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

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Redwood Ramblings

While camping in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in August 2013 my family and I hiked the 5 mile James Irvine Trail from our campground to the Pacific Ocean and the incredible Fern Canyon. Here are my best photographs from this hike followed by images from a solo hike I did along Prairie Creek.

Poem: Oceans Roaring in Moonlight

Walking alone in the moonlight along the edge of Elk Prairie

Seeking a silent audience with a great Tree

I enter a tall dark wall of redwoods and switch on my headlamp

Thinking of mountain lions

The canopy opens up and I douse the light

As eyes adjust to filtered moonlight

I feel the looming gravity of this Ancient One

With my light I trace the gnarly trunk of the Arco Giant

Twenty-four feet in diameter and 227 feet high

Candelabra-like multiple trunks, some broken off in storms

Spiraling bole peppered with huge burls  

Massive crown hosting a hidden ecosystem of epiphytes

As I lie down in a pool of moonlight beneath this Great One

A single delicate-winged insect flutters up into a shaft of light

Quieting myself I notice a distant eternal roar

The western ocean pouring over miles of redwood-clad hills

No beginning or end to these waves crashing into this Turtle Continent

My brief time runs its course between the moth and this tree

For thousands of years witnessing storm and fire

Standing here beneath the coursing moon and sun and stars

Listening to the eternal roaring

For a moment a link in time

Joined by the ancestors and our children—born and unborn

I rename this tree “Oceans Roaring”

Tonight this tree is my father and the ocean my mother

Tonight I am their moonstruck child

Emerging blinking from the dark tunneled forest

Into the bright moonlit meadow now blanketed in cool silver mists