Welcome to my Wilderness Journal

You may enjoy my September 2012 blog: Sharing Experiences of Great Mystery, which describes the purpose of this wilderness log, photo-art gallery, and poetry corner. In Peace, Bob

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Ansel Adams Wilderness: Obsidian Memories

Journal Entry: Shangri-La Meadows (10,000’), Thousand Island Lake, Ansel Adams Wilderness July 9, 1996 (written at the age of forty-seven)



My Shangri-La Campsite © Bob Hare 2012


I just found an obsidian flake in the just-greening meadow. A few weeks ago it was covered in the broad snowfields that blanket these slopes for seven to eight months of the year. I immediately thought this was left by an Indian hunter who camped here as part of a small bighorn sheep hunting party.
 

Thousand Island Lake reflecting Banner Peak © Bob Hare 2012




Perhaps two-hundred snows have covered and uncovered this memory holder since it first flew off the obsidian blank he was flint-knapping on his buckskin-covered thigh.  I wonder if their hunt was successful? Did they build a blind at the 11,058’ pass to Catherine Lake? How old was the sheep hunter? What were his joys and losses? Was he telling a joke as he made the spear or arrow point?  What sounds and gestures did they use while hunting? What did they wear to protect their feet on these rough rocks? How did they deal with these mosquitoes? When was the last bighorn killed here?



Shangri-La Gardens under Banner Peak © Bob Hare 2012











Today, I am a hunter of memories up here. I hunt the beauty of Banner Peak silhouetted stark black against the setting Scorpio constellation. I hunt the rosy-crowned finch, the golden marmot, and the cerulean flocks of mountain bluebirds and the blessings they trail behind them. I found all these and the many singing snowmelt brooks and frost-tended gardens of perfectly-placed rocks, painted wildflowers, and krummholzed whitebark pine. I found towering cumuli, the shadow of red-tailed hawk, and the croak and glistening throat feathers of raven. 


My Banner Summiting Partner above the Ritter-Banner Glacier © Bob Hare 2012


I also saw the glacier and the peak I climbed in 1984. By the time we reached the summit of Banner the cloud deck had lowered and was so thick I could barely see my hands. I found the campsite where I recovered alone in my tent from a scary stumble in the rainy descent—hearing all night strange sounds and voices in the white noise of the nearby cascade. 


My Rainbow Pass Camp with my Peace Banner © Bob Hare 2012


Last night the Milky Way trailed off behind Banner. The day and night skies have revolved over 4,000 times since I was here last. I wonder how many revolutions will pass before Shangri-La Meadows’ Beauty and Peace call me back again?




Brush & Ink Drawing of Shangri-La Meadows © Bob Hare 2012


May all Beings be well, Happy, and Free! 


Note: Unless attributed to other sources all text, poems, photographs and artwork in this blog and other blogs entitled "Wilderness Adventures with Bob Hare" are copyrighted © 2012 by Bob Hare. The phrase "Wilderness Adventures with Bob Hare" is a trademark of Bob Hare.