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STORIES are everywhere
Hiking out of the Columbia Gorge on the hottest day of the decade is a surefire way to catapult one into a different consciousness. Even the mind gets wrung out as sweat pours and pours. the old hiking patterns left behind we stop every half-hour and wear short shorts to stay cool. On day two we enter a hot magical moist, mossy forest. We climb and descend for days, have siestas at cold creeks Mediterranean style.
The body and mind fall into a simple rhythm of walk, eat, sleep, walk, in the green light of Devil's claw's canopies and Woodwardia ferns. Huckleberries, salmon berries, a delight on parched tongues. Silky lake water washes away the sour sweat, letting my body drift under heaven blue sky.
Time is measured by a slowed awareness expanding into nature. Maybe this is what dying is like, a slow expansion into another consciousness. For now I have left my other world behind and I will climb higher, skirting the snowy shoulder of Mt Adams.