Composer’s Blog #3
I discovered a book at one of our campsites. On the front cover it read, “Please do not burn me or any part of me. I am history for all to read. Feel free to add to this sacred book and be a part of history. Enjoy and happy trails!” I was ecstatic to discover a diary that had passed through so many hands. To be shared without being copied or transcribed. Though the once blank pages had all been filled by pen and ink. I think I’ll share my adventure here, and be a part of history.
Day one, we left our car and belongings to the company of a lonely rustling tree. In front of us all I could see was a never ending range of mountains looming far ahead. I slowly lost track of the miles we traversed as we: snaked along the river bed, rolled over mountains, and weaved our way through a forest of trees. When I stumbled into camp that night I almost walked right past it without a second glance if not for the oddly shaped circle of rocks. A fire soon blazed from the pit that designated our arrival. Welcoming us to eat and sleep under a canopy of stars.
Day two, the numerous lines that rippled on the map foreshadowed the days hike. It was grueling and strenuous. Every mountain that we conquered had another to take its place. This monotonous pattern continued well into the afternoon when I stopped for lunch. But now as I spun around I was the looming giant that had intimidated me before. I could see the ocean and the forest and the mountains to the south. To the north stood nothing between me and the sky. It was an easy descent to our campsite that night. As we made our way into the shadows of the cliffs the climate shifted to allow for patches of snow, and shivers throughout the night.
Day three, we were to leave the mountains behind for the wide expanse of the valley. The only sign of life was a squirrel that seemed sad at our departure. It was easier now to lose myself. Thoughts would cease in place of rhythmic footsteps. We traversed the valley to be confronted by another mountain. We once again reached the top to look down upon the puny mountains behind us. Putting all my sore muscles aside to admire what I had accomplished. I could hear running water and we soon came upon a river separating us and our campsite. We hopped from rock to rock trying to avoid the drenched clothing that seemed inevitable. As the sun was setting I immediately spotted our campsite. This was no pile of rocks in the wilderness. It had huts, shelters, running water, and a bed! By which I mean there was a bed frame with rusty springs. I can’t remember what I was most thankful for but it was here that I found the book written by all the wanderers before me.
Day four, I fought the chirping birds for what felt like an eternity. They danced in the treetops but still I refused to open my eyes. When the sun broke through the shattered window I stumbled out of bed. Being awake and being functional are two very different things. My legs did not seem to respond to my countless commands. Time was all I had to counteract the slow moving parts of my body. Bags packed. Sun blazing. We took off in search of our next shady residence.
Day five, this was the last day of my wilderness wanderings. I woke up driven to reach our destination where I would find a hot burrito waiting for me! The landscape flattened out as we left the Sespe National Forest as if even the mountains were helping us find our way.
Returning to civilization was easier than I thought it would be. Settling back into comfortable assumptions like automobiles and electricity to name a few. I am thankful though, that if only for a few days, I was able to hear the whispers of the trees. I only needed to open my ears.