Another contrast that struck me at night when i first came back to the city. What is the power of towers and steeples – how do they connect heaven and earth?

The Evil Pyramid that looms over the business and tourist zone

The Transamerica Pyramid looms over the tourist part of the city, unlike the hills, that have the power of ancient pyramids, this haunts me in every direction. I have often wondered what power this building has – a pyramid, that calls forth and how it transformed the energy of the city when it was built.

The Spire at Grace Cathedral Under a Full Moon

While the transamerica pyramid cannot be avoided, you must look for this spire, almost hidden away. Church steeples, domes and more can be seen around, and what power to they transmit and contain, connecting up to the sky? Do we look and listen to the power of the spirit or that chatter of the material and post-industrial world? How does sacred geometry connect us. This steeple is both uplifting and eerie.



Angel Above the Bay

 But if we look, we will realize the angels and spirits are still looking over us.

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