A friend told me yesterday that it has been twelve or thirteen days since my last post. I did not realize that it has been that long. I finished my spiritual memoir class earlier in the month and looked around the house realizing all that I have let go. So I've been cleaning up the house, repairing my vehicle, continuing to train boxers, and backpacking. On Monday I returned from a five day backpacking trip. It was a good trip. I walked thirteen miles into Henry Coe State Park last Friday reaching Kingbird Pond around 9:30 pm . I stayed there for a day doing some fishing. The fish I caught were mostly small except for one--an eighteen or nineteen inch large mouth bass, the largest large mouth I have ever caught. I left Kingbird walking four more miles to Jackrabbit lake. I caught quite a few fish there.
I'm drawn to the backcountry by the fishing and the physical challenge; however, while there I appreciate the quiet and peaceful setting. The park consists of rolling hills with oak forests, chaparral, manzenita, and other dry country vegetation. Some of the steep protected canyons are lush with green flowering trees. This time of the year the grasses that cover the hills are dry, although there are a few wild flowers. The golden poppies are obvious and beautiful in this dry terrain. About two-thirds of trails and roads that I covered are steep, some reaching fifteen to twenty percent or more. Some of roads and trails, especially along dry Orestimba Creek, are comfortable and flat. The steep trails present some challenging hiking that equate in difficulty t0 those in Sierra Nevadas. Most of the park is semi-desolate. I love the place. Although I am active while hiking and fishing the desolate terrain and the quiet and peaceful setting draws me into relaxation, meditation, and prayer. I try to make walking a meditative process by staying in the present. Sometimes I spend hours in quiet recognizing God's presence in and around me and praying for people that I know. Although I was tired when I returned home, the last day I hiked eighteen or nineteen mile back to my car, I feel refreshed by the whole experience.