There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

25 January 2015

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks (Part Three, the descent)

All things that go up, must come down. I follow the law of gravity and start my descent back into the slot canyons of Kasha-Katuwe.
The smooth stone reminds me of the small of a woman's back that fingers slowly caress after the passion of our glass animal natures has subsided. The same electric tingling sensation envelopes me now as I enter the narrow entrance.
The towering Tent Rocks create illusions of an eclipse as you make your way through. Bend a knee and worship to the planets that orbit above in the heavens.

My spiritual fix is satisfied as I complete the exploration of the mighty Tent Rocks.


24 January 2015

Playa El Encantu

I hop in the car and just start driving, no set destination in mind. My darker side perhaps wants to test the resolve of the human condition.

With that thought I find a dirt road that leads me out of San Jose Del Cabo and into the lush mountains above. Swerving the car around deep holes in the road so I can venture towards the unknown.

The sand turns soft under the tires so I pull over before I regret going any further. I have nothing but sand dunes, cacti, and ocean surrounding me.
The bellowing dust of the occasional four wheeler breaks the sound of silence. My butterfly friends don't seem to mind. The distant rain clouds smile in the afternoon light. The fading glow of the day lasts an eternity out here in the empty desert.
As I become mesmerized to the sounds of the ocean waves breaking upon the shoreline, a British couple emerge over a sand hill, hand in hand, the man carrying a basket of empty food containers and a finished bottle of wine.

It's always nice to see True Love.

18 January 2015

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks (Part Two, the summit)

“There is only one success—to be able to spend your life in your own way.”

–Christopher Morely

My feet step on the last of the stones as the heat from the morning sun smooths my face. The summit of Tent Rocks is before me.
Sitting on the precipice of certain death that comes with one wrong move, I realize I am hard wired for this. My friends are with their families, enjoying the comforts of their offspring and in sharing stories of struggles and joy.

My comfort is in capturing my own story in the magic of light reflecting images off a mirrored lens, drawing a moment into a lasting memory in time.
Looking down into a desert abyss, my calloused fingers caress a petrified tree. I sit in the comfort of my self imposed solitary confinement.....
letting my eyes stretch over to the edges of this earth, and beyond.

17 January 2015

another snorkeling attempt at Chileno beach

It's no secret, I think the ocean looks better from the shore, or a boat. Anything other than actually getting in the water because, you know, sharks are in the water.

This paralyzing fear has been with me since I was a wee child, yet slowly, I'm working towards facing that fear head on.

I was ready to try snorkeling at the pristine Chileno beach between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.
Ten a.m. and the far side of the beach was empty. I wanted seclusion in case I failed to conquer my fear. The temperature was perfect in the water and out. I donned my mask, san fins, and slowly entered my nemesis....
The strength of the tide surprised and scared me initially, but once I became used to the motion, I let it pull me freely as I surveyed the underwater landscape. Brimming with life, schools of fish moved quickly between coral and stone.

Needle fish were seemingly motionless, crabs scurried to hide upon my approach, and all other manner of sea life came out to view the new visitor.
Paranoia did keep my head constantly turning to search for sharks, and the shadows and light created images that made me imagine horrible scenarios that in reality were nothing.

I didn't venture too deep or swim out too far, but that was fine by me.
The goal was to not chicken out and actually get in the ocean, and in that respect, I surpassed all of my own expectations, and can now push the envelope even further next time.

*****


11 January 2015

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks (Part One, the ascent)

I pass the small tribal town at the base of Jemez mountains, and stop at the gate to greet the Native American that allows one to enter the National Monument.

"You are lucky to have arrived so early, as today is our busiest day of the year".

It's exactly 8 am, the day after Thanksgiving, as I step foot onto the trail leading to Kasha-Katuwe, or the White Cliffs, as it would be interpreted by the Pueblo Indians for the White people.
The cliff walls narrow as you ascend, the claustrophobic nature as comforting to me as a soft blanket gently draped around your shoulders.
The notes of an ancient flute reverberate off Peralta Canyon, the powerful forces of vulcanism and erosion in the towering tent rocks pierce your skin in the early morning.
I make my way through the magical granite confines until I reach the summit, where the sun breaks over the horizon for one all powerful view...