Archive for the ‘Hiking’ Category

Hiking to Manning Camp   Leave a comment

Moonrise Over The Black Mountains — Photo-Artistry by kenne

 

We reached Mica Mountain as the sun was setting and set up camp two hours out from Manning Camp; our expected goal where we would get water and spend the evening. However, we did not have enough water to spend two nights in the mountains, so we decided we would turn back in the morning. Before setting up camp we watched the sunset and the moonrise.

Cold out! Feels like winter as we crawl into our sleeping bags. It must be the altitude. The full moon provided light, no warmth. The night was long. The tarp above us was attached at only three corners since Tom wanted one loose to flop in the wind, making noise that would keep the bears away.

After a long night of wind-driven noise and cold temperatures, we broke camp early to arrive back at the trailhead before the expected temperatures in the mid-nineties. As we reached a lower elevation, we could contact Tom’s wife, Pat, to give her our expected arrival time at the trailhead. Once we got our stuff in the car, all we could think of was going to Risky Business for a cold beer and French fries with mayo.

— kenne

Sleepy Orange & Dainty Sulphur Butterflies   Leave a comment

Sleepy Orange & Dainty Sulphur Butterflies On Narrow-leaf Aster Wildflowers (Santa Catalina Mountains) — Image by kenne

“And anyway, what is the difference between self-knowledge and self-obsession?
One encourages a defeat of the ego, the other encourages a feeding of the ego.
One a deeper experience of connection to ourselves, which enables a more 
nourishing connection to others. The other, disdain for the deeper needs of the self,
which leads to disdain of others.”

— from On Connection by Kae Tempest

Sombrero Peak In Saguaro National Park   Leave a comment

Hiking Sombrero Peak, located in Saguaro National Park–West, is a 3.3-mile out-and-back hike
with 1500 cumulative feet of elevation gain. — Panorama by kenne

 
 

Mighty Saguaro   2 comments

Mighty Saguaro — Image by kenne

The Mighty Saguaro

The mighty saguaro,
so majestic and tall,
holds its lifelong secrets
surprising one and all.

The seedling saguaro
begins small and afraid,
hoping it will survive
beneath the nurse plant’s shade.

The tiny saguaro
grows a little each year,
searching for the water
which is precious and dear.

The struggling saguaro
pushes upward for days,
glad it keeps avoiding
a new herbivore’s gaze.

The lucky saguaro
survives the desert heat,
outliving the nurse plant
not knowing of its feat.

The patient saguaro
looks skyward at all hours,
until at age fifty
it produces first flowers.

The giving saguaro
shares its bounty with all
who wait for months on end
for tasty fruits to fall.

The youthful saguaro
knows at seventy-five
that its newly formed arms
keeps desert friends alive.

The aging saguaro
has been a willing friend
to desert’s small creatures
dependent to the end.

The mighty saguaro
grows to fifty feet high,
waiting two hundred years
to almost touch the sky.

— Debbie Emery

Italian Springs Trail Panorama   Leave a comment

Italian Springs Trail Leading To The Base Of Mica Mountain In The Rincon Mountains East Of Tucson (March 18, 2013) — Panorama by kenne

set camp at the top

needing a restful night’s sleep

watching the sunset

— kenne

Sunset from Mica Mountain — Image by kenne

Standing At Nature’s Alter   2 comments

Standing At Nature’s Alter — Image by kenne (Monday Morning Milers — August 29, 2011)

Standing at Nature’s Alter

When we stand at the
altar of nature,
we stand with the greats;
Ralph Waldo Emerson,
Henry David Thoreau,
and John Muir,
each having helped define
our relationship
with nature and language —

“Every natural fact is a symbol
of some spiritual fact,
. . . words are signs of natural facts.”

Nature’s beauty becomes
a source of spiritual energy
connecting all things
into a universal whole
with the power of our
thoughts and will.

