“Remember the most powerful religions of the world were born of desert metaphysics-extremes of desert visions. Moses, Jesus and Mohammad were men of the desert. It was their home. The sea was all right for special effects – part it or walk on it – but if they had serious business with God or the devil, they went to the desert.”
- Micheal Ventura
Baja-California had been great so far. The overwhelming beauty and presence of the desert is something that I had not expected. The massive Cardon cactuses are some of the coolest plants I have ever seen. The cave paintings bring about feelings of wonder and jealousy. Will we ever be able to re-establish that powerful connection with nature that the native people had so long ago? I feel like these places are overlooked and no matter how many times we see them on Discovery Channel or HD whatever, that connection, that respect and that meaning is not present. Not form a TV special or a documentary, no it takes much more. It takes presence, it takes interpretation, experience, it takes a hot long hike with all you essential on your back just to get a slice of that pie.
But what has been most fulfilling about this place so far is the condition of the group that I have come here with. It has been quite a while since I have heard and seen all of us laughing and smiling this much. Life is more graceful again on ECOEE and I am glad that the people around me are having a good time, because without them I would not be. Today while me and Ryan were trailing behind a bit Ryan had mentioned how this all felt like a dream. I thought how, while I was passing a massive Cardon, seemingly average I felt, like it wasn’t a big deal. Then I though about life back home and that not so big of a deal became huge, because this is a big deal. I thought of telling others our story and how the look on their faces would show shock and amazement. I thought of how I react when others have told me similar stories, how when ECOEE 2008 told me their story how massive my smile was. We have gotten so accustomed to diving into the backcountry every few weeks that sometimes we forget that we will not always be able to do so in the future, the near future at that. We are truly lucky and more than blessed to have this program. I can only hope that when we get back the withdrawals are not similar to the ones on that show with those people, I guess what I am trying to say is you don’t really know what you got till its gone.
Every single day one of you at one point has been my encourager, my harmonizer, compromiser, my gate keeper, my standard setter, my energizer bunny, elaborator, my diagnoser and my friend. Together we will always have our group, ECOEE 2010, and no one can take that away from us.