Photos Travels

The beloved

It was one of those times I wasn’t feeling too well so I took it easy by camping around a week on Prado Reservoir near Corona, California. There was a good sized lake home to thousands of birds of all kinds. In the mornings and evenings I’d take long, slow walks around the shore as a healing meditation of sorts. During one of those walks I saw this sunset beauty, a Great Blue Heron, as it alighted from a tree. It soared with such grace and elegance I felt my soul lift with it, bringing deep feelings of gratitude and bliss. When you witness the beloved, you become the beloved.


Stumbling upon Sitting Bull

I felt I had stepped back into time seeing vast, rolling hills and prairies. My heart soared as I imagined millions of buffalo, horses, stags, and such roaming these plains only a hundred years or so ago.

Just across the river in the photo is where Sitting Bull and Sacajawea (of Lewis and Clark fame) are buried. Monuments to their memory are somewhat out of the way and a bit run down but they still stand tall in their stead. I was humbled and amazed to have the wind bring me their way by coincidence (or otherwise?). Sitting Bull’s site was replete with animal skins and various offerings left behind so he is not quite forgotten here by his own brothers and sisters.

[quote align=”center” name=”Sitting Bull”]I will remain what I am until I die, a hunter, and when there are no buffalo or other game I will send my children to hunt and live on prairie, for where an Indian is shut up in one place his body becomes weak.[/quote]


Beautiful embrace

In the above photo, I was driving on a mountain pass through northern Idaho on the way to Oregon and ended up pulling over on a switchback to stare up at the peak in reverence for a good while…

What I saw was the long hand of winter finally reaching down to swaddle the trees in her coldness. The trees awaited that gentle embrace because it meant they could at long last rest into deep slumber and it would be the first step towards that time of renewal ahead in spring.

Bit by bit, tree by tree she consumed all until there was nothing left but vast whiteness and coldness. That was my first glimpse of winter that day and it was one of the most beautiful embraces I’d ever witnessed.


Extraordinary souls on the road

I have fond memories of the area, but what I remember most was a middle aged homeless woman camped near me in her small car.

Over the next few mornings, I’d bring hot coffee and bagels over and we’d chat. First about books, the area, camping life, etc. Over time her story unfolded bit by bit.

I learned she was homeless because she was living with her mom when she died and they lost their home afterwards so she’s been living in her car.

That’s how she could afford food, fuel and such without worrying about rent, utilities, etc.

I also learned she had gained a lot of weight from dealing with her mom’s prior health and passing away and it was why she was camped where we were… Nearby was a trail that runs around a hundred miles and she’s been walking it over time, dropping pound by pound while camping along the way.

She said she had a job lined up a few months ahead and was looking forward to it. Meanwhile she was making the best of things, walking the trails by day and knitting & reading her books in the evenings.

Although she’s certainly had her moments, she was in good spirits and upbeat about life ahead. When time came for us to part ways, I told her I admired her courage and wished her the very best on her journey.

One of the most unexpected things on my own journey have been the people I’ve met. As a solitary wolf roaming our beloved land I thought I’d be running with the soul of nature but the wind herself has made sure I’ve crossed paths with extraordinary souls along the way like this lady.