We wake up to quiet . After the slow drizzle on canvas through the night it seems that that the stillness of dawn is amplified . We are breaking camp , rolling up wet tents and eating breakfast.
The sun is offering us patches of promise though low lying mist and cloud . The world feels fresh and new this morning .
We hike out to Spanish Needle creek this morning , just about 5miles on the trail , we sit with Gilligan and Camel back as we filter water . Talk turns to Kennedy Meadows again . Will the pass be open ? Has anyone been through the pass to the High Sierras yet? How deep is the snow after yesterdays rains ? Nobody really knows the answers , but we are all keen to find out .
After second breakfast I pack up and return to the trail . Im hiking alone for a while and I pass Two Bar Betty who is drying out her kit at the side of the path . “When it rains , it doesnt just rain on one mans house ” . We talk a while and i make a new friend . A little later i find a perfect spot for lunch . A set of huge angular boulders that offer an inspiring view . I sit and prepare a feast . Im almost done when two Salamanders chase each other up and over the rocks .
They are well aware of me , but they seem unfazed by my presence . They come close enough to touch , and i get to spend a happy ten minutes photographing and videoing them . It feels like today the mountain has come to Mohammed .
I feel thoughroly energised by my lunch with the two salamandas , i pack up and get back on the trail . I walk switchbacks and long slow ridges . I see the Owens park at its best . The craggy hill tops and the beautiful stretching valleys below are full of Epic quality . I have a lot of gratitude today . Later i pass Two Bar Betty again we talk a little and I press on . I see a campsite close to the path and though its only 3pm I find myself giving in to its allure . Its a perfect pitch , just made for a little tent , surrounded by small pine trees and mossy rocks .
Im making a little medicene wheel . The sun has gone down and Ive eaten already . Im laying out stones in a circle to represent the four directions and placing stones in the center to represent my journey , myself , my friends , my family and my tribe . Im honouring connection through this external meditation . I need another few stones to finish it . Im looking around the trees for a good stone , when something shiney catches my eye. Im bending down to pick it up , it takes a while fornme to recognise im holding a piece of hand worked Obsidian . Its like black glass , it has been shaped into a scraping tool , probably for finishing skins . Im taken away with the feelings that other hands , more ancient than my own have held this stone. How it has come to be in my hands is a collection of connections . Im imeasurably grateful for this little treasure . I have found a treasure when i wasnt even looking for it . I finish my medicene wheel and offer gratitude for the day and prayers for peace . Life is simple here in the mountains next to the clouds .