Here's some edited writing not so much only from my diary and mostly from my memories from being at ZMS in NM, starting on an early morning in June of 2006. ZMS is the Zuni Mountain Radical Faerie Sanctuary in New Mexico, which has been happenin' since about 1995, apparently. It's about 50 miles South-southeast of Gallup, NM. i've been there several times, prior, with many fond memories.
Rode out, stopping by a friend (visiting from SMS) to say good-bye, wearing my green (and purple-wigged) SILLY FROG slipper on my HEAD along with my sparkly black cape, and upside-down black swan sunglasses, all as a spiritual seeking of a strange sort, yes, but something i've been playing with in serious ways for a few years now. Rode with it all on all the way into downtown Gallup! (pictures taken at the '06 Rainbow Gathering by The Vaughn-ah-city'd One forthcoming)
Glad i wore it on some of the scary downhills over to there; figured it'd act like something of a soft "helmet" if i lost control. Seemed like a very long ride up there to Gallup, as i was lookin forward to it so much, i suppose.
A lot of pretty big hills and dryish, yet still green terrain. Lotsa traffic comin in from Zuni, NM, but no one paid much attention to my outfit (maybe only one or two wild cheers). Stopped to rest once and a family living next to where i rested came by and questioned me awhile (more curious than anything). i felt a good vibe in them.
In Gallup i took off my regalia and frog hat-thing only when i got to the library; taking my time there in a big way, cooling off in the plentiful cold water in the bathroom and such; got groceries at various stores (including the one many indigenous folks from there frequent), then headed out on the rough pavements to north of town, into *real* 'Indian' country --where most of the drivers were natives, and lots of outward-looking poverty-- where i gave water to a few folks walking a long ways without water (trying to hitch-hike but not having success, they said; surprising, as most drivers looked native...).
Camped near sunset just over the border of the Navajo/Dineh rez there on old hwy666 when i chose to ask a motorbike rider if he might suggest a place. He later smoked me up and let me have what was left of a joint. Kewl dude, him; didn't have any problems with folks around there, tho i was afraid, as the area i was camped in was littered with broken glass from shooting guns off, and as well, was where locals came to get away from authority. No way to "hide" there, as quite open country, as well. Hiked a bit up the hill and loved the view, seeing that i was glad i'd stopped to camp there, as there was nothing that looked good for many miles (later, i learned that to be true). Slept out in the open that night, and it was good and quiet!
Noted hills and a long mountain range the next day which had TREES on them. Would likely be quite an adventure to explore, tho on the Dineh Rez (would need permission, o' course). Made quite a fast pace the next morning, leaving at the crack of dawn (much cooler then, good time to ride; did that as "norm" when in the desert, each day). Really enjoyable riding on old 666.
Would be a kewl place to take a slower, exploratative pace someday... Remember a shady place i found the second day and had lunch and fed a stray dog that was starving (a real friendly Irish Setter type, tho yellower). No grocery store in that town, tho, but i was able to find water in a tribal building in the rest-room. Talked little with locals there; but there was some kind of inter-tribal conference-type thing going on (in their language). Very dry, deserty area around there, so very lucky to find those Sycamore trees (which were obviously planted along the highway). Remember seeing dogs rabidly chasing vehicles on the roads off the main highway, just a few yards away, some going thru a hole in their fence (but they never noted me, luckily; tho i had my dog mace with me).
Camped 2nd night outside a village with no notable store. Really looked more like some kind of tradiitonal village in transition to "modern". River that showed on map was dry, and flies were not hospitable. Hostile environ there, insect-wise (i.e. continuous current of biting-looking ants on the ground, along with the biting flies). Up at crack of dawn, and into Shiprock around 8AM. Got to grocery store and enjoyed, saw lots of fine-looking Dineh folks, wishing i could converse with em (later did so with quite a few).
Wanted to stop at the river that runs thru there, so went to the Gary-Indiana-looking park (a park you would see in Gary, IN, amidst run-down homes). Right off, a young native youth of maybe 17 waved to me and came over, tho i wasn't in much of a mood to entertain guests, just wanting to take it easy. We spoke a bit, privately smoked up a little of the ganja i had with me (after he asked if i had any). Then he went home and i figured i wouldn't see him again. But later he came back (after i took a "bath" in the treacherous-looking brown river, careful not to go too far from the bank--which was infested with red-ants), and took me over to a private little place where he and his friends hung out, and we smoked more pot, this time with a tin-can pipe that was kept covertly there.
Later, his friends showed up, tho before that, one peripherary friend (a young gay man, obviously in much pain/heartache/drunken-orientations) came by and we smoked together, peace-pipe fashion to extents. i did a little art on the bridge, too.
Well, i ended up hangin out with that buncha "hoodlums" (as i affectionately called 'em), and we all had a really nice, wild-ass time (one time i let the first dude i met ride off with my bike and my masque, which he WORE, and he was totally kewl!). Another time i let them each ride my steed, and they had a hard time til i showed em the granny gear. It was really far out to experience *their world*; seemed to all be run-away types from various parts of the Rez, and also seemed to always be on the verge of going off the deep end (i was never sure if they wanted to *really* rob me/attack me, but i flowed with the vibe well enough i guess). An older family-man gentleman (who i would've liked to have stayed in touch with) appeared to be kind of like their mentor, and it was at he and his family's home that he let them hang out in just before going to "bed" in the derelict cars outside.
i don't have any address for them, but gave em my email address; never heard from them again, tho have thought about sending them mail via one of the places they liked to stop in at daily.
diary entries 6th day, 6-15-06 (edited for fluidity and privacy) Real nice gift of the batteryless-type flashlight that the Shiprock hoodlums (heh) gave me. Those human "Where-The-Wild-Things-Are" youths who spoke fluent Dineh! A whole other country, theirs. In the bowels of another group forced to "slowly" but surely capitulate to colonized war-everyway society (re: u.s. state/b.i.a. v. any autonomy weak enough and visible enough to attack). (Yet they'd adapted quite well, tho plagued with jailings in youth detention hall it sounded like)
Had camped a night with them back there in Shiprock, me setting up my tent in between the two derelict cars, one of which they slept in, all together. They invited me to sleep with them in the cars, but i wanted to leave early the next morning. When i did, they were too sleepy to get up and see me off. i really felt like i was leaving the island of "where the wild things are"! Such bad-asses, them!
Was real good leaving from there that early, before it got too hot.
A few miles north, while stopping to rest, along came some older, heavy-set gentleman on a mountain bike (just taking a morning ride), heading towards Shiprock. i was glad i wasn't going the way he was going, as there was some real big hills i had come down out of there.
While in Cortez, i noted some especially expensive-looking racing bicycles on a vehicle at the library in town and asked about them, only to find myself talking with LON HALDEMAN'S daughter!!! Lon Haldeman, for those who don't know, held the x-u.s.a. bicycle race ("Race Across America") record of NINE DAYS for quite a few years, and i had always looked "up" to him and his stamina since i was a kid. Well, his daughter was so tickled (what with also seeing me touring) that she took a few pictures of me and my steed and even put them up on the much-trafficked website they used while doing the race (it was going through Cortez, and i later saw a few of the riders zip by).
Found a real nice camp just outside of the village of "Stoner" that night, up out of the desert (finally); again, north of Cortez as well. 67 miles that day from Shiprock. Small river nearby, put tent up to avoid muskytoes, heh! (Great to be next to WATER after so long in the desert!)
Camped the next night at Coal Creek near mile 53 (?). Got scared at night, kept smelling stanky odors --which i usually trace to my shoes! (i.e. dead animal type stink!). Earlier before sundown i'd heard a bark which sounded like a dog, but only once. "Thoughtlessly"/intuitively YARROWED a kinda bark in return. Nothing after that. Suspect it was likely a bear's bark.
Few probs with mosquitos at lastnite's camp. Slept outside with 'deep woods Off' spray on skin; quite close to small crik. Up a trail a ways from the road, which i scouted for possible camps. Found one, then moved closer to the creek later, since i like listening to such water (as it would drown out scary noises!)
Wearing tie dye shirt up to the first real pass in Colorado, north of Cortez, past Coal Creek (where i camped). Going into 'interior' spiritual depth re-charging, finally (or so i felt at the time). Pretty short steep hill up compared to the other side! Those coming that way (South), had a real workout for sure!
Met a young man named Pippin from Eindhoven, Netherlands! Kewl! He was bikin it with "too much stuff" & NO pedal straps or anything despite fancy Dutch-looking Trek bike.
Cooked up some fresh Stinging Nettles for dinner tonite (not too far over the pass) on a tiny fire. Got 'em by a spring not far from mile 65 which i found when i went hiking (and saw 2 deer and 2 elk).
Thot i found GOLD for SURE yesterday while i was riding up the hill from Stoner towards Coal Creek, but turned out to be yellow peices of PAINTED ROAD! Aw Greeesh! i'm such a FOOL for gold! ;]
Place i camped at was where two bikers i met previously had stopped to chat. i was already looking for a real nice place to camp, and decided on just across the road and down the hill a little ways out of sight. Got windy later (i was basically on the topside of a giant ravine/valley with a most grand view of the peaks across't the way) and real cold. Would've camped uphill by the pass had there been less camping vehicles...oh well.
art note: birch trees all have roughly scratched lower extremeties and arms mesmerizingly detailed with many "eyes".
6-16, Friday Refreshingly cold night here at approx. 9500' elevation! Get to get up with 3 peaks to gaze at (2 not shown on the state map); birds chirpin away amid this lush forest!
Off to Teluride today, the 2nd (?) day of the big bluegrass to-do. Old acquaintance from skool daze, John D, may be there as one of his songs was picked for something or other. I see him regularly in my SW haunts. Bluegrass fest comment: the way they charge and treat the sheeple it's a wonder the organizers get away with it. i like bluegrass but am tired of no/little content.
Glad i put up my tent, cuz made it warmer.