We stand at nature’s altar
not separate from her,
seeing us in the flowers,
insects, animals, mountains,
creating a unified landscape
of our inward and outward senses.

Like all relationships,
the experience depends
on the degree of harmony
between us and nature,
therefore becoming a gift
granted while walking with nature
as she is embraced in our minds –

Enlighten, she shares her secrets,
making the universe more “transparent.”
Yet, the gift may only offer a glimpse,
to be shared in images and words,
charming all living things.

— kenne

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. — John Muir

Invoking the Full Meaning of Life   6 comments

I’m Just A Traveler In Other People’s Reality — Image by a Fellow Higher On The Trail

Invoking the Full Meaning of Life

How best to express sharing new life

when each moment deserves its face.

What seems apropos for the moment,

when the next moment fosters a unique experience.

Is it in a number?

The number of days?

The number of thoughts?

The number of heartbeats?

The number of turns?

The number of prayers?

. . . you can count the ways,

only to still not know life’s score.

Is it in a word?

Loving?

Caring?

Sharing?

Giving?

Sheltering?

Words to communicate thoughts and feelings

when manifested in knowledge and experience.

Or is it in art?

Transforming thought,

expressing feeling,

experiencing emotions and

the desire to evoke life,

even when distance 

appears to separate a lifelong bond.

I wrote this in the 1990s. Since then, retirement and moved 1,000 miles from where we had spent 25 years, putting distance between bonds. In the twelve years since moving, we have watched the bonds drift away, causing me to question the desire to evoke life, even when distance can’t separate a lifelong bond. 

We moved to the Sonoran desert with the illusion that friends and family would be beating a path to our new home in the desert southwest — not such luck. So we try staying in touch through social media, often questioning whether the bonds were ever real — confirming that we remain tourists in other people’s reality.

 I once read a posting by blogger Old Jules, “These damned ego-warts.” 

Old Jules was a 70-year-old hermit, living with three cats somewhere in the Texas Hill Country and writing a blog I enjoyed reading from time to time. Old Jules, who passed away April 21, 2020 at 74, had concluded that he has spent over a third of his life “being insignificant in the lives of others.” 

In 1992, after 25 years of marriage and a career of 20 years, he began a new career and life in Santa Fe. 

All secure in the knowledge the extended family and friends remaining behind were part of my life in which I’d been and remained important.”

Over time he concluded it was all an illusion. 

“Kids, young adult nephews, and nieces I’d coddled and bounced on my knee pealed out of my life-like layers of an onion. Most I never heard from again.”

He began to realize that he was merely tolerated, “. . . a piece of furniture in their lives.” 

Over time he rebuilt his life with a more potent dose of skepticism concerning his worth and place in the lives of others, which resulted in his becoming a hermit. 

“I no longer assume I’m important in the lives of other human beings and get my satisfaction in knowing I’m at least relevant to the cats. 

Because cats, though sometimes dishonest, aren’t capable of the depth and duration of dishonesty humans indulge regularly.”

Old Jules had come to believe “. . . that life is entirely too important and too short to be wasted in insignificance.”

His new awareness of life is now in teaspoon measurements, “. . . measured in contracts with cats not equipped to lie. A determination in the direction of significance measured in teaspoons of reality, 

as opposed to 55-gallon drums of dishonesty and self-delusion.”

“Teaspoons, I find, don’t spill away as much life in the discovery 

when they’re found to be just another ego-wart of pride and self-importance.”

Bonds, illusion or not, have difficulty being when the moments are separated by time and distance, becoming gleams of light, for an instant, in the long night.

I understand where Old Jules was coming from and feel his disillusionment. There is, however, a binding force that comes from a homesick longing to be whole, to have completion, as Plato described in the myth of the human halves passionately striving towards one. Like all mythical totalities, humans are subject to the triple dramaturgical rhythm of primal completeness, separation catastrophe, and restoration. The most significant attraction effect occurs between the second and third acts of life’s drama, which is where I find myself today — maybe this is also where Old Jules is. I am learning to understand myself from a new divide, one half experienced, the other inexperienced — in such a way that I’m learning to understand myself in new ways. 

