Winter breathing down our necks

– Hot spring – hopping down south –

October 2010.

We take off early this time. No retreat this year – we sat one in spring at Cloud Mountain.

The summer was expansive and sublime – somehow domestic this year.

 * * *

As to be expected we take off in rain, and the entire first day is soaking wet. There is a snow-park at the base of Mt. Hood in Oregon where we often spend the first night. 

We always take the last flowers from home with us.

While the rain turns into intense drizzle – it’s as if the air is liquid – we go for a walk and find so many big mushrooms in less than five minutes that we cannot carry any more.

 Further south and east in the Oregon desert we finally see the wet clouds drift away.

 As usual after all the rain the desert is rich with fragrance. The delicious sweet smell of sage drifts over the empty land.

 This is ranch country. Sometimes the cowboys use the roads to round up their stock.

 There is so much space out there…

 The sky is wide open, the roads are empty. Hwy 140 through southern Oregon and northern Nevada is one of our favorite routs. For more than 200 miles it is rare to see anything man-made there. A car every 10 or 15 minutes is the only reminder that you are not completely alone on this planet.

 We know a hot spring out there right in the middle of nowhere.

 It’s around freezing in the mornings now, but the water is heavenly.

 There are a few red bugs in the water of this spring that bite, this is pure wilderness, but we take it gladly for all the delight.

 After a few days on the road now we are in tune again with this lifestyle. The senses open up to the vastness around. The gigantic silence of the nights is not empty but rich with subtle messages that color our dreams.

 After a long hot summer Nature is preparing for winter.


 * * *

While slowly rolling down these empty desert roads we have long wonderful conversations. It’s as if these vast landscapes gently open up not only the senses but the heart, and things emerge from the depth of the heart that seem to depend on this unique moving serenity to transform into thoughts and words. Riding along these empty straight roads, where changes outside only come in subtle nuances, you might easily think that after one look you’ve seen it all and sink into boredom that can almost hurt. But when you just sail on from horizon to horizon, from somewhere to nowhere, when destination as well as origin become empty elusive phenomena that don’t confine you anymore, you may become super sensitive and capable to listen as you’ve never listened before, you may leave the crude and so often corruptive tool of the mind unused, subdued by the tranquility, idling in the background, and listen with only your heart. And you may find yourself speak thing that surprise yourself the most.

 * * *

In Bridgeport/CA another fabulous hot spring is a familiar pit stop for us.

 Morning tea in the pool.

 Parvin loves the mud pools.

 The first day of the 65th year of my life.

 South of Bridgeport along Hwy 395 the Aspen are in their autumn glory.

 The mountains have already received the first snow.

 – in spite of this first snow Yosemite is still open –

 At the foot of Tioga Pass we settle in for a few days.

 The Aspen rain golden snow on us.

 A last fantastic hike up the Mono Pass trail. It’s as if Nature is holding her breath for a few days before she surrenders to winter breathing down from the snow-covered mountain slopes.

 And yet another pit stop at a hot spring near Mammoth.

 Early in the morning, when there is frost everywhere, we sit in the pool and wait for the sun.

 Winter is following on our heels.

 * * *

                                      Klaus   Independence/CA – October 20.  2010

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