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12 1/2 mile hill up from Placerville. A pretty easy incline...then down a quite steep 12. GORGEOUS Telluride, that town!! And the *great* library allows much freedom in terms of time but blocks legal but radically sexual discourse forum on totally fraudulent charges (seems any free discussion of the topic is becoming allegedly illegal, via very political labels... should challenge.) IF i ever ride back up to Telluride Pass, that's a MAJOR tough ride, looks like. Did about 44 miles today. Kinda overwhelming with all the people so suddenly, i.e. in town and all the traffic to boot. Anyway, i'm on 62 just west of Ridgeway. B'tiful mountain panorama from Dallas Divide on down (a little scared riding down that without any helmet! i've been riding without a helmet so far, for spiritual reasons!). Camped now at a dis-used road whose gate was open, situated b'tween two criks and next to a cemetary. A lovely, fast-running creek runs through and by. Names i'm thinking of for my self for the Rainbow gath (which i've learned is near Clark, CO!): Rare Bird, Pham-ily, aphray'd, CarLos Spanarchy, span..."cruciaL arts carLos"; 40 (or 41); 3-spirit...(but WHICH ONE???) Note: Lightened my load by sending back to ZMS two items, un-needed. Am rather glad my bulky bike doesn't ride sleekly in winds downhill --then i avoid that fear of going too fast! Saturday, 6-17 Real neat town, that Ridgway! Liked the hippie vibe there somewhat, especially, i.e. at the general store! A great mural in it, for example! More adventures! All i gotta do is ask! 70+ miles today, about 45 mostly downhill, against only a bit of wind. Campin by water (!!!) again, in a newly public park just outside of Paonia (site of 'dreamtime' fest July 13-16; i'd like to barter to get into --but only if i get a ride...??). Heard about this campspot from some day-bikers i met just as i neared the 70-mile mark. Was all "fateful" timing cuz just b-4, i'd stopped at a No Vacancy motel to ask for water (and they gave me a free bottle (small) & ICE!). Spent way over budget in food and got a camera for under $4! Decided i oughta document some o my trip (YEAH!).(Some pics to be enclosed) Took a short cut near Olathe (s. of Montrose 9 miles) after noting roads on a detailed map at a store. Wrote the road names down and followed 'em but didn't realize about half of it would be dirt and gravel! But wheels/tires held up excellently and i saved 10 miles! Town of Austin had no stores at all (which were open) so i hadda ride with only one bottle of water left, til i got some at a roadside cherry farm (plus pink lemo, and cup o cherries); the folks there were from the state i'm originally from and we had a little in common... (i was so HOT and TIRED before that that i even walked up a short, steep hill.) Then just down a 1/2 mile or so from there, and a ORGANIC grocery store, so o'course i HADDA stop and get icecream fruit treats THERE AS WELL! (a very hot/miserable day, tho not humid that i recall, luckily) Back in Montrose (before the shortcut) was fun as well. Stopped at various yard sales, got a 5-cent book about an invisible guy, look'd for a helmet, too, but none were half-way up to par. Figr'd i'd get a cheapy one...but spirit-ual path so far, i've chosen not to have one. Tho i hav thot of wrapping a shirt around me head! Stopped at the local library (inside a college in Montrose, but still municipal--egad), checked for work assignment, no cigar. College not open either. Real tough ridin from Austin (where i had a buncha fruit jam & bread in the shade of a bridge over a crik). Plus let myself walk a ways (as spoken above) and realize i should do THAT more! (Thanks to an elder cousin for challenging me on that one!) Hotchkiss was neat as well, scenic-wise. Down a steep hill into it. Met some friendly ladies and spoke awhile; thoroughly enjoyed the IGA, getting chicken and other enjoy'd foods. Leaving there (mile 62) i decided to just take my sweet time in low gears, to find a campsite; but anything i saw woulda had to hav been too near the road (on this side of barbed-wire fences). Got here to my next campsite around mile-marker 70 (suggested by some local day-bikers at a new park here in Paonia), and as soon as i could i went skinny dippin up the path a ways, in the cold but less than clear water. A bit polluted (no doubt lotsa cow piss, etc.) but quite excellently refreshing. A nice little place that new "park" (really a roughly-made thing probably still in processes). Notably, i've been tryin to avoid using my middle front sprocket as it is wearing down to sharpteeth...meaning it will begin to slip soon...Unfortunately it doesn't look replaceable (without replacing the entire crankarm assembly...But i LOVE the gear shifters; they work just excellently! (i got this bike 2 yrs ago for $60!?!! Or was it $40?) An old, steel thing about as heavy as a Schwinn Varsity i figure (Eeek!), but with a Bike Nashbar-type frame. June 18? Monday Had planned on taking a rest day in Paonia and did until about 3:30 when i got restless enough to say, aw, hell, may as well see how far i can get. Well, it was tough, but i made it 30 miles up the often rolling-hill, scenic road and "BIVOUACKED" (with frost on in the morn) a few miles from the pass. Real nice view up there of a mountain across the valley. Took an easy time doing that 30, getting plenty exhausted from the up and down method of the road engineering. The lady back at the cherry farm in Lazear (who was from my home state) said the pass was "brutal" and i sure gave away my power to her on that one (what a depressing thing to pass on to a stranger...but, alas, if I recall the past, an oft occurrence usually resulting in bullshit!). Hell, it *was* tough, but not brutal. Brutal would be BARELY being able to even PUSH my bike. Well, i did push the bike a few miles, especially the last 3 or so. Good to take it "easy" and take in the lush surroundings...or something like that...and i do admit to being envious of the car drivers...yeah, one o'theez days i'm gonna GET MY ACT TOGETHER even if i gotta "sell out" (re: the seeming emptiness of the "radical" milieu, with everyone apparently overwhelmed...ah, another story.) Oh, but i do very much feel a very disheartening, negative, alienation vibe from "most people". Nothing like so much going-out-their-way friendliness i used to experience while bikin in the 1980s... Ah, but this situation i have myself in, this being alone thing...something i've put myself into...Almost 41 and about time i joined in on the lot...(disheartened-wise?)...Nice to be on the downside of the pass, for sure! Still, no helmet. But so what? Spirit-ual-ity!... Gotta get some perspective on things. Remember the emptiness of all the posh material "wealth" of these people and likely a good part of why they're so emptied...or something like that... Tues Crystal River down from Redstone was beautiful except for signs pushing NO CAMPING within 1/4 mile of river (phew!). How weird, as it's just as polluted by the time it gets to Carbondale as any other river i've seen! Got to the bike trail along the "Coloraddy" River only to realize that THIS is the place i "always" had wanted to ride (when i saw it from a car). Really really enjoyable, especially watchin the rafters blast into the Class II-style rapids! Camped at Hanging Lake trailhead with all kindsa conveniences --from fresh water (some of it) piping thru the rocks from underground, to a lockable "clivus multrum" (!) composting toilet room (with lights on all night), to the trashbins and the lovely sound of cascading falls/rapids from the creeks going into the Lake. Declined to hike the quite popular trail; a steep 1-2 miles (or so) up to the Lake. Lotsa people kept returning from apparently taking their time! Paved bike path is also very enjoyable and with wind with me yesteraday i hardly had to work (tho a few large hills at the early stages); a b'ful ride for families except no guard rails at the often dangerous curves & etc. (i.e. easy to crash for the youthful beginner not watching closely--either into the fast river or into other oncoming riders, around sightless curves). i can only imagine the scene during the weekend. Camp lastnight (Monday night at Hanging Lake) was in the open, no tent (that's two nights in a row). Turned out not too bad for 'squitos tho lush and a canopy of trees overhead. With all the water ya'd think they'd a swarmed me...probably "fogged" around here, tho, right? Loud, heavy trains only a few in the night (so heavy and peircingly loud that i wondered how the tracks hold up). Am writing in the morn after b'fast. An old horse-drawn wagon across'd from where i write. Noise of freeway in the distance (coming from a long tunnel) and i'm glad i found this relatively quiet place! Am drinking water from what appears to be a spring. Got my art assignment done in no time while sittin at an Arby's (easy work which i had gotten on the way while in Redstone, first calling from a most posh inn, then trying again at a tiny gas station in that especially high-brow tourist town). And sent the art off from Glenwood Springs. Was uncomfortable for me to hang out at the posh inn, even tho i used to do regular work in such places. Also picked up a helmet for $2 at a thrift store in Glendwood Springs, and spoke at length with a fellow camper driver/liver-in. Real nice looking town there, and easy riding, as was pretty much all downhill from the pass up from Redstone. Looks like a looooong hill from Aspen and beyond. Glad i'm headed North instead. Looks like hills are bigger on approach heading South...generally as noted with Telluride area and approaching Ridgeway, etc. 11th day 72 miles and i'm wayyy ahead of my original schedule! Going into the unknown in a stranger way than usual -----when i chose to turn North from Dotsero (a small village with no notable grocery, etc.) towards "Burns" (another village). My state map shows a dirt road past Burns but i wanted dearly to get away from traffic and escape the noise of the freeway (incidentally, the bike trail in Glenwood Canyon was mostly rather industrial in vibe owing to the close proximity of the concrete freeway spans and other concrete formations; only a few places, like my night space, was respite from such). Anyway, it looked so DRAB and dry and the way North at LEAST followed the Coloraddy River! Where i might at least dunk myself in once in awhile! Took lotsa those water "plunges" thru-out the day. I waas worried for awhile that my state map might be wrong about the road going actually through (to the proximity of McCoy --a village i later heard had no store of any kind; in fact NOTHING from Eagle (down by the freeway), despite a few "towns" shown on the map. And i SHORE did NOT wanna hafta turn back! Pretty desolate sage-brush type area for quite awhile, when i got away from the river, but luckily i began early enough so that the hot was later. Road turned to dirt *before* Burns (which was just a campground for trailers, seemingly dis-used, with one phone booth which i doubt worked). Big hill out of Burns once across the river, then down a long ways (maybe a 2-mile barren stretch) to where i had lunch, thinking i was only maybe 3 miles away from the pavement and the "town" of McCoy. Well, road went back dowwwn, pretty steep, tho back into wooded places, and once over a bridge, i found BLUE soil. A light blue kind of strange desert-like soil. Then pretty easy-going roads from there (another biker passed me, tho a day-rider; he had a road-racing type bike on the dirt). The dirt road was real nice mostly; not much washboard, quite smooth. ((Would've carried some of the blue dirt soil, but picking it up, it didn't look so blue; really only got the effect with lots of other of it around)) Got on 131 North at about milepost 22 (north of McCoy). Was mostly a big, looong hill 6 or 7 miles long and quite a work-out as the wind was also kinda against me. Major winds after the approx. 