June 3, 2011


A natural rock garden on the edge of the mighty Sierra, once a quite place to stroll among the erratic weathered granite boulders, now a playground for climbers from near and far. Despite their popularity, there is still something special at this place, something meditative, something zen. There is a reverence shown toward the rocks, the hills, the environment and each other. Despite the sporadic screams of climbers pushing their limits on minute edges of rock, there is a serenity that extends beyond the number of cars parked along the side of the road.
We find our own boulders to climb on. There is something for all, and each of us can decide our own challenge and ambition. The struggle against granite is secondary to being in a beautiful place together.

As the afternoon sun slowly descends, we search out another hidden natural gem of the Eastern Sierra. Hidden amongst the sage brush hot water bubbles up from the depths of the Earth.

We follow a weathered dirt road and eventually we find a small worn cement tub molded to capture the percolating water. We brave the afternoon wind for a quick dip washing away the dirt and sweat of the past few days. Not caring how clean we actually get, we sit and try to enjoy soaking our tired bodies despite the austerity of the howling wind, trying to avoid sand in our faces and holding on to our towels and clothes.

As the sun falls behind the high peaks, storm clouds brew. Soon, the wind is replaced by a downpour and we scramble searching for a place to eat dinner and then to sleep.