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

Definition of Walkabout :

a short period of wandering as an occasional interruption of regular work
Showing posts with label Flagstaff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Flagstaff. Show all posts

09 May 2017

Lenox Crater. Cinder Hills. Alone.

I barely remember the Cinder Hills or Lenox Crater. I think I was outside of Flagstaff. Yes, that sounds familiar.
Lately, my mind has been filled with frustration, and I can't find the plug to pull and drain the poisonous thoughts. I need to just keep my mouth shut and remember the bigger picture in my life.

but that is hard to do.
I hope to write down these thoughts and purge the sickness, but even as I type I feel the process not working.

Fuck it. My life may just be as messed up as a Fargo story, with my only hope is that it may be as interesting.

28 April 2017

Soldiers trail

I rise in the woods of a September morning to the sounds of crackling fires and bluegrass banjo's being tuned.

Let's go for a hike along the Soldiers trail and look for mighty elk.
Off in the distance I hear the sounds of Bob Marley playing.

I tap my feet along the trail, wondering...

Is it love, is it love, it is love that I'm feeling?
I find no elk, only curious Kaibob squirrels and the comfort standing next to a tree that has been struck by lightning.

04 March 2017

shuffling through the volcanic ash of Sunset Crater

Just outside of Flagstaff, Arizona, there is a protected area known as Sunset Crater. The ground is covered in soft black volcanic ash, crevasses and fissures can be explored.

The Native American Great Spirit is strong here.
Start along the boardwalk to get a sense of the area, then head out on a trail that will lead you up and around a mountain.

Your views once you reach the summit are worth the short hike.
I come around the mountain and back down as the sun starts to set in the west. I head back to camp, start a fire and watch the night sky unfold.
Another peaceful starry Arizona night.

16 February 2017

The Pickin' in the Pines Festival 2016

For three glorious days up in the cool pines of Flagstaff, Arizona, you can hear some of the greatest bluegrass music our country has to offer at the Pickin' in the Pines festival.

Held in September each year, last years festival was my first time attending. From camping with a village full of bluegrass lovers to the bands playing at the Pepsi amphitheater to the workshops and classes being offered, it is a full bluegrass experience.
I'm salivating just thinking about it, and hope to return each and every year. Until September rolls around again though, I'll settle for this reminder of the great music to be found,

Enjoy the steeldrivers, just one of many great acts to be found last year. Long live Bluegrass!

09 February 2017

Pickin' in the Pines - the camping experience

Just outside the town of Flagstaff, Arizona, there is a little festival that happens each year in September.

People from all over come to camp for three nights, playing their banjos and other stringed instruments in what is affectionately called the Pickin' in the Pines festival.

Last year was my first time attending, and I went all out with a three day pass that included camping just outside the arena.
After making quick work of setting up my campsite, it was time to just relax under the tall pines, sip whiskey, and listen to the music and good times all around.

Many of the bluegrass acts playing in the festival were also camping in the same area as the attendees, which meant you could hear great bluegrass music all the time!

Hiking trails galore start from the campgrounds as well if you need to get away from it all for a bit.
It was here that I heard some great local music, new bluegrass bands from other parts of the West including Durango, Taos, and Moab.

I hope to make this a yearly event for me, but we will just have to wait and see. Until then, I'll strap on my cowboy hat, let my hippy flags fly in the breeze, and enjoy the sweet sounds of Bluegrass Americana.
*******

03 February 2017

camping at Bonito

The large ponderosa pines fill his nostrils as he makes his way down the winding road. Highway sounds fade away, replaced by the chirping of song birds and the faint bugle call of elk in heat.

It's Fall in Northern Arizona, which is perfect camping weather. Time to hang up some hippy blankets and bow down to meditate in Mother Nature.
He finds the Bonito Campground relatively empty this time of year. Only a few snowbirds still linger, and a boy scout troop working on earning their merit badges.

He makes quick work of setting up camp, and before long the fire is roaring and crackling in the night sky.

He watches a million stars twinkle in front of him, then closes his eyes and drifts off.

27 April 2016

The Lowell Observatory

Space.

Because of TV shows like Star Trek and Flash Gordon, to movies such as Star Wars, I've wanted to explore the universe of twinkling lights above my head.

The Lowell Observatory, started in the year 1894 in Flagstaff, has made it possible for those with dreams of space exploration to see the wonders that lie beyond the limits of our earthly vision.
It was here that Pluto was first discovered, as well as what is commonly referred to nowadays as "Deep Space".

A light snow falls as you walk along the forested path of infamous scientist's busts. The feeling gives me chills in the most satisfying of ways.
It's funny how you can feel so insignificantly small in comparison to the vastness, yet at the same time a deep connection between you and all other living things,
Everything has it's place in the Universe, from the molecule that is a part of the hairs on my arm that tingle, to the matter that makes up the distant planet called Pluto.

Space.

23 April 2016

The hike around Walnut Canyon Island

700 years ago, the Sinagua Indians found an island in the Arizona landscape that they made their home. Pueblos built into the steep canyon walls provided shelter and protection from the elements.

Today, this sacred place is known as Walnut Canyon.
As the wind whistles through the canyon, a lone flute can be heard in the distance, with an accompanying beat of a drum. Ancestors of the Sinagua Indian and those from other neighboring tribes come to pay their respects to those that once called this place home.
One quietly walks through the early history of America, before the white man.

Before Industrialization, revolution, and the stirrings of independence from one's oppressors.
You enter a time of simply living in the world of the Great Creator, our Grandfather.