“the shock of the real”

En route to Observation Point, Zion National Park, 09.2011.
En route to Observation Point, Zion National Park, 09.2011.

“A weird, lovely, fantastic object out of nature like Delicate Arch [Arches National Park] has the curious ability to remind us–like rock and sunlight and wind and wilderness–that out there is a different world, older and greater and deeper by far than ours, a world which surrounds and sustains the little world of men as sea and sky surround and sustain a ship. The shock of the real. For a little while we are again able to see, as the child sees, a world of marvels. For a few moments we discover that nothing can be taken for granted, for if this ring of stone is marvelous then all which shaped it is marvelous, and our journey here on earth, able to see and touch and hear in the midst of tangible and mysterious things-in-themselves, is the most strange and daring of all adventures.”

Edward Abbey, “Cliffrose and Bayonets,” in Desert Solitaire; A Season in the Wilderness (1968)

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finding solitude among the grizzlies

finding solitude among the grizzlies

“We spend our days trying to be big. In the middle of nowhere, though, we can surrender to smallness again and instead find where we fit in the landscape. Out there, where there’s nothing, is where there’s the most to learn.”

-Christopher Solomon, “A Case for Getting Far, Far Away,” The New York Times, May 16, 2013

why we walk up

I’ve been at a loss for words for almost a month now, so I’m allowing some photographs from my high-altitude perch to speak for themselves. Here’s one that captures the fruits of a 508-step, mind-numbing bootpack. Mind-numbing, but mind-opening once the uphill jolt is complete and the stillness and silence of a remote perch in the humbling midst of rocky giants, protected from the revealing sunshine, is achieved…