9500' pass (no signs to show, but was told the elevation of it in Toponas at the one store there). Then major Alaska-feeling open ground (small trees only, if any); green but barren, and quite cool/cold. Am camped just past mile 54 in a space *notable* from the road (one car that looked like Kinni-eye's, complete with roof-shell-rack, honked a bunch, but he later denied it was him); but unlikely challenges from drunks or cops due to the space being down a pretty rough road for such vehicles. NO problems yet on this trip, so i ain't worryin. June 21, Wednesday (?) Yee-haa! Follow'd through with the previous (art) design ideah i drew up and rode 19 miles into Steamboat Springs with all except the striped pants. The sun art was too big for my chest so i put it on my dazzly cape. Kept the outfit on even when i shopped at City Market in town! Most local folks response didn't appear (openly) at all like the city folks. Much more staid, ignoring; the City Mkt was in the posh "Mountain Village"...but one lady i began talking/speaking with i later saw at the library...and by her questions and, well, she was a 'one-of-a-kind' for sure. NOt someone i'd likely hang out with knowingly, shall we say. Religious fundamentalism and all... Skippin details, i rode up the long-ass hill to mile 21 (the top o' the 2nd major push from Steamboat), where then, a longtime acquaintance/friend, K-eye, happened to drive by near the top of a long hill and stop...and i'll skip the topicalness o' dat.... Approaching mile 23 on another long uphill (just the other side of the valley there), an asian-type pickup passed, stopped, and backed-up a bit, and the driver (a young beard'd dude from Chicago) offered me a ride!!! i thought it over for 2 seconds! Had planned to camp soon as i was startin to get into a doldrums about human beings (all the peace signs, kinda "empty" at first vibe--but only *first* vibe). Fucking excellent that ride! And hangin with 20-somethings who'd driven 20-24 hours all at once from Chicago! Far out! At one point, miles later, we came upon a small LEO checkpoint (or whatever), where we saw they'd stopped a group of hippies and were escorting them into their vehicle, and the FS cop in the road had his hand up, but it wasn't a full "stop" signal and well, we just went RIGHT ON THROUGH!! Yee-ha!!! Especially cuz we had been "informed" of policy going down to cite folks with a $75 citation (at least). So it was as if we had the "Jedi force" with us, cuz then like 4 FS vehicles passed us & didn't molest us. Yee-haa!!! But as i told some local yocal rumor-ists down in Clark, i was/am "totally ready" to go to court and get my citation (told kinni-eye i'd wear it like an award when he mentioned i oughta get an 'award' for my ride). But lotsa folks know how those tickets have a habit of being officially thrown out, later into the gathering! (and it turned out, many were!) Lotsa rumors spreadin around quick (tho i heard local media were quite tolerant, there were conflicting rumors/stories all thru-out the gathering). i also heard that LEOs who tried to come into the main camp area got surrounded by a hardy-ass group of fine folks 'til they left! Holy shit, i look forward to seeing THAT in action sometime! (Later, after the gathering, i saw an internet video showing Rainbow folks coming "in force" to nonviolently challenge gun-weilding FS; one even carrying an assault rifle, another carrying a shot-gun) (And i *ALSO did* SEE something similar earlier, where a bunch of LEOs ran down over to a melee --someone was getting arrested-- near the main circle and proceeded to face off a large group of rowdys who yelled that they had to leave; they had arrested one guy who I guess they were looking for, and had apparently punched him a few times, too) Oh, and LASTNIGHT. Whoa Gnellie! Main circle i found, saw a few folks i knew on the way (O especially!!!), invited to sit with folks, a food kitchen walkin around the large circle there at Main Circle (maybe 200 folks there), haulin rice and sweet potats, then a 420 circle and passin around of joints (!!). Up til then campwide seemed "dry" and lotsa us was jonesin for such; especially me who'd hoped i'd get smoked up when i arrived... GGW was right at the entrance camp past the main parking area (and a mile past 'Welcome Home' and A-Camp/bus village). Turned out he got himself a '79 RV and somehow pushed that old-ass thing up all that steep-ass terrain, loaded down in all his phancy splendor (and a likely crowd o' folks as well no doubt!), and got into Handi-camp (as i called it, and the name stuck)...only then needin mechanical assistance... FUCKING EXQUISITE amblin around at nite along main trail with no flashlight needed. And i was totally amblin, ston'd so well i coulda been drunk (lotsa folks figr'd i was trippin, y'kno). Bein loud and RAUCOUS with the wildest of em sayin my peace/peice, sharin visions, donnin my masque and "zebra"-half, dancin, and all that after an intense TWELVE DAYS o' bikin!!!! Muskytoes are challenging here in the daytime so far. But in the cool o' the nite, no problems! First camp at Rainbow Gath Set up my camp of so-far (lasted there about a week, but started gettin too noisy with dogs and crazed Nik-At-Nite folks wasted outta their gourdz). Jus got the "outer situation" figured and so today will be puttin up the art ---"Crucial Artz Camp & Earth Wine Tasting!!" Jus' like i WANTED TO DO and worked hard haulin all the extra weight (masque, paper, art, etc.). 3rd or 4th night with tent door zipper (bottom) not workin good, so to keep muskytoes and other critters at bay i push up various things to the doorway flap. Gotta find out/remember what substance(s) can CLEAN that zipper! Hopin to learn of in trade circle. Sure HAVEN'T been stickin to budget! Only got $20 of original $ i had for spending this summer (tho $130 total did go to ZMS after all; a few weeks stayin there, plus the $100 for months of parking; later equaled up my owings by giving 'em the dvd/vcr player i'd bought quite cheaply years back and never used). Got me a nice, shaded space near enough to the main trail to overhear the easy-going way in which folks are arting each other, as they bring in their provisions for selves and various kitchens and camps. i aim to assist in any capacity i can; and one o' the reasons i came here so "early" (tho i heard some folks've been here for 2 weeks already!). Yep, just lazying about in my tent this morn. A cool breeze in the air. PLENTY o' amblin around lastnight. Went all the way back to GGW's area, when he was still campin there at Main Gate/Handi-Camp, to gift him my coat of many colors he had wanted back in our SW haunt. Unfortunately, he'd already gone to sleep so i hung out at the "Ganja Church" fire for a good while, took in the stars b'tween camps, flowed with my feet along the bumpy, not always easy-to-see main trail (with no light remember!), and drank of the various vibes from my good-natured tipsy-ness. Heh! At one point a small dog suddenly crawled into the hole between my zebra pant legs (doubles as my shirt y'know, so i hav a hole in the crotch). And this 22 yr old attractive boyman (looked like a version of MN Pat) named "Snack" heard me guffaw about if a lady saw my crotch THEN. Movin around, and QUITE a "package". Heh heh ---heeee! Look, i DIDN'T ask for, nor EXPECT that dog (who was shiverin) to just FEEL LIKE jumpin up and crawlin inta my PANTS like that! ...But dogs will be dogs! (i thought it was a pup at first) Met several thin-framed young dudemen. Another by the name o' GUMMYBEAR!!!! And o'course i promo'd dat he art hisself--as a BLACK gummybear with peircings and etc.! (A 'safe' way for such a male, being offishally groomed for multi-soldiering, to approach the topic, i felt)(my advice always wants the best for these young-spirited chaps!). Did a unique thing with one 20-something whippersnapper. Traded somethin in our pocket, spontaneously, for somethin else. Not kowin what was the somethin (i secretly wishin for buds); well, i gave him a portion of loose change and he gave me a small spool of thread which i immediately saw value in aiding my crucial arts exhibit! Stringin up the ART, man! And save me what little rope i still have! Thursday, 22nd Cold, chilly lastnight seemed to reflect the painful reality of the ticketing of many via a federal charge (re: on 'national forest' land with more than 75 people at once, even tho "the Constitution Says"...), new tactics to harrass our 'right' to assembly (re: "someone" allegedly, said an elder rainbow, getting a permit for this space we have, who is NOT rainbow oriented) & "freedom of religious practice". At least two busloads & a caravan of cars went out this morning to face the arrayed institutionalized mind-set. They needed/wanted supporters but i opted out (should help with gas tho, which i did, cash-wise), due to the reality of my name and the truths of problematic poltical tact should political war-riors get ahold and yadda yadda yadda. But i was present at the circles attempting to get a grip on the situation (which an elder pointed out is related to a SYSTEMATIC pattern of official harrassment/blocking since 1971!). Systematically, all sorts of bullshit (and partial truths) for example, the inspiring *power spot*/TAZ that Rainbow is despite all manner of hype (and other subterfuge) deployed or tooled (as in dupes acting as tools). Truly, i was surprised....and i'm beginning to realize, wow, i really am quite a "liberal" domesticate, who on one hand *intellectually* understands reality, but emotionally and spiritually has a time of fathoming how shit came down to this (and being able to "radically" take a step back and see that this ain't shit compared to open, or '3rd world' covert war). And i intuit that despite our collective experiences of various intensities, 99% (???) of "us" are QUITE privileged products of our conditioning, et al. At the same time, i *see* how apt i am to "speak for" a ton of varying wealth of experience and seeing, assuming, AS I'VE BEEN PROGRAMMED, that all is hopeless! Better to humble myself and listen to/for the great spirit in all of my fellow human beings here. So 'out of touch' i have been, it seems; yet still valid in my intuitive pursuits, just not all-seeing! I must say, i very much look forward to the arrival of more elders! June 26, i'm 41 Walking, without a light in both semi-familiar & unfamiliar terrain! Walking intuitively, messed-up by others' lights; noting the faint glows of both patted-down grass & dirt trails. Yet lastnight something unusually weird happened: i was looking for the shitter near CALM. i was "calm" yet had to *go*, bad. And i just couldn't find it! Finally, i decided to just shit where i was & began pulling grass for makeshift toilet paper (what i do "normally" away from gatherings, anyway). Next thing i know, i see REAL toilet paper "glowing" & then...wow, far out! A shitter right THERE! Okay, now...sitting here at this 'illegal' gathering. Kind of waiting for the daily "6-up" (or "Six-up giddie-up"--for LEOs on horseback) to be called. Threats made always from the daily feds, basically (who reportedly are NOT getting state or local help and are supposedly short of personnel; turned out to be an untrue rumors; rumors fly everywhere here...). Yesterday i intuitively went into "the middle" of some visiting LEOs, when no one else was. i was wearing my neon red "armband" and intended to walk ahead of them to make sure everyone knew what was going on...