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Monday, October 1, 2012

Mendo


October 1, 2012

I just spent the weekend in Mendocino, California.  A tiny caravan drove from San Francisco up the highway and into the curvy canyon roads of the forest.  It has been so long since I’ve been surrounded by so much nature.  It struck a chord inside my soul like it should with everyone.  It reminded me of down south.  It reminded me of home.  In major cities the powers that be try to include parts of nature to break up the concrete and asphalt, but my heart can always tell.  There is something that speaks to me about how much earth is actually there.  In a city, my soul knows that it’s all sitting on top of concrete or gravel in the first place.  But out here, it is all planet Earth. 


It was the perfect transition stage for this journey.  It was camping, but not completely rustic, “on your own” kind of camping.  Sure, if you didn’t wrap up tight or plan accordingly, you would be cold for the night.  That said, there was water running to an outdoor faucet and a shower with a solar heater, and no camp is complete without a barbeque grill.  There was no plumbing, but the outhouse was good enough even for the squeamishly inclined.  For camping, this was very accommodating.  I occasionally had thoughts of a more limited Yosemite and a completely isolated Yellowstone and this was the perfect way to temper my thin Los Angeles skin. 

- the camp -
Speaking of temper, it was about 80 or 90 degrees at the camp, but it did drop to about 40 at night.  In short, it was beautiful.
I was overwhelmed at first and let my inner child play with everything.  I spent the first 15 minutes chopping firewood, for the simple reason that it was fun.  We cracked to cooler open and started to set up camp.  It was just three of us at first: Beau, Nick, and myself.  It wasn’t until after midnight that three more voices joined in.  (We all missed you Ken-O!) 
They all knew this place.  This was an old record they played many times every summer and even in the winter.  At times it felt like a high school movie in the seventies.  “The whole crew is getting together in Mendo again.”  They all had their stories and inside jokes about people and the things that happened to them over the years in this incredible piece of land.  I was like an alien coming down and observing people’s lives then joining in to become stories for the future.  I was the only one who was experiencing these grounds for the first time, and I was so grateful.  Thanks Beau. 

- Beau and Leslie and their respective views -


- View while Brushing my Teeth -

We started the days with a hearty breakfast before following the winding path down to the river.  Soaking off the heat we all were in touch with the magnificence of each moment.  We made a great set of lunches and stayed down there all day until our bellies rumbled once more.  
There was surely no concrete under these redwoods; something you don’t have to see to be able to feel.  I’m fascinated by those who think that trees aren’t alive or don’t feel.  They most certainly do!  We took it all in.  No matter the sights and sounds, no matter the individual memories or life experiences that separate each of us, we were at peace. 

- Down by the River -
- Beau and Nick -
- of course, a rope swing -
Look at that Tree!
We spent the nights watching the sky fold over us as the fire burned.  The moon wanted so badly to become full two days ahead of schedule.  It’s brightness filled the sky and drown out the stars waiting patiently in the blackness behind.  By midnight the brilliant light was at the top of the sky and demanded our attention.  Not a single thing could hide in the shadows; we were safe from any hunting lions out there.   By the ride out on the third night, the Moon was at it’s fullest and because of the horizon effect, it filled the sky.

- Me in the shower ;) -
- view from the shower -



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