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 21, 2012

Yosemite: Holding the Mountain

Elephant's Foot Juniper with Cathedral Peak from West Cottage Dome © Bob Hare 2012

Poem dated August 12, 2011: Holding the Mountain

Drop for a while these tired ideas of who you are
those petty demands and grievances
those fears of future pains and losses
You’re not that

Open your soul wide
To let this mountain in
The stars spin now around
Your sky-silhouetted monolith

Be Immovable
Watch yourself scramble over your own
glacier-polished granite domes
Descend in moonlight tasting freedom all around

Do not hesitate on the steep part above the dark treetops
Don’t look at your feet--no one can catch you now
Take in the horizon of shining peaks
And the old juniper that births you and receives your ashes

You’re home now
Under the black silent conifers
Be still as the moon shadows
Falling over the fallen trees

Evening Panorama from East Cottage Dome © Bob Hare 2012

Journal: Friday August 14, 2011, Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite NP, 8,580' Elevation

Returned to Tuolumne Lodge about 9:00 pm from my second visit to East Cottage Dome in two days. Left the Lodge in the afternoon to photograph the "Elephant's Foot Juniper" in evening glow. Found a dark andesitic? erratic boulder (a flattened oval about 14" x 18") balanced within ten feet of East Cottage dome's summit. It made a great stool since the entire dome's top is roughly-weathered feldspar crystals (which the rock climbers use as handholds and which they affectionately call "chicken heads"). Cathedral Peak granodiorite is definitely not sit- or lie down-friendly!

I found areas of glacial polish and chattermark crescents, where a boulder embedded at the bottom of the 1,000-foot-thick glacier
under unimaginable pressure suddenly strike-slipped and fractured the granite over 10,000 years ago.

Had a fine walk down under the full moon. Felt the exhilaration of the wild/dramatic landscape surrounding me--all the while feeling the "edge" of hiking down alone and finding my way down steep dangerous terrain.

Fairview Dome, Cathedral Peak & Daff Dome from West Cottage Dome © Bob Hare 2012

Journal Update: October 21, 2012, Elk Grove, California 

I love to seek out, find my way up onto, and wander about on the glacially-polished domes that grace the horizons between Yosemite's Tenaya Lake and Tuolumne Meadows. Some of these have official map names, others were named by rock climbers, and many remain unnamed except by dome-lovers like myself. I'll never get up onto the top of some, which, like rock climber-named Daff Dome (Dome Across From Fairview), are just too steep-sided for a rock scrambler like myself. I walked up Fairview Dome's steep south slope in 1987 when I was thirty-eight but I wouldn't try to repeat it today at sixty-three. I like it just fine that way--some peaks should remain unsummited to hold Mystery like Nepal's unclimbed holy Machhapuchhre (माछापुछ्रे) (named the "Fishtail" after the appearance of its summit).

Daff Dome & Cathedral Peak from West Cottage Dome © Bob Hare 2012

I take great joy in walking on glacier-rounded open granite elevated above the treeline with all my favorite peaks and memories of past climbs with friends surrounding me. Here one can truly be alone with the great granite horizon and the ever-changing drama of weather, the sun and moon, the clouds, soaring hawks, and the occasional marmot. The twisted trees show the effects and survival strategies of hundreds of summers and winters and perhaps a hundred thousand wheelings of the stars, the sun, and the moon. Despite my vibram-soled boots I sometimes get a glimmer of what it might be like to be a mountain lion padding softly under the new moon over these granite domes in the Great Silence.

The Moonprowler, scratchboard © Bob Hare 2012

Lenticular Clouds over Tenaya Peak, scratchboard, © Bob Hare 2012

May all Beings be well, happy, and free! May you walk on Beauty. Yours in Peace, Bob

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.