(thinking that not everyone really knows what "six-up" means & wanting to make more certain that everyone understood what was up; plus i was probably a bit stoned, cuz i had *the idea* that my colors might be *adopted* by others). i'd wanted to create some kind of processional to mess with their program... Well, i did it and one called out to me as i passed them (cutting thru the woods a bit), saying he "just wanted to ask me a question" & when i realized the professional was talking to me i said, without looking at him, "I have the right to remain silent, and I'm walking through here." A little spontaneous non-cooperation. Then i walked over to the nearby "Info & Rumor Control" camp & sat down, and when the LEOs approached, i closed my eyes. And had no further challenges. What i assumed, perhaps wrongly, to be an "undercover LEO" (or maybe he was doing something similar to what i was trying to "do"?) did approach the camp just then, wearing a red dress and pink feminine cap (once when i was sharing the story later he happened to appear again suddenly...maybe some sort of a connection between me and him???); and **i asked, curious, if he was with my radical faerie friends and he said he wasn't. He said that he's straight.** But he wouldn't go into more words about this and i thought it was strange, since *anyone else* would surely be enthusiastic about their garb intentions, right?!?). Later, i noted him involved in several leadership-type positions, including carrying around the donation bucket at main circle. Maybe he really was *for real* and i was just projecting onto him. Hell, *i* was the unknown one...! Well, there's the "six-up" alarm, and i gotta shit. (every day there's this worry i get and that's probably part of the pressure effect the LEO strategists want to create. And so, thru-out the gathering there's that uncertainty about *if* and *when* we *might well* get ticketed with a hefty federal fine, or just rounded-up en masse; definitely not the kinda shit *i* wanna experience when i'm out in the woods, and certainly not worth the effort...but a good wake-up call for those who've never imagined the state wanting so much to control and fuck with Nice White folks...) At night, once my food ran out (tho i kept some for emergency, i.e. for after the gathering between towns), i always had to go searching for food. This time (as opposed to other times) all i did was wash dishes a few times and gather firewood or water (didn't dig any shitters, tho would have if i'd been asked). Lots and lots of walking around, which was good (and why i lost weight so much, likely). Should've gone away from central area more, and explored the outer reaches (where the "real gathering" was going on, according to some i met); inner camps were mostly quite focused on those who did their cooking, or fires with good drumming/dancing but little connecting. i did like a camp quite far in which had games one could play (a tea camp), but outside of Kid Village and the Library Camp, it was mostly an experience of being a 'outsider' (which i was, certainly). July 1, 1st Day of Official Gathering, my 10th day at Rainbow Miraculous. Only word i can use to describe. Becuz i dared wear my SILLY FROG HAT all over today! Miraculous because that hat has a way of MESSIN WITH fear mind-set offishals (i.e. 6 and 7-ups), as well as with "straights" and "agros". Thought for sure i'd be challenged much more, as 'out' as i am. At main circle council, one female brought out the terrible, most treacherous word, but only her alone (i was "prepared" to deal with *that* if it was weilded towards me). But i wouldn't "bite" (preferring to let others knock *me* directly with it, first) anyway, such words are not truly me anyway! Such words and word-use reduces so many of us & then reinforces such in us & we who know nothing else, "become" such, especially those most isolated (i.e. teens). So, anyway, miraculous all around. And then there's GGW's horn going off (!), attached to that curious phigure whom i "know" to small extents so far (hanging out with him in da SW). What A CHAP! Keeping such lovely, goofy, joyful peacey spirit so many years! 11th day at Rainbow Reading a 'heavy'/depressing book by Robie Macauley, 1979 (gotten at trade circle) called _A Secret History of Time To Come_ Knopf, NY. Reading this, i get the idea of us 'hippies' as *new refugees of privilege*. That is, the tooled ones, many still fully believing in *the system* yet angry at the "right wing". We, the new 'pilgrims', domesticated deeply, yet enamored, despite illegality, to gather & create with all the wisdom we accumulate. And a historical echo of inter-necine rounding-up of believed valuables, fortunately "not yet" reality in and outside our *ranks* (re: trade circle treasures) Burgeoning spirit, experimenting on par with early hip aboriginals in motions only. Desire still so domesticated, civilized. My echo of herstory (& his) moving me to articulate & continue to articulate despite my knowledge of formal terrorism waiting in threat & invading my night dreams. We're all illegal here. Letting myself flow with *the very fast river* (as prophesized, allegedly, by Hopi elders). And the river of rainbow suggestion and style. Walking "all over" for about 2 hours lastnight without flashlight! (tho i had one, didn't use it) (99% of time in 3 weeks of being there i went without one! Loved it! Even when i got lost!) Met a dude named "Human" (a boy of about 20) and told him, after hearing him sing (his voice a bit cracky) of wanting to cuddle up to his voice (he later traded his CD for a thoughtful caricature (in color) i did of him!). "Human and the other Humans" (his band). He had a song named "Naked" & wow! i was basically mezmerized... Heard about a book saga i should read: "Saga of Alvin Maker" by Orson Scott Card. More than one Rainbow lady mentioned it to me over the years... Lotsa folks appear to be quite conscious in a depth way here, with knowledge of angles i haven't heard of too! (Next time i HAVTA hang out with THEM & not only agros and youths whom seem to so often come "just" to party) Lastnight, missed eatin all day (except the last of my chocolate), but near eve got food at Krsna Harebol; then to main circle (which was already breaking up), and stumbled upon an "angel line" or something like that & proceeded to get in line for experiencing lovely closeness permissions, and i jus' flowed! (had quite a group of folks dedicated to the idea who did the closeness, hugging, telling those going thru the "gauntlet" of care that they are special and such things; really nice experiencing! Sure, depth lacked, and kinda had a religious aspect, but flowing in it, i see depends on the perception/conception i wanted. Then walked way out to Milliways and got some pizza and met up with various similar thinkers out there, including "Human" and his entourage of Rainbow family; then stumbled onto rappers in mid of a trail going pretty deep into thinking and rap! Just walking along, finding far out magickal things like that made it WORTHWHILE! (despite the shit of the 6-up types). Then went by Popcorner and saw M.Spark and he's still fun even after what he knows about me (which i came out about directly when challenged). And next to Granola Funk and i'm gettin very sleepy (maybe M.Spark's hypnosis worked? Heh.). Slow treadin back by way of Birdcage & Naked At Nite. Good to FEEL MY WAY in various darks. Seeing how alone is my path. And recalling how, despite being around others, we are all ultimately alone. During Main Meadow gathering i was hanging out, early in the day, listening to the elders speak and learning from them when a cammoflauged man with a video camera was noted taping people and the area. He was a ways off, but looked to be wanting to approach us at the main medow. i told an elder and he said i ought to go find out what he was up to, so i began walking over there, and then running, barefoot, as he began walking away when he saw me approaching. i thought he was going to try disappearing (video cameras are Not something Rainbows bring, unless they show **only those they ask permission of** FIRST) into the crowds/woods. Cut my foot a bit. He claimed he wasn't a rep of the state, local or fed, saying he was "just taking inthe clouds and woods" and added that he's special forces trained. (Why the fear?) But i told him i didn't care, and i took him at what he said and asked him to empathize with our "policy" of asking people before videotaping; and i also invited him over to main meadow to share any wisdom he had. Now i think he was pullin my chain, but it was a curious thing. July 3 Had breakfast at the library (have to walk thru kid village to get there), and experienced curious vibes, especially when accompanied a lady to get water. (i sure HOPE they know my truths!) Intuited that the lady sought heart truths in her demeanor which i subtly felt...wasn't sure tho. After the library camp i looked for a native sweat that i'd heard (at kid village circle, when all were asked to form a circle, just before breakfast--the best place to eat!), and went over by "Warriers of Light" (not "warriors") and didn't get anywhere with dat and who shows up sudden, but soldiers doin dere jobs and well, da warriers initiated a "We Love You" cantation, and i felt compelled to add: "I love human beings not government machines" (as they stood unphased by the usual Rainbow 'treatment', which really does sound like b.s.) *Should* move over by "Fairy" Camp, i know (the NE'ers named it this way, curiously); then be around more easy-going possible longterm friends. Notably, i knew only a few faeries there, like Eclipse and V and a San Fran fae who prefers others don't know i know him...oh well. Main oomph of fairy camp was a bunch of East-coast guys, notably! A whole other fey culture, they! Maybe regulars at Faerie Camp Destiny? Met one older gentleman (with exquisite white hair) there who reminded me of a mix of two older friends. He was intent on sharing his small visionary 'Conversation Game' with me; wish i had kept in better touch with him (and had more carefully listened, but at least i got to hang out with him awhile, us touching our feet together, at a 'straight' tea camp nextdoor to Fairy Camp. Lotsa folks came to Fairy Camp for the scrumptious meals. A highlight, as usual! Lost my gifted Dineh batteryless flashlight to a guy i should not have trusted with it (he reminded me totally of a guy i "knew" at a community from the u.s. middle east, tho he never owned up to it...). i'd hoped to trade that "much too big one" for a smaller one of comparable quality... Saw all kinds of people i know! YeeeeHaaaaaaa! Plus made friends with one young gay guy who i hung out with walking at night, but unfortunately didn't see again, named Johnny F, he said. Was amazed to see two longerterm friendlies suddenly appear, of all places in "Fairy" Camp (the radical faerie camp)--at NIGHT! Trippy! Hung out at trade circle during the day with an old friend from WI until it HAILED. OOooo....Words from a passed-on one?? Or something with that and more, not for me alone? Got kicked down a nug from some straight-lookin guy who liked my art (!); and i got super-paranoid carryin it over to fairy camp, to share. July 4, 5 At least 3 thousand folks held hands around the main cirlce at noon on the 4th. But Om didn't work (where i was, anyway) as too few focalizers made for uncertainty. i was told by some who should of known, along with a guy who went around with a note, that we were "supposed" to wait until the kid village contingent got into the center of the circle, but Oming broke out in various places, and i probably should not have "taken" a leadership position by "passing on" the suggestions...because then it didn't happen in the magick i **ALSO** wanted badly to experience...i guess just a sign of the times, reflecting the reality of our fragmentation reflection in the bigger picture...? Perhaps too many micro managers, including myself?! Later, i found myself getting "way too" sensitive, i suppose, when my fellow faeries (especially the younger set, in their little group, i guess) seemed cold towards me...So i took off, walking across the meadow away from everyone to get alone. Talked with a cynic way over on the other side of the meadow (where i later camped, tho back more in the trees); he seemed way too much of a city-minded type of guy for me. Then went off on my own completely, rested a good while and returned back to the 3 drum circles in the main meadow then going on and danced nude! Met and hooked up with an older northern Cal guy and looked for the wiley "indigenous camp" with him (he thought he knew people who would be able to find it); as i wanted to follow my notion that a MAJOR HOT STEAMING in a sweat lodge might be a good way to...touch lovelyer planes...