The crew and I wait out the wind.
A forecast of 60 mph wind gusts keeps us at the Alabama Hills at Lone Pine, California, for another day. That’s okay. We’re in no hurry and we love it here!
Monday, October 22
I open the door of the BLT to greet the morning. The winds haven’t arrived yet. The air is brisk and fresh-smelling. “C’mon, guys! Get up! It’s a beautiful day!”
After breakfast Spike, Bridget, and I hike the Hills again.
It’s one of those magical times when everything comes together . . . the time of day, the air temperature, the sunlight, the place, the black bird riding the air currents, its shadow drifting across the desert . . . And the three of us able to enjoy it.
And Spike, always the explorer, always curious to see what’s around the next rock, over the hill, or down in the wash, runs ahead, glancing back occasionally as if to say, “Hurry up! There’s more!”
At a high point on our hike, the wind starts.
I quickly put the camera back in its case. The crew and I find a warm, still place behind a big boulder.
I lean against the rock and look out over the desert.
I want to remember this for the rest of my life.
There is a moment in each of our special camps, usually right before we leave, when time falls asleep and my awareness is fully awake. It’s difficult to put into words. The totality of the experience of that place wraps around me, as if I’m receiving a gift to take with us when we leave.
The wind is picking up. Driving down Whitney Portal Road I look south and see dust swirling in the Owens Valley. I drive over to the park and dump our trash in the bin there. As I pump gas the wind chases leaves down the street. I’m glad we didn’t get on the road today.
Dark clouds roll across the sky.
For a while the sky is a beautiful blue with white clouds to the east, while the mountains to the west are cloaked in . . . what is it? Fog, rain, snow, cloud cover? It’s like living between two worlds. I pack up the camp chairs and fold up the rug. It sprinkles a little bit at our camp. A rainbow appears.
In the evening I read in bed while Spike snores and Bridget cuddles.
I’ve been rereading John Muir (naturalist/conservationist) these past few weeks as we’ve travelled along the east side of the Sierra Nevada. His boundless wonder and appreciation for the beauty of nature inspire me.
As our little home is buffeted by the wind, off and on, throughout the night, I can peer out the window and see Muir’s snowy mountains in the moonlight. I try to imagine what it was like to spend a night in a cold, windy, howling storm up high on a mountain, as Muir did . . . I’m glad I’m in my warm, snug bed!
I wonder what tomorrow will be like. We’re off to a new camp. I love setting up a new camp. Good God in heaven, thank you for this life!