Would You.. Could You.. Hike A Thousand Miles?

“The Mountains Are Calling
And I must Go.”

 

Curt Mekemson has just left on a thousand mile chunk of a hike that begins in Ashland Oregon, travels south to Mount Whitney, through Siskiyou, Marble, and Sierra Nevada Mountains.This is quite the hike, through some of the most beautiful places in America. Places most people, Americans too,  never will see. Curt Mekemson is  an excellent nature writer, with an eye for detail and a way with words that could convince anyone to go outside to play, to explore, to see the beauty of it all.

Author of  The Bush Devil Ate Sam,  I first came across a batch of stunning photos,  the Burning Man Collection, and have been enjoying Curt’s  writings, adventures,  and photography since. His insatiable curiosity for exploring the planet is matched by his wife Peggy, who sharing his wanderlust, high spirits and a fine camera eye of her own, …makes their website Wandering Through Time and Place  one of the best and most interesting websites to savor and enjoy.  A fellow WordPress Blogger, Curt has in turn been a real source of inspiration, support, and contributor of smart comments for my own, JoHannaMassey.com for several years now.

When it comes to backpacking, Curt Mekemson speaks with experience on provisioning, food considerations, resupply points,  and permits that all need to be planned out and reviewed when undertaking a big or small adventure.  Whether a novice backpacker, a seasoned explorer, or someone wanting to see/learn of the back country of America in almost real time, here’s your invitation:

I’m inviting everyone to join me, tell all your friends and family, co workers, neighbors, and acquaintances too. This is a real big deal hike and I am thrilled for my friend. Let’s tag along this next three months with  Curt Mekemson’s Hike of One Thousand miles. I just think it would be so cool, if a million people worldwide, but especially the WordPress bloggers followed along with Curt Mekemson’s One Thousand Mile Hike.

No matter how huge our numbers swell to, how gaily and  daily we tramp along with Curt, via WordPress, we will ‘leave no trace’ behind us, the lightness of Curt’s steps one for all and all for one!

All my best to each and everyone of you. See you along the trail!

 

With The Noise Of It

When the green woods laugh
With the voice of joy,
And the dimpling stream
Runs laughing by;
When the air does laugh
With our merry wit,
And the green hill laughs
With the noise of it.
William Blake

Being near cold flowing water, with an overhang of trees  is where I feel most whole and in grace. These strips of riparian paradise exist Worldwide, each unique and mesmerizing. No matter where we wander, there is a familiarity, recognition, and welcome in the rivers, streams, and creeks.   Especially when shared, the truly best kind of days. Perhaps a past or future as fish. This stretch of Beaver Creek has been a favorite for twenty five and some years, and I am happy to provide you a look about with these photos as my submission for  WordPress Photo Challenge theme of Place In The World.

 Inspiration for this weeks Challenge – Erica V 

For this week’s photo challenge, explore what it means to find your place in the world. Where’s your safe space? Where do you go when you need to feel inspired or cheered up? Let loose and give us a glimpse of who you are in the grand scheme of things.

All my best to Each and Everyone.

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Music: Pete Seegar Sail Up & Down The River

A Grand Gift Of Silence

“You have a grand gift for silence, Watson.
It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.”
Sherlock Holmes via Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A recent day of shared silence… hiking the  Little-Horse Trail #61 to Chicken Point in Sedona Arizona. A hike which I now share silently with you in Photographs:

In response to WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Silence

New Oxford American Dictionary-
Origins: Middle English: from Old French, from Latin silentium, from silere be silent.                                                                                                                            
silence–  | ˈsīləns | noun complete absence of sound: sirens pierce the silence of the night | an eerie silence descended over the house.                                         the fact or state of abstaining from speech: Karen had withdrawn into sullen silence | she was reduced to silence for a moment.                                                    the avoidance of mentioning or discussing something: politicians keep their silence on the big questions. •                                                                                       the state of standing still and not speaking as a sign of respect for someone deceased or in an opportunity for prayer: a moment of silence presided over by a local minister.

verb [with object] cause to become silent; prohibit or prevent from speaking: the team’s performance silenced their critics | freedom of the press cannot be silenced by tanks. (usually as adjective silenced) fit (a gun or other loud mechanism) with a silencer: a silenced .22 rifle.

PHRASES in silence without speech or other sound: we finished our meal in silence.

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A Safe and Peace-filled weekend to each and everyone.

 

News/Music: Simon & Garfunkel- Sounds of Silence

The United States Came To Us – Part One

“No Statue of Liberty
Ever greeted our arrival in this country…
We did not, in fact
Come to the United States at all.
The United States came to us.”
― Luis Valdez

A picnic packed, out the door jaunt of a day, that included Fort Verde State Historic Park. Promoted as ‘ the best preserved example of an Indian Wars period fort in Arizona.’

 

The first surprise turned out to be that there is no fort.

A well maintained white picket fence marks the boundaries.  According to one of the many information boards available during a  self guided tour:

Building materials were a concern. Many forts were located in barren, treeless areas and building materials were in short supply. Whatever wood was available was needed in the construction of buildings.

The army was also concerned about Troop morale. Huddling behind a wall was not considered inspiring for the troops. One general in the Dakota Territory wrote, “It is better for troop morale to depend on vigilance and breech-loaders for protection than to hide behind palisades.