(?)...(BUT WHY GO LOOKING FOR SUCH PAIN?, i thought). The guy i was with seems like me in some ways, a bit manic as well, and i longed to speak 'fully out' to him...Lack of allowance of any dialogue on topic intimidates me from just speaking my mind in the manner of the "bigtime" activist types that i've known in the past (not "merely" gay, mind you; you know what i'm talking about if you "need" to know; i'm quite 'out' in fae community). And in thinking about this, i feel like i have no "people" (as Hopi elders suggested people get in touch with)...a few isolated people, okay... The rest feel so deadening and self-limited; perhaps i will understand that better in future years?? Walked around (and stopped briefly to trade/show my art at trade "circle") in a daze pretty much til dinner cirlce; my 'schizophrenia' seeping out amidst the largely indifferent crowd (one exception, a young lady who lost all her art to Hurricane Katrina reached out with her heart, i felt). Saw "Human" again down at main meadow/dinner circle and promised to meet him here today (the 5th, when i first wrote this) to draw his caricature for our promised trade (i ended up later sending him the finished peice, colored, after he'd already given me his excellent CD). Saw GGW there also and saw him seeming to want people to invite him to sit with them, so i did! And he left a bag of his Bliss-ware with me to fill (when the servers came around) while he continued doing His Thing around the circle, spreading PEACE AND LOVE. When he returned i saw myself in him as i called his talking/speaking "thinking outloud". Anyway, we teamed up into the evening, me assisting when i could, and i had the PRIVILEGE of experiencing HIS WORLD for a few HOURS!! For example, we'd gotten quite STONED and when i tagged along with him after the food (and smokes passed around), i saw the experience in a way i don't often see (but have seen a few times). That is, the circle became A SERIES OF ROOMS in which TRANSPARENT GELATENOUS WALLS and HALLS "stood"; i call them my meta sensitivities doing with the sacred. Even noted a gelatanous line/wall we pass "through" as tho it was some sort of passage to another realm. And it kind of was, because a bunch of longtime Rainbows were there and GGW was ecstatic around them (i felt at the time) and i thought it was especially special. To tag along with that WELL-KNOWN CHARACTER! Even tho i'd already done such quite a few times *before* Rainbow, previous winters, this was SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY! In time we stopped by the "Harebol Krsnas" Camp and WOW, all those young men/boys being led in song by one 50-something man! i BASKED in their voices, for sure, even tho the voices were hardly funky or committed to the songs, i thought. Tho there was a magick to the tunes they seemed to wander through! i even danced a bit, self-conscious of being male, and feeling my male-ness must've been a bit exotic for them, complete with me still wearing my NEON GREEN FURRY HAT and BLACK N'WHITE STRIPED PANTS with the hole in the crotch (heh, tho i had underwear on). It REALLY WAS a lovely time for a good while by their fire. Then me and GGW hiked over to his camp about a 1/2 mile away. What a kewl situation, there! And he spoke of being smoked-up and fed in bed regularly! And his 'buffalo' family from a SW'ern town, a real wild bunch, them. And he doin peace in his little island of improvized bedding-space between two trails. Oh, he SHOWED ME the INTRICATE folk art of his denim scarf art bag (WOWWWWW!!!!!) with many of the magickally creative ways he carries stuff!!! And the spiritual/sacred imagery he created with his sewing machines (which he usually powers by car batteries he tows along on either his motor-bicycles or his new RV--these days). Such an elder, becoming youthful more and more and ENJOYING most of it; he shared old wisdoms too & i got the feeling he shares ANCIENT EURO MAGICK KNOWLEDGE with quite a few---who can allow themselves to listen. Turns out he's "only" 64. i thought he was in his 70s, and when i learned that, i backed off from assisting him so much, figuring he's still quite *able* to carry himself well; but still a MOST LOVELY CHARACTER! A Great Grandfather of 11 kids, holy shee-it! (...) Typical Rainbow Scene, written July 22: MOrning roosters in form of "Agro" punx yelling for some reason about waking people up. Then awhile later, "Free Food In The Woods" yelled by the "Shut Up And Eat It" kitchen. i still try to sleep down, across the valley from them (up on top of a kind of cliff), across the creek. One time i got right up and got going right away but the food was still gone when i got there...on account i hadda cross the creek and hike up the steep hill. Then comes the "Six-Up" shrill yelling, trying to make sure everyone with pot, etc. knows long before the cops arrive. Rumor also said that cops search tents whose doors are left open. For a few days now i've had my silly frog slipper/hat and arte-masque stuck on top o' my tent, along with my neon colored signs...so surely i'd be a target, right? But never had any problems, only hearing the Six-up Giddie-uppers coming closeby once. Maybe it was because i left a week after the official leaving date, i dunno (i wanted to help clean up, and did a LOT of that, carrying MANY BIG loads on my bicycle thru muddy conditions; but my improvizations worked great! And i was able to take 3-4 1-person loads each time i rode out!) Usually i went to Harebol Krsnas first and had oatmeal with peaches (some most every day) and water. Then it was haphazard what i ate the rest of the day. Maybe "Chess/go" Camp for tea and pancakes, but best food was "Kiddie Village" (and i made it a point to help out in exchange). But usually all i had for b'fast was tea or cold coffee. "The library", situated above Kid Village also served pancakes and coffee but was usually too far to hike for me. Places i usually went to to eat: Main Meadow (of which several kitchen camps participated in a main feed situation), Peace Village, Peace Camp (never very friendly tho), "Fairyland" Camp (quite good food), Tea Time, Granola Funk (which was a exorbitantly-built Pirate Ship Stage and Dock House with a kitchen attached --which i helped in a little, using all dead/fallen trees (!), Popcorner (serving only popcorn), Jesus Camp, various other religion-oriented camps, a more general christian camp called "Bread of Life" (with quite good food!), Warriers of Light, Millieways, and the purposely hard-to-find "Lovin Ovens"; not to mention oodles of tiny kitchen camps, some without names. Then there was trade circle (no $ exchanged!), always something of interest there! One day i sat with an old friend until HAIL came down without warning, chasing everyone away! Far out! July 10 or 11. Moved closer to the main gate camp (still about half a mile away). 4th camp. Two days of rain previously, only a passing storm today. Moved 2 large (3-4 individual loads) piles of trash today on my bike plus did some dishes (not a lot) and got wood. Yesterday i moved 4 large loads on my bike. Bike seems to be dealing with it well enough (well enough to carry me another two weeks of lackadaisacal riding!). Did a lot of assisting people both at the beginning of the gathering and at the end, carrying loads on my bike that made passerby seem s'prised to see. Muddy, slippery trail after the end of the gathering but not a big problem when bike is weighted down. Not much to do around here since my blister developed 3 days ago. Improvized a blister pad. Woulda liked to try hikin at least to the ridge and take in the sights, but farthest i got was about a half mile past the Library camp. Nice and quiet up there, tho; even found a nice meadow that actually had only one tent at it. Not feelin much of a helpful/friendly vibe any more so plan to leave 2-morrow or soon. GGW says he's leavin in the next few days as well. I gave him $20 lastnight to help get a rig part he needs. Traded art for a CD from 'Human' days ago but our agreed-upon meeting place didn't bring the dude (i later sent it to him). Got plenty stoned lastnight by chance again, but felt quite empty about it. Been a long experience of campground-ing...saving $ and that's good yet...time to get back on tha road again, i figure. Traded for some biodegradable soap finally and am tryin ta wash my stanky socks and some kewl pants i found. If only it'll stay dry long enough! Good foodstuffs today, pancake and oats b'fast, a banana, coffee, bit o' burnt french toast, a chocolate i found, etc. Smidgeons of various things thru-out the day; good tomato/noodle/rice/chicken soup. Yesterday had a belly reaction to some possibly undercooked chicken & veggie soup; bloated awhile but dealt with it. Notably, only had problems with food AFTER the end of the gathering. (like one time after eating chicken gravy (GMO?), the next day having the grossest of farts--one of those very very rare ones where shit *runs* out--- eeuuchhh! i recall *where* that camp was, but not its name, if anyone's interested in tracking those folks down...) Did note having "way too much" dry skin, and figured that's lack of veggies...tho i did get a pile of dried seaweed gifted towards the end of the gathering. Maybe it was more about lack of lemon juice? Hmmmm! Wednesday, July 13? 