Monday, March 22, 2010

Take a hike!

Sunshine, and 50 clear sky degrees. Two good elements that contribute to a peaceful, gentle hike. Who says outdoor activity has to be grueling? That’s not for me. Feeling, breathing, seeing, hearing, and sensing all the beauty that’s been created. Ah, that’s what it’s all about. Welcome to Joshua Tree National Park.

Observing. Two climbers with serious equipment on top of a small mountain. I’m getting dizzy just looking up at them. One decides that it’s time to be “grounded”. I hold up my phone, and quickly put it in camera mode. I see him, there in the display, coming down. Fast. Maybe three seconds. I gently touch the “shoot” button. Ah, but not this time. The delay on my phone captures a beauty shot of steep rocks, but no human careening down a steep, rocky cliff!

Done with hike at this section of the park. Planned to move to another area, this time by a basin. Driving out, a ranger stops us. “Sorry, we’re in lockdown”, she said. “A helicopter is coming in. It’ll be a while.”

So, we parked the car. Sat there for a moment. What to do? We’ll let’s explore the area around the parking lot, since it will “be a while”. Luckily, there was plenty to see. Two brave daredevils at the top of a mountain of rocks, sans any equipment. I caught my breath every time they came close to the edge. In fact, looking at them made me dizzy too.

And, just behind another mountain, in a vast clearing, joshua trees as far as the eye could see; almost lined up like prickly soldiers. Snapped many photos with my trusty phone. Would have missed a lot of the beauty of the area if we had left when we intended to.

And did a helicopter arrive? Yes, indeed. Not sure what happened, but it appeared that a climber may have fallen down when up high on some rocks and injured himself. About 30 rescue people were there, most in bright yellow garb and screaming orange hats to carefully extract him and tenderly move him to the waiting helicopter. Wishing him well!

The "captivity" lasted over an hour. Though my peace of mind that I was seeking that day was jolted a bit, nevertheless, I did find much of what I was looking for that day. And surprises? Most certainly. The memories live on.


Anonymous said...

Oh Joshua Trees! I had forgotten about them. Living out West has an entirely different beauty than living in the South where I live now. I found such beauty in the desert! thanks for the memories!

Mary in Alabama

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Gerry Wendel said...

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