Ansel Adams Wilderness Part 1
A cold wind stings my face as the sun warms my back on this late September morning, high up in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. We are camped at 9000 feet, just 800 feet below treeline. Massive mounds of solid granite surround me appearing silver in the blazing morning sun. As I sip my English Breakfast Tea, I peer out into a live version of Ansel Adams photographs, appearing almost black and white in front of me. This wilderness, which used to be called the Minurets Wilderness, was later changed in honor of the dramatic photos that Ansel Adams captured of this stunningly beautiful mountain range. And rightfully so. For Ansel Adams’ photographs inspired millions of people, including myself, to put the protection of these lands above all else. People who have never even seen the Ansel Adams Wilderness, and likely never will, can look at an Ansel Adams photograph and feel a primal urge, deep inside their hearts, to want to protect such beauty at any expense. For there is simply a knowing, beyond words, that this is God’s country. God’s cathedrals. A 230,000 acre church designed by no man.
To sit here in this grand cathedral, the cathedral of cathedrals, I feel a buzzing energy all around me. A sacred energy so thick, so deafening, so certain, that it has the ability to stop all thought. And in its place, a timeless feeling of pure love as old as these rocks themselves. The one love. For in the absence of this love nothing exists. And in the presence of this love, everything exists, everything is possible, and everything is everything.
A redtail hawk flies overhead, riding the thermals of this exhilarating morning wind. He does not appear to be hunting. Nor traveling anywhere. Just riding the wind. Back and forth, he arches his wings to create graceful dives and then hovering in place, defying gravity. A surfer of the skies, he has perfected the art of being a hawk. Also, the chipmunks dart here and there in the morning sun. Full of energy on this brisk Tuesday morning. I look to the west, over a sea of granite mounds, slabs, and folds to where we will be traveling today, up above treeline, to the distant wonders of our dreams. Into the mystic we shall go. . .