2nd day from Rainbow Gathering (rode to a few miles south of Steamboat Springs the 1st day; good, pretty easy ride back down). Golly, so exhausted on 2nd day i just went to bed after dinner (organic garden veggie sauce, potato wedges, apple & cinnamon oats, rye bread with "just fruit" blackberry jam & non-GMO margyrine. Approx 52 miles ridden. Pretty un-pretty sage-brushy land (tho with pretty mtns here and there, one like a lop-sided hershey's kiss). All this mostly after "Rabbit Ears' Pass" area, which itself is quite nice; a place i might want to explore sometime--tho such high country, creeks are very small). Map showing road next to rivers provided no escape from rolling hills anyway. Rode up to the pass (a seemingly long ride) and seemed quite short on the way back down. Even at the "top" there were long rolling hills... Still tryin to lighten my load, and preparing to send some neat Guatemalen pants i found at the gathering to Urbana Rob (they're just too snug around *my* hips). Plus that iron anvil i found is just TOO HEAVY; so i'm sendin it to...heh heh. After looking increasingly "desperately" for a good camp, finally found one next to the big Green Mtn Resevoir, just beyond the paying campground, and not far from the highway. Nothing even half-decent before that. And this is perched precariously on what is left of a dirt road extending from the campground next to the large man-made lake; given a storm, i could imagine my camp plummeting into the shallows there, as other portions of the "road". Land around was just very rough--lots of spikey type growths..Glad i listend to my intuition in waiting to camp here instead of the even more lousy places i found earlier, tho. Because of the spectacular view--across the lake a whole mountain range! (later watched a scarey-looking storm advance, but luckily --due also to the sad shape of my tent-- it went south of my place. Sad shape of my tent? Didn't i already comment about that? (No?) The aluminum pole that got broke by a falling tree branch last summer while bush-camping in the NW, i "fixed" roughly with a splint of another aluminum pole and tape. The zippers on bottom of my door don't work anymore (tho i tried various ways to get 'em to) so i safety-pin portions together and push up tarp/stuff against it to keep out rain and the mosquitos...other crawling critters get in, but i don't mind; no radical snakes yet, nor scorpions, thankfully!. Earlier had gotten into Kremmling at 3pm, stayed 'til about 6. Met a pair of New Zealand bicyclists coming from Virginia and going to Oregon by way of Montana. Looked like they had real light bikes until they let me try to pick them up! Seemed to be at least as heavy if not heavier than MINE! Lotsa bikers along 40 north of Kremmling; 3 pairs of distance riders and two groups of riders looking like some kind of fancy pay-tour group --i.e. absense of packs with adult riders in rear, teens in mid. NZ riders told me that '40' is THE tour trail these days...oh...okay...whatever. Anyway, i'm takin a rest day here at the resevoir lake. Such a beautiful view and i can listen to the WATER lap/splash against the small mud/clay cliff (only about 4 feet from my tent!) Across the lake is the town of Heeney and reminds me of Ontario towns on lakes except for the exquisite mountain range --with quite a lot of snow! Still have my cold from Rainbow. Thought sure it'd wear off from all the exercise and good eating...like that 32oz bottle of organic raspberry/lemonade i drank on the 1st day out of Steamboat. Later road 8 miles round trip to Heeney to get water and got $2.50 worth of goodies (expensive tho) at the tiny store/restaraunt/bar. Woulda called my folks but couldn't find my phone card--egad! Did find a local small spring and got a bit o more water there. Best thing about this camp is, no mosquitos during the day. Rigged up some shade with my sleeping bag over the doorway and wind moves thru nice and cooling. But as soon as wind stops, hot returns. (No trees here) Ah, nice, ever so nice to just relax like this ALL DAY! Especially with cool water so near! And boats keeping distance. Only thing better might be shade from a tree. Better than the chaos of the Rainbow Gathering. Then and in retrospect, my aim is *not* to do that again. Maybe for a week at most. i *did* lose a lot of weight... Mainly, i see that gathering as a glimpse of being a refugee in a large, non-government-run refugee camp! As for bike touring? Hmm, if i ride til i find exquisite camp spots. Maybe 100 miles in a week! 50 miles every two days. Heh! THEN i might like living entirely without a car...but stay in lush areas! None of this high desert sage brushy stuff. And, yeah, a bigger tent. Maybe SOMETHING THAT CAN DOUBLE AS A BOAT (heh!). And carry one of those light-weight strap-type straight-back chairs. Wow, wind *appears* to be goin "my way" (way i'm headin out tomorrow). But AIN'T NO WAY I'M LEAVIN! On beetles killing trees. Think about just how many. Trillions just on one mountain alone. Trillions, zillions, google-illians of beetles killing off what's left of, i assume, trees to be resourced...As if the trees invited them in instead of going through the saws; as tho forest mind said better for trees to die, wholesale, than for chain-logging with robots to come in and smash EVERYTHING. Far out! And *mediated* groupthink? No understanding, no context view-able. As if it's nature dat is "out of balance" (naw, nature is in harmony at all times and merely reflects the harmony "civilized" humans have intensitied). Once whole canopies of eco-systems supported by super-old one trees. Old trees with circumfrences of 12 and 18 feet --norm!! Now forgotten. My vision of Old Trees arted into Hot-air Balloons, converging from various portions of North America and landing and deploying bands of musicians with locals mixing it up! "The Way Things Are" is a belief maintained by fearers to try to tame nature --an absurd and severely alienated notion! **Fight severe alienation with radical care** Okay, after coming up with that, i take my fifth toke... Held within corralls of hierarchical value, contained spirit is supposed to run the war machine (even the alienated desire to "own" land and build a "home" idea is that rigidity; that 'can't listen'. That 'will not listen, I've got My Way of Doing' reflection). Catching on, one gets subtly and increasingly openly attacked by truths of this war machine...which has so long warred us that we take it for granted. And so, my remaining 'irresponsible' on the one hand, and too radically response-able on another. Such a war society stands sanity on its head. (...) Dennis Banks, Ojibwe, appeared in a dream i was having lastnight about taking 2 classes i wanted to radically participate in. i chose "theatre" instead of "art". (Anyone who wants to hear more may write; i *really would* like to get some dream interpretation from others!) Well, now it's early Friday and my mission today is to ride to a phone or computer and pick up work assignment. And then take my time or get to a bus and head to mid-east and the closest to "my people" that i know of (re: Hopi suggestions). Ravens flew over, calling out, just as i began this last paragraph! DAMN! Do ya know? i'm writin dis ('now') while up high at 10,000 feet elevation! (well, there abouts) Campin out in lotsa unknownz! Livin my life "up" apparently...oooh oooooooo...um....Well, it's been a big fucking challenge haulin my old steel bike and stuff around. And, yeh, i'm gettin tired o' it. So now it begins (?) to be like a good sweat. And if my bike breaks, i leave it and hitch to da bus and head to parents' world for a visit i no longer do regularly. Saturday Exhausted! Ooof! Ready to fall asleep directly. Got back home near sunset after quite an active day. 32 miles at least and most on bike paths from Copper Mountain to Frisco up to Breckenridge! Tried sellin me prints but not even any interest in that posh toowrist town...(did do some color art which i later gave to my Mom). Probably my lack of presentation mixed with what yocal locals are used to...hung out for about 2 hrs doing that, as well as this month's assign-mint. Idea to stash my panniers (packs) but keep my tent up (and basics in it) worked! No problems! Tomarra my plan is to ride up to Vail Pass, only (not to Vail tho, which is downhill 10 miles). Then Monday, send art out (including trade i did with "Human"), see what's up with the folks, take the bus preferably...and continue on whereever i wanna go on this journey before heading to the Mid-east...i'd SAVE lostsa $ to just head back...but i remember THAT too well (living with the folks is far from easy!) thought: Psychiatry as the new missionaries, coming to re-colonize; coming to do on 'citizens' (in the context of Rollback--See Chomsky on) what the State thought it might have to do by open force (during the "crisis of democracy" in the mid 1970s). Still making war on us all, even tho the implementers, as usual, know not the truth of their positions! Place i camped just outside of Copper Mtn, said "Rye" (a dude i met), is a deep, depth-spirit place. where aboriginals came together, many tribes, and kept the peace. No "wonder" 2 nights in this one spot is beginning to 'produce' depth dreams (two vivid, wild-ass ones). And, no use of ganja, lastnight, even tho i thot it might help me get to sleep... Tuesday, July 19 (?) i finally rode over and down the 10 mile hill (actually more like 12 altogether) to Vail to get the bus ticket. Got more groceries too. Bike path was closed for re-paving on the 17th-20th, but i had to go! So i took the freeway! Not too big of a "deal" on the way there. On the way back, tho, oooo... Rode up frontage road type thing (a good long challenge of a hill) up to where the re-pavers had made a manned road block. Hadn't thought they'd be so authoritarian about the whole thing...i had planned to push my bike on the grass around the new pavement...A lackey proceeded to tell me that not only could i not go through (and must turn around and "go back to" Vail), but that he would narc on me if i tried to ride up the freeway! Sound like he was going to try to use his meager powers to fuck with me and get me ticketed! The SHITHEAD! He appeared to enjoy himself messing with what he thought was the "upper class" bikers even tho i cursedly tried to tell him i'm not of that group that has the *option* to go back and *drive it*! But he was adamant, and said my only option was to go back. And well, i told him (a lie) that i'd go back down by the freeway, and instead went uphill (still a pretty large hill, too). The hardest thing was THE FUCKING POLLUTION up there. Several times i thought i was gonna pitch over and vomit. My lungs were in pain, etc. Never had a 2-lane road been this bad! Hell, people fear bikin on freeways, why? 2-lane highways are much more dangerous! Except for the pollution... Well, once past the re-paving part, i opted for back on that bike trail, expecting all along for some assholes to fuck with me via that fuckhead with the phone. The other side had a trail/roadblock as well but another worker pulled up just then and moved the guard's attention, somehow, away from the small exit place which i could readily pass thru (and which i half-expected him to challenge me at). So that was perhaps "lucky". Basically, i knew that these "guards" had nothing but hot air for authority (and how much one believes them) and i kinda knew this, but i also knew that times had changed and this was, after all, Colorado. but i was determined; i was going to feign not knowing "anguish" (English) and try to ignore em or somethin. Fuck them for not seekin to work with me in a human way! ...yet another insight to the "mass psychology of fascism" where the little lackeys get the privilege to weild a bit of power over others and do it as shit-ily as they can. (reflecting, likely, their own shitty life) Once back, i took a nap and bugs whooped my ass with bites so i went to my tent after trying to stop the itchiness with soap at the nice place at Copper Mountain (again, ask me if you're interested in more details). Wednesday Off towards a new pass with full packs (unlike previous days' riding), and new camp, today! Well, had quite a day so far! Began with messin around with my derailleur, to worse ends than when i started. Decided to take it to the one bike shop in Copper Mtn even tho i was sure it'd cost me at least $20 (those rich folks' places have gotta be "bad", right?). But no! $5!!! (i think it truly pays to haul around a fully packed bike) Next i rode over to the nearby chairlift which is "free" but usually one is supposed to get a pass from the activities center and i