But then, there are the darn cats!

Kika, what do you think?

Kika (She passed away December 10, 2011.)

Thurber Cinquefoil Wildflower   Leave a comment

Thurber Cinquefoil Wildflower — Image by kenne

 “Love is like wildflowers;

It’s often found in the most unlikely places.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Ladybug on Common Yarrow   Leave a comment

Ladybug on Common Yarrow (July 8, 2022) — Image by kenne

on the meadow trail

few mountain flowers this year

observing the few

— kenne

Rancho Fundoshi Above Bear Canyon Creek   Leave a comment

Rancho Fundoshi Above Bear Canyon Creek — Images by kenne

“Where I was born and where and
how I have lived is unimportant.
It is what I have done with where I
have been that should be of interest.”

— Georgia O’Keeffe

In Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, if you hike to Seven Falls, you walk the Bear Canyon road to Bear Canyon trail,
which crosses the Bear Canyon creek seven times. South of the trailhead sets a house on a cliff above the creek
outside the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. Since 2010, I have hiked to Seven Falls several times and may
have noticed the house but was more focused on the hike. 

Yesterday, a group of us older, now slow hikers hiked the newly paved Bear Canyon road to the Bear Canyon trailhead,
taking a trail south to get a better view of the house on the cliff, where I took a few images of the house.
After discussing the possible owners, I decided to do a Google search once I got home. I first did a drag & drop
in Google Images with no match. So, started a Google search using a few descriptors. I learned that
about 65 years ago, Jack Segurson, a local high school wrestling, and swimming coach and teacher from the 1950s
into the late 1980s, bought the 151-acre property that he lived on, cherished, and mold into a
naturalist’s paradise — it became become his legacy. 

Segurson died at age 90 in 2011, and soon afterward, an appraiser valued his land at $3.9 million.
He left the property to The Nature Conservancy with restrictions that it never be sold or developed.
The Nature Conservancy donated the property, which Segurson named “Rancho Fundoshi,” a fundoshi
is a Sumo wrestler’s loincloth to Pima County. The Pima County Regional Flood Control District
manages the property as open space and owns and manages other lands along Bear Canyon
and Sabino Canyon as part of its riparian habitat and upper watershed preservation program.

— kenne

Stumble On   Leave a comment

Hiking Shoes — Photo-Artistry by kenne

Stumble On

My hiking shoes rest in the garage

Next to the hiking poles, yet

I continue to stumble on — 

Stumble on down life’s path.

A life of jogging, enduring pain

Followed by a decade of hiking

Enduring pain in an old man’s body,

Yet I continue to stumble on —

Stumble on down life’s path

Trying not to let a stumble

Become a fall on life’s path.

— kenne

 

The Woods Do That To You . . .   1 comment

Santa Catalina Mountains — Image by kenne

“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all.
The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost,
like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream,
like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water,
most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or
past manhood and all the living and the dying and the
heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds
as they pass overhead seem to testify
(by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.”

–Jack Kerouac

Spring Flowers Along The Trail   Leave a comment

Spring Flowers Along The Trail — Image by kenne

“I dream of a quiet man
who explains nothing
and defends nothing,
but only knows where
the rarest wildflowers
are blooming…”

— Wendell Berry

Spring Break At Seven Falls   Leave a comment

Spring Break At Seven Falls in the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area — HDR Image by kenne

May my feet always touch the earth

Stretching from the desert to the mountains

While I’m still able to hike on the rocks

Made by fire and time.

— kenne

 

Hiking To Romero Pools   Leave a comment

Hiking To Romero Pools in the Santa Catalina Mountains — Image by kenne

Hiking provides opportunities to be present in the moment

becoming emotionally attached to nature.

— kenne

 

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