Thursday, July 9, 2009
Reconnecting with life
There is nothing like a trip that gets you back to your roots. A trip that makes you remember who you are and what you want from life. A trip where you feel truly
alive. That is exactly how I felt about this backpacking trip to the Trinity Alps. I haven't been backpacking in a little over a year and the longing for the challenge of hauling my pack up a mountain was biting at my heels. So Nicole and I strapped on our boots and loaded our packs and headed up to the Trinity Alps Wilderness off of Highway 299 and hiked up the Canyon Creek Trail to get back into touch with something we had both been missing. This area is so extremely beautiful and incredibly remote that you feel like your in another world. Huge mountains sweep up both sides of the valley topped with sheer granite faces. Wildflowers exploded out of every meadow and crowded out the trail in some spots. The Tiger Lilys were exceptionally beautiful. Canyon Creek meanders through the valley occasionally cascading over the rocks in a handful of waterfalls that seem to appear out of nowhere. Our base camp was right next to one of the smaller falls a few miles from the trailhead. This camp was in the perfect spot. Near enough to the water so we could hear it all night, far enough from the trail so we didn't see to many people and tucked between a number of boulders for extra shelter. The first night was clear and cool so we slept out under the stars and a near full moon. From our base camp we set out to hike up to the lakes without our packs. Though we did not stay long at the lakes due to the accumulating clouds and the threat of rain. We hurried back to the camp to set up our tent for shelter and napped in the heat of the afternoon waking up to a clear nearly cloud free sky. This trip has been one of the best adventures this whole summer and was the best experience backpacking I have ever had. I feel so lucky to live close enough to such beautiful areas and be able in my body and mind to fully appreciate the beauty of such a unique environment.
This little plot of dirt surrounded by cinder blocks basking in the sun has taught me a valuable lesson regarding life and food. I shall no longer take for granted the overly simple act of grocery shopping for I have now planted my own food. I can see all the hard work it takes to bring 1 strawberry to the store and how that 1 strawberry should be cherished and not wasted uselessly. This garden was by no means easy or more cost effective than buying all our own organic veggies. We have spent a good deal of money buying supplies and dirt and even waged outright war on the invading snails who want to eat our rewards! The effort and money has been put in, now time to wait for the sweet benefits of our little plot of land. This garden has given us a starting point to further learn how to support ourselves. Now a 6 foot by 4 foot garden is not nearly enough space to grow all we need but we are learning the tools to one day grow all our own crops and have no more worries about chemicals in our foods, where our food came from or how much energy was input to grow what we are eating. All the energy we want to rely on is our backs, brains and the sun! Heres to hoping everyone has the chance to have a backyard garden and learn a thing or two about plants, food and life.
The Garden Retreat Cottage (Home)
Our home is not just where we sleep, eat and spend the down time of our day. It is a retreat from life and worries, a base camp for our explorations of Arcata and greater Humboldt County. A comfortable nook nestled in a beautiful garden to stage our lives as we see fit, free from the constraints of neighbors and lousy room mates. Free from the sound of passing vehicles and honking horns. Free from mean landlords and ugly parking lots. From our garden retreat we cannot see nor hear the road and are thus slightly removed from life outside, even if for just the moment. We are completely content in our 300 square foot castle, not cramped, not looking for anything better and not looking to move away for the time being. I love this cottage because it is the first place I have felt like was a home to me and not just simply a house in a long time. I live with a beautiful woman I call shmoo who is clean, thinks like me and likes my cooking. What more could I ask for?