think that means you gotta be a paying customer (duh) or an employee. Needless to say, they let me go becuz of my bike tourist status, i believe. So, wow, i went. It'd been many years since i was in a chairlift and i was a bit frightened (and once when i was coming back i had an instant premonition that some terrible noise would shake us, and a second later (!) was the THUNDER rumbling of an approaching storm cloud! Whoa there!) (By the way, the storm cloud people have been exceptionally accomadating, waiting for me to get to my tent, or to get my tent up before the rain, and not blasting me during the ride up the pass later (when i began after 2pm when rains tend to well up around here). So anyway, my original desire was to head only for a good picture of the area i'd been camping in; but once up there, as you might imagine, "the bug" got me, and i went all the way to the top of the 12,400 foot peak! YEAH! Took me about 2 hours in all, starting after noon. Road going to the pass (towards Leadville) didn't of course look too tough from up on Copper Mtn Peak. Bikin it a'course was a whole different story. I think the hill itself was 10 miles long, but maybe only 8 or 9 due to a few flatter areas, and even a small downhill. A resevoir near the top (on the east side) was exceptional and i shoulda camped there (a SPECTACULAR VIEW, tho the picture i have hardly does it justice--reminded me of Nagagamissis Lake in Ontario! Lovely!); but was disinclined to camp there only because of all the regulationary signs like "prohibited" printed several times. On the other side of the road, there were all sorts of "no tresspassing" signs until well after the pass's climax; ostensibly due to the toxic tailings from mining ops carried out in the 1880s! Possible? Seemed more like they were getting ready for a spacecraft landing or an underground military bunker...the way huge expanses were flattened out. Plus, whole mountains near the climax of the pass were being mined and cut away. An ugly scene to be sure. Whole mountains and their "flying buttresses" of mountains missing! Sheesh! Anyway, i did find a camping spot well away from all that, about 3 miles down from the pass. Arriving, i found an EAGLE FEATHER! Far out! Carried it around while i explored possible tent spaces in an aread that looks like bear country. At least i'm somewhat away from the highway! And my spot (see pic), chock in the midst of lush wild flowers and plants, is out of view of passersby. Up a ways from a nifty tributary to the wild Arkansas River (why they call it that escapes me). Found some 1940s looking trash already--a coffee can of strange shape and an intact bottle (with cap) from some old-style pharmacy. The coffee can had some artwork still on it. i've got enough food for two whole days here and i've got time to spare as i wait out my bus date of the 25th. Must be about 10,000 foot elevation here; already cool in the daytime. Still rainin. Looks like it's gonna go on for awhile. Hadda postpone dinner due to this light rain and 'squitos startin to whoop my ass. Took some o my Walproxin to hopefully ward off the chest pains i had this morning. Plus i still got the snot/cough since Rainbow...Fever? Not really. If i'd known how ugly that pass was going to be aheada time i mighta opted for Breckenridge...oh well, lesson learned. What does a dinner consist of, here? Usually portions from a bottle of organic pasta sauce (my fav!), a few swigs of chocolate soy "silk" drink (if i've shoped in a large store recently), bread and dark jam on bread. And organic carrots and green peppers (and perhaps some wild edibles as well). Lunch is unusual, brunch more likely. Of late, i've been having more regularly, soaked oatmeal specialties, an apple (or other fruit), or "not from concentrate" oragne juice, bread and margyrhine with apricot or other "light" colored jam. T'marra's b'fast i'm having a banana-"filled" muffin (yum!) as well. ...Ah, rain stopped, birds speakin up. Gotta go thru the anti-'skito ritual spray then i can eat in peace. Ah, grand meal has been had! Chopped onions, relish (in package), and sliced garlic on 5-seed bread with margyrhine! A carrot, a swig of soy choco drink, a cookie, a few bites of green pepper, water from last camp's ice-cold spring-fed creek; gettin too dark now to write! Phinish it all off with a toke o' Maui Wowee! (which i got back in the valley) DANGER! Normal diary turns surreal below! Are you Devoutly Normal? Skip now! Thurs. Well, a very nice, quiet night. Only one strange sound, an animal sounding like it was messin with my plastic bowl (which i left out despite it not having been washed for days) & then walkin towards (?) my tent. Well, stoned as i was, i met it directly with my voice; something like: "Hey you! That's right, you! Don't be messin with my stuff. Go on and go about your bizness, will you?!" *If i'd been sober* i probably woulda been scared shitless silent (Been there, done that!) I think the sound was probably the size of a woodchuck. Heh heh. But i know all to well that at ANY TIME, at ANY time, a bear or puma cat (the big hype in Colorado that summer), out on their usual rounds, jus' takin their sweet time enjoyin life & suddenly--oh shit--they hafta fall back on the info that's been passed onta them by the norms of their kind & which they've already experienced, likely: Humans are way fucked-up, way lost, hyped-up in hysteria and liable to shoot them in cold-ass blood for no good reason. So, better, to be proactive if you're a bear or puma ("if ya gotta go out so insanely, then go out with a FIGHT")... And, ah, yet another reason to inebriate myself with this Maui Wowee stuff (heh heh heh). Plus da fact dat i found that eagle feather coming in here (which i stuck in the ground outside o' my tent). (huh?--ed) Now i know i know i know i know know know that all o'ya'all out there in dominating paradigm land will likely call this, all o' this 'weird' ness, just irrational and "unhealthy" behavior, etc. etc. ad nauseum. But you ain't here. You ain't alone out here with only a can of dog "Halt!" spray between you and whatever decides to cross your path. I carry my "Halt!" spray can wherever i go out here. i sleep with it nearby. This ain't the Midwest where everything's been pretty much conveniently killed off. i admit tho, as a domesticated person (who still drinks outta some wild creeks, tho, etc.), that i prefer woods also domesticated. i seen a bear face to face & i don't enjoy such things, capiche? i seen a momma griz with cubs only a few hundred yards off (if that much) up thar in the Yukon; so yeah, i do prefer havin as my biggest worry squirrels chewin inta my packs (which btw, i now protect in a saturated way from such with my bugspray). 2 tokes later of some o' that real kind bud... Now here's another Generican belief limitation, tell me what you think: The belief dat we like gettin stoned (true enough!) because (huh?) we don't like our sober personalities. (Wrong!) Wow, spiritual i'm a-gettin now---takin my hat off to bird folks flyin closer then one, away, now both... ..... ..... (dots like the bird in Peanuts cartoon used to type) goes the song but a more tinny beak sing ing. Ah, i look not on mere (heh) interpretation of *what* they be sayin, but *when* they start sayin it, ---and the *interpretation* of what dat all means, you got me. Oh but THEN, JUST THEN another song voice also up there high in the wood land area. (oooo, CarLos you musta gotten 'em stoned! That's what you get for blowin smoke at taht skeeter!) Oh, you hush will ya? (stay tuned for more "Ghosts of our Lives" after these important messages!) Did i say khind bud or what? THis bud comes from a most far out scene. 2006 Rainbo Gath ering A trade. And that whole tradin area they call 'tradin circle'. A trade with an older-lookin dude. A joint we smoked & then i got the choice of stopping smokin it & keeping some for my stash; 'cept i din't hav one 'til then. An i managed to save damn near half a joint... ((proceed into phar out surrealistic banter for next 3 pages; email me if you wanna heer/see; i can scan & send!)) Okay, so i went beyond my tent, to the creek, & o'course them golden rocks were on my mind. So a'course i spent at least THREE hours crouchin and squattin, pickin from da creek bed & even "pannin'" (with my plastic bowl). And yes, i came up with quite a few rocks full of both fools gold--AS WELL AS--stuff "SOON" TO BE GOLD! Yessir! In maybe only 5000 years (a mere blink of a rock's eye to MomEarth). Many o'theez rocks i got--about 3-4 pounds worth --IF LEFT WHERE I'D FOUND THEM *WOULDA* TURNED TO GOLD AND *MIGHT* BE IN THAT PROCESS EVEN NOW!!!! Later: Well, got back in me tent after a bit of "dinnunch" (dinner and lunch) & wouldn't ya know, all my smokin done attracted oodles of them bitin flies --right thru all the spaces in my lower tent entrance! Phew! And so i set to work catchin em (guess i'm wearin Jainist values of late!) and lettin em out. Oooo, here comes da sun and hot! Better smoke up a quickie before i MELT! Much later: wow scared myself, too. Just got in, settled myself, and the cloud people let it rain. Wow! My hat is off again to those clouds whom may as well have told me to get back to my tent. i was headin back anyway, to fetch some art for a magickal space i found. Seems someone left ashes and art in memory of someone. The art is a mom in a long whitish dress with a son standing with her and they're looking towards the ashes. i left the eagle feather there, stuck in the ground, pointing towards that art. Prayer'd that i could get it back if i brought some o my art there and gifted. Where i scared myself in a big way? Well, the 1st part was when i stood in a big ravine with tumbly-type cliffs all around and i realized that the upstream clouds *could well* create a sudden large wave of water energy (flash flood, like in SW); more likely in da spring, yet.. Maybe i heard a bit of some heavy sound and dat struck me. Well, i went forward anyway, seeing that i was already doing sacred path. And soon i come to a waterfall (magickly, just after i said (to myself?) that i was afraid of a water fall--but the OTHER kind! Believe it or not! "Coincidental" "Of Course"! Stopped rainin btw. Still lookin pretty grey. Anyway, wow, a beauty of a small waterfall (about 60 feet high), certainly not "natural"/original, i surmised, from the various dredging/mining/exploding debris (from 1800s?) scattered around there. There is a way up and down and i figured it must be a human trail, left by 18-25-somethings. At 20, i myself would've had no problem with it, no fear. Yet i sure have fear NOW! And i went up that chute-like "path" easily, in good memory of such, only to find it becoming ((--oooo THUNDER just now as long as this sentence and a bit more! followed by more light rain.