So how was your Halloween? Mine was T-E-R-R-I-F-I-C. And I didn’t even need to dress up to have so much fun. More like dress down.
Elizabeth had some doctors appointments today. So on a spur of the moment [is there any other way? 🙂 ], I decided to visit my old flame, the Green Widow on Camelback Mtn. And to do it on a bike (Elizabeth had our car). Plus a hike, of course.
That’s a 33-mile round trip (53 km for those of you on a metric system). Or one and one-third of a marathon.
You can also see how far that is from the right picture, taken from my destination on Camelback Mtn, looking toward the north where Eagle’s Nest is, the name of our Scottsdale home.
I have never done anything like in my entire life. Not even when I was much younger and visiting my Green Widow nearly every week. Maybe 15-16 miles was the longest I had gone on a bike even then.
So who is this Green Widow that warranted all this effort? Well, she and I have had an on and off extramarital relationship for nearly three decades now. And I have not paid her a visit for five and a half years now. So what better time to renew this relationship then on beautiful Halloween day.
Naturally, I was not sure if I had it in me to do a marathon-and-a-third on a bike, plus a strenuous hike up Camelback Mtn. And all that just to get to the Green Widow. So before setting out, I had asked my Spirit guides for help and protection. They came through for me with flying colors.
Here are some initial shots I took at the start of the trail and at my Camelback Apucheta (sacred place for a shaman).
From the Apucheta, a steep trail leads straight up Camelback Mtn to the Green Widow, passing over the Phoenician Resort in the process (right).
Alright, I’ll stop teasing you now. The Green Widow in question is not an old secret human tryst. It is a lone Palo Verde tree perched high up on Camelback Mtn. I named her that almost three decades ago when I first noticed her on my “home mountain” in Arizona. I have been paying her my respects ever since. So you could say that indeed we have a long and loving relationship.
You can see the Green Widow in the 180-degree panorama shot at the top of this story, a composite of six frames, as well as in these shots taken from the trailhead. She has put down roots about half way up Camelback Mtn, I reckon.
You can see above two sets of “now and then” shots taken from roughly the same spot on Apr 2, 2008 and today, Oct 31, 2013. That day – Apr 2 five-and-a-half years ago – was very significant in my spiritual ascent. For, it was in dreamtime that night that I received my first guidance to go to Peru and to train to become an Inca shaman (see Climbing Camelback).
Back to today, I sat for a while on the rocks below the Green Widow and serenaded her and my Spirit guides in gratitude on my flute. Less than two years after that date 5.5 years ago, I had already received three Rites of Passage as a shaman from the Andean Apus (mountain spirits) themselves. And that meant receiving “Amazing Grace,” the song of gratitude I played for the Green Widow today and my guides and teachers.
Then I headed back to the trailhead. My round trip hike took about an hour and a half. I was still facing a 15 mile uphill ride home.
“Wonder if I’ll be able to make it?” I asked myself. Not apprehensively. Just out of curiosity. Then I asked the Spirit to help get me home safely. Once again, they came through with flying colors. Not only did I make it home in one piece but I still had enough gas left in my tank to do a few laps in the swimming pool. So you could say that this Halloween I did a marathon-triathlon of sorts.
See why I said this Halloween was terrific? 🙂
Of course, I may change my mind tomorrow. My butt is sore as are my thigh muscles. But my heart and lungs are happy. And my heart is full. Which is what counts most.