The desert continues to surprise and delight. We spent two days at the racetrack. We were the only human inhabitants. The sky was immense here. It was a very intense bumpy ride. A ride I don’t think I will ever venture on again. But, very stoked for the opportunity to visit this vast, mysterious place nestled back in the desert. A dry lake bed. A very large rock formation on one end which was labeled, “The Grandstand.” It is said that rocks move rather mysteriously across the dry bed… when the ice is solid and the winds strong.It is a very curious place that draws one into contemplation about the many wild features of the desert landscape.
We took off early morning towards a saddle that looked to have views on one side of the Racetrak, and the other side of Saline Valley. It was a super hot, dry trek up. But we were rewarded with the multitude of rocks. We have all become very captivated by the geology of the desert.
It was by far the coldest night of our trip so far. Besides my Zpack 10degree bag, I had 2 packing blankets, down pants and down jacket. I was still a little chilly!!
The next morning we arose early to see the sun rise over the Racetrak as we headed back out. We hiked across the lake first. It was freezing…but super cool. The desert sun had baked the ground. It was cracked and thirsty seeming…I walked for quite a distance with my eyes closed. Giving in to all doubt and fear. Just walking. Listening, smelling, feeling really immersing in the moments. It was awesome. ” It is more than seeing, it is tuning in and allowing the current to connect with ones own … a means to the end of living in front of things and a beginning of living with them…” Jacques Lusseyran ( And There Was Light) I could relate to this sentiment from a man who was blind. I felt more apart of. I declined making judgment about or trying to define that which I was seeing. Without sight I was a part of, and not apart from.
After leaving the Racetrak we drove to a place called Ashford. Ashford was an artists delight. The colors were off the color wheel. The varying shades of purples and greens and chocolate….they were yummy. This place hasn’t stop surprising me. Nothing is as I expected it to be. The nighttime skies here at Ashford completely captivated me. I couldn’t sleep. Watching Orion move across the sky. Visions of those I love crossing my awareness creating a sense of big joy within.
Our hike the next morning into the hills and washes of Ashford were stunning. Displays of a grand master artist in every direction. Wandering more than heading in a direction. Inhaling the spirit of this magical environment. Pain wracking my body today. Feeling depleted..however. This feeling of supreme exhaustion in an extreme situation such as this, fills me with life.
“Wind is a meticulous gardner…” I see this in the desert. The wind is a master out here. Creating beautiful structures in the canyons and rock walls. I hear the songs of the wind. I feel the caressing of it against my skin. I am alive out here.
“If anything grows old gracefully, it is a desert river canyon…this is grace…which i would aspire to..it’s an open question- how to make something beautiful of the pieces that are left after time does the slow work of the river, giving and taking, taking away.” Kathleen Dean Moore
I walk on
With so much love