--)) more steep. So i had my hat and sweater and feather in my hands and had to dig in my feet a bit to create holds (yep) and i was resting a bit when another realistic thought hit: If it rained while i was climbing up there (daring not to look down) then very quickly would become a very slippery and muddy situation. oooo Well, of course i made it out, and up to that art and ashes altar (there at the top) with a few gunshells layin about (a .22 and .45 calibre). And then hiked out on easier terrain. Walked on a few trails, one that went where there used to be a trail. And i felt it a spiritual space and took off my shirt too. Up to a spider web that disappeared when i wanted to go under it, seeming to say this way ain't for you. i passed it on the right and then took off my shoes and walked right near the new top and stopped. And then noted the gathering dark clouds more than before! Ooo! (..) Had food, went and exchanged my 'paddling in mtns' arte for the eagle feather, which i plan to return where i found it when i first arrived here. Then i went hiking and opened up my mind to fond memories of Alaska! So bright here at sunset! Ah! Walked up a very steep road quite a ways (and had half a mind to hike up to a ridge far ahead --about a mile and a half). Valley/ravine opened up & became an obvious mountain rivulet. Complete with with low "bear bushes" and trees whose needle leaves went right down to the ground. And beaver dams, and what might be poles for panning claims (just one o' thoze, tho). Exquisite silence with only the power lines running thru. Turning homeward, in the distance i'm blown-away to see, not that SECOND SPHINX MOUNTAIN (the first was located just above an open-pit mine near Climax, CO); but cloud people acting like waterfall fluff edging up, then over mountain crests and into bowls. One mountain-side held a snow'd symbol like an exclamation point! All by itslef in the midst of lush tree green (no beetles killing off trees here---or anywhere else, generally, away from cities, curiously)! Then a wild-fire-like motion was created, again by clouds becoming, raining up a ravine then shooting, too high, over. On the other side of the lower valley, i put my hand to my heart as cloud people's water did this (see drawing)...Floating by in ease, arms raining a soft tease. And much more hazey there at the bottom of the cloud. All this, but a mere flying buttress of a mountain range! (skipping surrealistic interlude) Friday, July 21 Was just thinkin, unable to get to sleep, avoidin tokin up, think i heard light puma growls outside...holdin' my HALT! can like a teddy... Was thinkin, hmm, i should tell more about my experiences with those wild Shiprock hoodlums. Before, i wanted to protect their privacy completely...as they were livin so wild and all...now i'm thinkin my writing can be carefully edited, right? The 1st dude i met, about 17 (?), waved to me from afar the day i rode in near the park by the river. A run-down park, with "bull-heads" (i know 'em as "goat-heads") in places, and which promptly got in all my tires (but i somehow avoided flats even so!!).This dude approached me when i rode in and wondered if i had any herb. i told him i did and we smoked some and parted; i seeking to "bathe" in the fast water of the muddy river going thru town (taking care not to step "too far" out, nor too far in where red ants were all over; not being able to see in the river, my feeling was that it got very deep very fast...but very hard to tell). Later the dude came back and we went and smoked some more herb at a special hang-out by the river. Part of me was a bit antsy going over away from everyone, but i chose to trust; and that panned out really fucking excellently! Later, a buncha other dudes joined us, and the first dude did a little swimming, himself taking careful care to stay close to the banks. Such a swift river looked like it might also have a dangerous undertow... We ended up hangin out at their special place several times, and then goin out to get some food with a pretty other, more "well-kept" dude (who drove a car full of mechanical troubles), and then they invited me to camp at their camp, on the land of a lady who told me she "wanted no trouble" and wasn't at all happy i was there (being white, i figure); but we had a better understanding later... But, that town, Shiprock, what a dusty old ugly-ass place......then again, perhaps my middle class domestication shows thru me in such knee-jerk judgment...i.e. no "nice" green parks, no gardens, etc. The last day, the hoodlums' got a ride in a car from a seemingly gay friend (VERY different from the vibe of the trashed gay man i'd seen by the river) to the store. He had car trouble, but we got back with plenty of time left in the day. The store we went to was the store i had first gone into that early morning i got into Shiprock. All natives there, seemingly, so very deep in my heart was that experience. (man, that LED bike light is TOTALLY WORTH the expenditure---it is lasting sooooo loooooong!) Saturday, July 22 Nice, quite camp lastnight, south-west of Leadville; taking my time to get to Vail, so i can hook up with the bus ride back to the u.s. middle east. A bit of grumbles heard in the night, but probably my belly! Caught myself at uncritical thinking about the 'info' on pumas and how easily i went from not worrying at all about 'em (during this entire ride), unless i heard their cry, to EXPECTING to have one of the rare glimpses or worse! Just like the JAWS movie fucked with me. Saw a deer in the morn, tho. Hiked around before sunset there and found a tiny spring and then a human-made-dammed-up swamp-pond. Dry forest everywhere else. Except down by the road (where the creek ran nearby) and an apparently seldom-traveled R.R. Did see a few nice-sized trout when i explored around the creek. Lotsa beaver action around there too. First thing i discovered upon leaving camp was that i apparently had lost the bike helmet that i had bought at a thrift store for $2 back in Colorado Springs, CO. (rode back later and found it, tho a strange thing happened to it! More on THAT later.) All kinds of bike riders out on the road and i remembered this was the day of the 3-day bike-a-thon of 2500 riders raisin $$ for a kids' hospital. i wasn't exactly "politically correct" in my angle of not havin a bike helmet (!oooo!), but i rode with em awhile just the same. A nice time, actually. i rode with em for a good while, up the hardly challenging pass, and down about 5 miles...where i chose to stop to look for a good camp. They were mostly zooming right thru all of it, not stopping for views, caught up in the thrill of fast riding down in large groups and such.... Had i been ridin alone i probably would have camped much closer to the pass area...Anyway, i did choose to back-track up a mile or so til i found FS 726; then rode along that dirt road awhile, heading down a slight decline, looking for good places. Left my bike at a good-lookin crik and hiked up to check for whether it was beaver-pond fed (with giardia in mind), saw nothing looking like that, so filled my extra two bottles. Definitely wanted to camp near that place! Too steep to push my bike up that way to anything half-way flat, tho, so back-tracked 726 a few hundred yards to where i'd noted a road branching off...saw a parked pick-up truck, but no camp, so went further up, hiking, on what fast became a 4-wheeler-type roughly steep road (which led, i later learned, a long ways up, and past a lone cabin). Found a trail a hundred yards up or so, scouted around, and found the camp i spent 2 nights at! A buncha mtn bikers came thru, and only 2 hikers... Looks very much like bear territory, so there's more to be scared of. Even saw some pretty fresh black bear scat (but small); what else could it have been? Weasel? (later saw one o' them cute critters). Anyway, camped in full alert mode, 2 food bags up in trees, but spray on their bottoms; sprayed also where i spilled lemon juice on myself...Taking all essential precautions except for keeping my eating are a hundred yards from my tent. Figure bug spray over all (panniers too) fixes that. Ah...just returned from a mostly strenuous 4-5 mile hike. Up that 2-track i mentioned, which goes by an inhabited-looking cabin (later the dog barked a bit) only about 1000 yards steeply uphill from my camp. No Alaska-style nails jutting out from window shutters and door, so that's gOOd sign! Heh. Past the cabin, that road became a 2-track trail; and so i was s'prised, at one particularly rough spot, on the way back down, when two 4-wheeler ATVs came by. At "the top" i found places to get a most pleasant view of the valley i would be seeing on Monday. Way way way down. i felt like i was standing outside Bozeman, MT on one of the hillets (heh) of Mount Baldy! But, unlike there, few places to see well. Did note a cabin on the far side of the valley, way up quite near the timberline. And thought that maybe the barren mountains i was seeing were the other side of those i had hiked into a bit a few days before, just south of Climax, CO on 91 near mile 8. Never did see the famed "Holy Cross" snow shap up on any of the mountains...perhaps it has melted away... Saw a deer far along in my hike. It was just watchin me, and was real laid-back about it. i turned around only when the track started appearing to go downhill too much (i was hopin the track would take me up to the timberline, where i'd then walk more freely). Wondered about that "road", like when it was made and whether steel-studded-wheeled trucks had "harvested" all the old one trees up there...most certainly... Figured elevation up there was 9,500 to 10,000 feet, especially on top of that "flying buttress"-type hillet, leading assuredly to grander mountains. Heard an eagle before the hike. Maybe the same one whose feather i'd found at that 'mile 8' camp. i call that feather sacred and stuck it in the ground outside of my tent at various camps, before it continued on its journey without me. Ah, exhausted! Am reading a quite good book first published in 1929 called _Laughing Boy_ by Oliver LaFarge; about a "realistic" romance between two Dineh natives. Later (or the next day, i don't recall), i rode back to the place i had stopped for lunch and found my bike helmet; the only problem was that there was some kind of WEIRD SMELL in it. No matter what I did, including using a large amount of soap in the helmet, took the STINK away. But it wasn't a skunk; i think it was BEAR SCENT. i think a BEAR had MARKED it. Well, i ended up leaving it at the pass... Riding down from the lovely camp i ended up finding (along the path that also serves as a mtn biker trail i soon learned) was more of a long hill than i expected. There was the hill quite a ways down at first, and then the terrain flattened out and i thought that was it. But in about 5 miles, another hill, and quite steep, until down near the river (just beyond a town that reminded me of a European town with so many rock buildings), and then UP UP UP, a very steep hill for about a mile or three. Great view up there! Coming down it (on the last leg of the mountain hilly country before the Vail valley), i spied a small abandoned company-style-looking town. What a trip to see that! Probably hadn't been abandoned that long ago, either...still trails around on a large knoll on the mountainside; the working place above... A lovely area after the steep hill down from there. Used the phone and spoke pleasantly with some ladies manning the local corporate market. Riding in that town had me recalling fond memories of the Colorado i remembered from the 1970s. Camped near the river that night in a fully bushed space. Not many places around there i noted, what with the roughness of the terrain. But i located one barely right for my needs. And while the river was scenic there and the plantlife next to it lush enough, the land immediately beyond it was torn and destroyed by only a hundred-odd years of european settlement/in-dust-ry. Caught the bus out the next day, leaving my helpful old steel bike there (the cost to ship it with me would have been more than the bike was worth). Put a 'FREE' sign on it after stripping it of all the things i'd need for other bikes (i.e. the two luggage racks). Good to be going fast again! Oh, noted an interesting paved bike trail going from the other side of the pass from Breckenridge which i'd like to ride sometime. It goes all the way, apparently, to Denver... Return to the main magixnartz page