Annual Desert Pilgrimage

Feb 7, 2023

Well, wouldn’tcha know, it’s that time again.  Time to mount the Kawasexy and roll south and east to the Mojave.  Since I’m in a line to access ChatGPT, I went to resource 1.2, Wiki, to make sure my understanding of “a pilgrimage” was at least in the ballpark, or desert, as it happens.  From Wiki: 

A pilgrimage is a journey, often into an unknown or foreign place, where a person goes in search of new or expanded meaning about one’s self, others, nature, or a higher good through the experience. It can lead to a personal transformation, after which the pilgrim returns to their daily life.

That sounds pretty high minded.  Not like mindedness after edibles, but mindedness beyond the capacity of my mind, high or otherwise.  Since I’ll be in the company of my motley band of brothers, the Silverback Dirtbags, I can’t vouch for their mindedness except to say Pete is all in and Andy is somewhat equivocal.  It’s not that Andy has anything against expanded meaning or higher good. In colloquial Dirtbag, Andy, like a Rorschach, is as clear as dishwater in his intent.  I suspect if we asked him for a mandala to clarify, he would produce something along the lines of a compass rose, leading us to no clear intent. It may be, if I take him at his word, that his decision to join us depends on a diagnosis and favorable prognosis with regards to an orthopedic issue.  

Speaking of orthopedic issues, my guy, Dr. Beauchman has cleared me for any and all activities that will fuel my desire to keep on keeping on in search of self, others, nature and/or higher good.  All with the caveat that I will use my good judgment to, Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy, Lighten up while you still can, Don’t even try to understand, Just find a place to make your stand and take it easy. 

As is my indefatigable desire to plan, our journey will twist and turn us on backroads, some familiar, others foreign in keeping with the pilgrimage theme, through the Sierra foothills to Three Rivers.  From Three Rivers we’ll make our way over Alta Sierra, past Lake Isabella, over Walker Pass to Ridgecrest. 

From there it’s to Trona, the garden spot of the Owens Valley, (left, the bustling Searles Valley Minerals plant where Na2CO3•2NaHCO3•3H2O is processed and right, the Trona Pinnacles, tufa,or calcium carbonate spires). Then it’s on to the Panamint Springs Resort.  It’s as much a resort as Trona is a garden spot.  But it is the desert and we are there not because the “resort” is unknown, moreover, that it is a reminder of “daily life” in the middle of the Panamint Valley where we can enjoy victuals, beverages, and fuel our steeds.  Two nights.  

The next day we will venture forth to unknown or foreign places to expand our understanding of ourselves, others, nature, and a higher good through the experience of Rhyolite, NV.  Okay, it’s not entirely foreign, though it is in Nevada, or for that matter unknown as 40ish years ago I explored Rhyolite in another life.  I expect the venture to be rewarding nonetheless. After Rhyolite it’s back to Panamint Springs for the night. Not foreign but there will likely be foreigners there.

Day four of our journey will find us back in Three Rivers for the night in a foreign campground, not our favorite and familiar first night destination at the Three Rivers Hideaway, but now opting for the Sequoia Campground and Lodge for the night. 

Day five will be the return route to our daily lives where our no doubt expanded consciousness of self, others, nature, and higher meaning, along with dirty laundry awaits.  Stay tuned for the post ride update on Cheers!

Author: Sisyphus and Associates

As of 6/2022 I will have taken 68 revolutions around the sun or 24,820 rotations on the big blue marble. Time to share a slice of all the physics, biology, and stewardship I’m guilty of...

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