The second surprise was just how interesting, firing of the imagination, the self guided tour was for me.  There are engaging displays…with a  balanced mix of artistic, artifact, photos, tools, correspondence,  and time correct technologies accompanied by clear, easily understood  explanations.  Found myself drawn in, captured really,  by the narrative of the military history of the Verde Valley area. The displays of these items, some familiar and others quite curiosities humanized for me the military personnel, miners, ranchers, and settlers involved. The collection of old photographs fill in the narratives well. How vastly different the concept of how to live in this area differed from the people already established here.  Definitely suggest it as a place to visit if you are visiting Sedona, to take the young ones, and to take visitors who are visiting, if you already live locally.

Several original buildings are preserved, filled with period displays,  enabling visitors to get a sense of what was necessary and valued by the soldiers and their families who lived there.  Whether  the guns at the ready beside thin blanketed cots, four to a room in the Bachelor Officers quarters:

Or the separate quarters for the Commanding Officer and his family:

The ‘Striker’, an  enlisted man whose responsibilities included the chores, laundry, cooking, and child care also lived in the Commander’s Quarters. This duty included better living quarters, and an extra $5.00 dollars a month salary, a substantial increase,  bringing his monthly pay to $13.00.

There was also a Surgeons Quarters, where antiseptic procedures were new ideas under development, there were no antibiotics or vaccines, and amputation was the treatment of choice for many injuries and infections.  Also an identical building to the Commanding Officer’s Quarters served as  Married Officer’s Quarters, only with four families sharing the same space. At full function there were 22 buildings, the few remaining cared for and brimming over with history.

Part Two of the Fort Verde State Park Photo/Essay, arriving soon,  will move  to the original Military Headquarters

Original Adobe of Military Headquarters- Fort Verde State Park, Camp Verde Arizona

where I learned and will share with you, just why the U.S. Army,  ….a maximum  306 enlisted men, 11 officers, 19 civilians, and 36 Apache Tribal Members acting as Scouts, came together here in the Verde Valley between 1871-1891.

An excellent day to one and all.

Here’s Where To Find Part Two

 

Dreams and False Alarms

“I pulled into the Cactus Tree Motel
To shower off the dust
And I slept on the strange pillows
Of my wanderlust
I dreamed of 747s
Over geometric farms
Dreams Amelia – dreams and false alarms.”
The high desert sky is big. I’ve seen it cower, awe, inspire, calm, humble, and straighten the shoulders on big guys and small children alike. These big skies will reveal when monsoon is coming, leaving, the heat is on, or off, snow is on the way, and which way the wind blows.  When there are large fires in California,  often enough smoke travels into Arizona, to add layers of colorful filtered light to the big sky sunset over the Mingus Mountains.
In all my years of observing this phenomenon, I admit to being startled by the massive scale of this color filled sunset. First time I have observed the entire big sky filled, and it’s message of just how large and deadly this last series of fires in California have been. The LA Times did a fine piece on where and how to help: How to Help Victims of Northern California Fires

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New Oxford American Dictionary:
scale 3 |skāl| 1 a graduated range of values forming a standard system for measuring or grading something: company employees have hit the top of their pay scales.the full range of different levels of people or things, from lowest to highest: two men at opposite ends of the social scale.a series of marks at regular intervals in a line used in measuring something: the mean delivery time is plotted against a scale on the right.a device having a series of marks at regular intervals in a line used in measuring something: she read the exact distance off a scale.a rule determining the distances between marks on a scale: the vertical axis is given on a logarithmic
scale.2 [in singular] the relative size or extent of something: no one foresaw the scale of the disaster | everything in the house is on a grand scale.[often as modifier] a ratio of size in a map, model, drawing, or plan: a one-fifth scale model of a seven-story building | an Ordnance Survey map on a scale of 1:2500.(in full scale of notation) Mathematics a system of numerical notation in which the value of a digit depends upon its position in the number, successive positions representing successive powers of a fixed base: the conversion of the number to the binary scale.
Photography the range of exposures over which a photographic material will give an acceptable variation in density.
3 Music an arrangement of the notes in any system of music in ascending or descending order of pitch: the scale of C major.

The Last Landline

 

“Unless you had been to Grandma Jane’s house, saw it with your own eyes, or even better …..were privileged to have been summoned by it’s ring, held it in your hands, listened to the message for only yourself……well you might think Grandma Jane’s refusal to get a smart phone quite pedestrian.”

In response to WordPress Photo Challenge- Pedestrian-

Oxford American Thesaurus:

Pedestrian- noun: walker, person on foot; (pedestrians) foot traffic. ANTONYMS driver.

adjective: pedestrian lives: dull, boring, tedious, monotonous, uneventful, unremarkable, tiresome, wearisome, uninspired, unimaginative, unexciting, uninteresting, uninvolving; unvarying, unvaried, repetitive, routine, commonplace, workaday; ordinary, everyday, run-of-the-mill, mundane, humdrum; informal plain-vanilla.                                                                 ANTONYMS exciting.

Interesting article from the Guardian on  SmartPhones inspired this post. You may enjoy reading it too:

Our Minds Can be Hijacked: the Tech Insiders Who Fear A Smartphone Dystopia

A peaceful Sunday to one and all.