Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Coliseum

Journal excerpt from August 19, 2009:
While eating dinner, I was looking down into the valley below. It looked pretty far and inaccessible from where I was camping. However, on closer inspection, following the curve of the land with my eye, it actually looked quite simple to walk down to the valley to the river. Indeed it was. It was a remarkable after dinner saunter. Once down near the valley floor it was like I entered another world. In fact, it felt like a Coliseum. There were towering mountain walls all around me. The grassy meadow was like walking on marshmallows, the land was so soft and buoyant. The river was so tranquil, shallow yet swift, fish swimming around, meandering down into the lowlands. I could see a waterfall high up on a cliff, cascading down into the river, like an ancient monumental fountain. The landscape was a plethora of colors I can't recall seeing before. In fact, it felt like I was visiting an ancient civilization, there were strange rock formations that couldn't be natural. Perhaps past hikers constructed these "thrones." My imagination was running wild. I imagined this past civilization's buildings and towers being transformed into stone. Their descendants transformed into the tiny furry creatures darting between the rocks. Once I hiked back up to my campsite, which took all but 20 minutes, the scene returned to normal. More big mountains, rivers, and valleys.

One thing that occurred to me while enjoying my after dinner walk, was the wonderful feeling of exploration. Even though others obviously had been in the valley before I, it was exciting to entertain the idea of being the first to walk in that unspoiled mountain meadow. If not the first, it was clear that human beings rarely walked where I found myself walking. The land was so fresh I felt guilty stepping on the plants and grasses. I felt absolutely privileged. How ingrained the need to explore seems to be placed upon the heart of man!

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