Part 11 of 25; Video part 3 of 3, Old Army Pass

Songs: Laura Ortman – Spring Bruce Langhorne - Arch Leaves Tim Rutili (Califone) - in the clearing when the deer comes and the kid tries to keep as still as possible Alan Licht & Steve Shelley – Ending Filmed with a chest mounted gopro Part 11 We rested on the rock for a while before continuing. We made the final decent to the flat meadow as the steep sandy trail faded into green grass with yellow flowers that swayed gently in a light breeze. We were both relieved to finally be able to put the downhill climb behind us. Travel was easy now and for me at least my shaky, fatigued legs could relax. The grass gave way to a broad sandy patch with high ridges rising on the left and right, while straight ahead it opened to the boreal plateau rising in the distance beyond the rock creek basin. We crossed the sandy patch and more green grass awaited us. We then came to a creek which we also crossed and not long after we reached a pine forest. Here we took another short break. This entire trip so far I have been in the lead, with Hester following, now I decided I would let him lead. He did for a while but soon told me that he didn't like it and so he fell back to let me go on ahead. ( I really wanted him in front so I could get better video without having to keep turning around to get him in the shot.) The trees here are more of the same kind we had back at the Cottonwood Lakes, beautiful and weathered, ancient and wise. One tree in particular we just had to stop at. The main trunk had an almost double helix like spiral of bark and barkless twists rising from the roots to the crown, and the main off-shoot branch was completely bark free. We both had to photographed it. Hester now took the lead and I hung back to take my time. He got so far ahead of me I could barely see him through the trees. In the middle of the forest a large open clearing appeared. It wasn't a meadow, for no grass grew here only sand covered the earth in the treeless circle. Right before I stepped out of the trees into the clearing, the trees called out to me. Not in words, but in an unspoken language of consciousness, sending thoughts and emotions into my heart, mind and spirit. I felt a longing, a yearning, a welcoming, a feeling that words will never be able to properly describe. It was something familiar, it was as if old friends who missed me rejoiced in my return and my spirit rejoiced with them. (I have never been to this spot before) “Hello again, old friend. It has been lifetimes since we last felt your presence. Please, lay down your burdens here and stay a while. It is so good to see you again. You are home once more.” I stopped walking and just wanted to take in the moment. I stood there for what seemed like a timeless eternity. There was no wind and all was quiet and peaceful. The ancient trees rose up around me and the sandy clearing lay before me. Once time returned and I became centered in myself once again I continued walking, entering the clearing. Catching up to Hester I called out, “I want to stop here, there is something about this place. I want to stay awhile.” He sighed with relief. “Where do you think we should set up camp?” “Closer to the water.” I replied. We descended down a rocky hill and came to a sandy patch on the lake shore. We made camp here and set up our tents on the edge of the forest beside another beautiful lake.