Today I’d like to invite you to a nice little hike celebrating my birthday.
In the morning, before the monsoon clouds become enormous mountains, we hike along the edge of one of the world’s great supervolcanoes — in the Jemez mountains of New Mexico.
We start out on a narrow path along a river,
making a slow climb up a steep canyon.
We move past huge fallen timber,
house-sized boulders, and…
volcanic rocks that flew miles through the air during a great explosion two million years ago.
After two hours we arrive at our destination, a natural hot springs,
the water blocked by dams and moving slowly through several small pools.
Some special plant-beings grow close by in the forest, including
a curious rust-colored plant, without chlorophyll, that blooms in the shade,
and ponderosa pines, whose bark has the scent of vanilla.
The trees break at some point and become nutrition for many other beings.
After a nice bath and a delicious picnic, we dawdled our way back down.
This is New Mexico, so along the way we find strong cactus asserting themselves…
as well as amazing spiraling wooden logs…
and early fruits of the late summer.
Down at the bottom of the canyon, the clouds have darkened and built up into mountains. We arrive at a cafe for a chai only shortly before the first heavy rain comes down.
But there we are warm and dry, having already enjoyed a bath hours earlier, in the midst of volcanic rocks and pines and natural wilderness high up in the mountains.
Thanks for joining,