13 Sept. – Tuesday morning. Yesterday was my last day of working as a trail guide at Highland Ranch. I led two walking rides on a barefoot Jesse James. So much to do with mom and dad arriving on thursday for the weekend. Monday the 19th is the day of kicking into high gear – monofocus! Shift of seasons – changing winds – clouds in the sky now after a summer of clear blue.
20 Sept. – Two weeks from departure on a two year (more or less?) journey across America on horseback and i am so swamped in the pragma of trip prep that the actuality of what we are attempting has lost focus. The last time i rode my pony was Friday morning; i haven’t even seen him since then. Gryph’s new pony arrived yesterday, still searching for a name and unridden over the past year. My folks were here for a whirlwind 2 1/2 days, bringing gear and travel guitar from NY. Trip prep stopped as we played tourist – going riding and hiking, to the fair and to the beach
21 Sept. – The trip itself has become surreal to me. I have a feeling that the Anderson Valley is all i’ve ever known; this tiny world of the past 6 months, the Apple Farm, Highland Ranch, Lemon’s Market, Anderson Valley Brewing Company with WiFi and Disc Golf – and most especially this Camp where we’ve been living, comfortably and essentially outside all summer. The Apple Farm of 35 acres – like a big house with rooms 1/4 mile apart – going up the hill to the pantry or the shower, across the creek to trade massages at the teepee, bringing breakfast in bed to the chickens, the family of barn owls hunting through our open-air living room at night. Camp/Apple Farm is Womb in the mother/body of Anderson Valley and we are about to be expelled through the birth canal (here to ocean and back to Ukiah) and into The Journey (proper) and i am so aware that i have NO CONCEPT of what that will be like or how we will deal with it.
There are times i can barely breathe,overcome by the feeling of hanging out over a void, the unknowable, a squirming static emptiness in my chest, affecting my heartbeat, swelling up into my throat and squeezing my lungs. The Fear has me and reflects out so that the simplest things, like opening an unfamiliar gate, becomes scary and potentially insurmountable. My rational mind knows that this would be termed a “Panic Attack” in modern parlance, that there are drugs i could be prescribed that would buffer my emotions, smooth out my days, allow me to sleep at night, simulate some breathing room. But i think my mind/body is telling me something TRUE! We’re getting ready to go do something huge and scary and unknowable and brave and insane. OK. Pay Attention. This is a Big Deal
12 Oct. – Highland Ranch. Gryph is sitting on the deck of the yurt oiling tack. Good ride today – tho short. Gryph back on Vaca Suerte for the first time since the run-away incident on their first ride together. They did really well together today.