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Pacific Crest Trail Map
Im in Julian, 77 miles up the trail. In 1930 the warrior poet Marshal South hiked into these mountains and spent 17 years experimenting in primitive living. Heres a extract from his book, check it out in the library if your having a zero.
OF ALL the trails that wind down into the desert there is none more sought, or more important, than the trail to Health. The Indians knew this. And ever since my few notes on the healing water of Agua Caliente springs appeared in the pages of Desert (July 47) it has been made very clear to me that upon t least one subjectthat of the quest for health and healing theIndian and his white brother are one. For Ihave had many letters from sufferers who, in the accountof the curative qualities of these natural springs, caught agleam of new hope. And it is the eagerness and earnestnessof these many inquirers which leads me to believe that a fewwords regarding the desert as a mecca for health seekers maynot be amiss.To a great number of individuals, the desert has beenandisa magic region as regards health restoration. That pointhas been settled long ago. And the great army of men andwomen who have come into its domain suffering from lungtroubles and other body weaknesses and have gone away, cr remained,completely cured, constitutes living and uncontrovertlbleevidence as to the virtues of the dry air, sunshine and abundantpeace of the wastelands.This much is undisputed. But we must also recognize thetruth that a great man)- who have come to the dry lands seekingrelief have gone away disappointed. Not for them has the sunand the wandering wind among the greasewoods brought renewedhealth and vigor. Disappointed, disillusioned and oftenembittered they have turned their backs upon the Spirit of theSilence and gone away in sorrowsometimes in anger. The*desert, they say bitterly, is a fakelike all the other fakes.And, hopelessly, they return to their own places; their remediesand their despair.Yet the desert is no fake. From the beginning it has heldout welcoming arms and hope tothe sick and weary of everyrace and color and creed. And the vast majority of them havenot been disappointed. Why, then, does it fail a few?Here is an important question. And perhaps we shall findthe answer to it if we go back a little into fundamental things.Into the fundamentals of the world of Natureand especiallyof human nature.In the first place the desert is essentially a primitive region.Its characteristics, perhaps more than any other of the earthsvaried localities, precludes frills and pampering advantages. Itis true that by the expenditure of great labor, time and money,you may succeed in dressing up and improving small portionsof the desert. But the portions so treated cease immediately tobe desert. They become resortsor, at the best, artificial oases.And neither of these is desert.True desert is a raw untamed region, and it belongs by rightto a hardy, primitive people. Generally they have been notedfor their health and hardiness. And they are, in the main, fiercefighters. The people, like their desert, are fundamental andprimitive.Like attracts like. The music of Nature can tolerate no discords.Unless there be harmony there will be destruction. Theharping thunder of the sea must find its answer in the heart ofthe sailorelse he will be a poor sailor. And the soft music ofthe winds which sing down through the long sunlit washes ofthe desert, or murmur amidst the desolate moonlit rocks, muststrike a deep answering chord in the heart of the dweller of thedesertelse he will be no part of it. He will be an intruder anda discordand as such will be thrust, unsatisfied and unaccepted,from its borders.For you cannot mix the fundamental and the true with thesuperficial and the false.And it is for this reason, I think, that so many who come tothe desert expecting great things, go away chagrined and disappointed.The fault is theirsnot the deserts. For, to get benefit fromthe desertor from any environmentyou must be in tunewith it. You must come with an eager open heart. You mustreally love the desertor it will not love you. And loving younot, it will not heal you.Now this, I think, is something which a vast number of humanbeings fail utterly to understand. Enmeshed in a man-madeweb of artificiality they have lost touch with fundamentals. Thetruths of Naturethe harmonies and vibrations of real Natureare so utterly foreign to them that they dismiss them asfantastic or as silly superstition. Their ears are too close to thetinny blare of radio propaganda and the trivialities of social custom.To them life has become a business of price and money. Ifyou can meet the price and you lay down the money required,then you can demand the returnbe it a gilded gadget or bodilyhealing.But in the desertin fundamental Naturematters are notarranged in this fashion at all. In Nature there must be harmony,and faith and acceptance and humblenessand love.And without these are all hope and seeking vain.The Indian knows this. All primitive races know it. But thewhite man has forgotten.Thus it is that many of those who come to the desert withailments fail to be cured.They hear of some spring or of some particular locality whichhas helped others, and they decide to go therejust as theywould decide to purchase some new cure-all in a bottle. Theythink that if they merely drink the water, or take the baths orlive awhile at the prescribed altitude, that the reward of newhealth must certainly be theirs.And they are woefully disappointed. Because they, many ofthem, come to the desert despising it. They are frightened byits vastness and roughness. They chafe bitterly against its disadvantages.They grumble unceasingly against its heat and itsloneliness, its limited supplies, its lack of entertainment. Unwillingly,complainingly, they stayenduring, their every momenta martyrdom. And finally, unhelped, disappointed, theysputter home on roaring motors, happy to escape. The desert isa fake.But the fake and the failure is not in the desert. It is in themselves.A seed will find no roothold on stubborn rocknor canhealing be accomplished if the heart is not in tune with Nature.For the desert does healprovided you are of a nature thatloves the desert. Just as the mountains will healif you lovethe mountains. The answer is in you.
The rest of the article can be found online. Desert Magazine December 1947. It really really resonated with what im thinking at the moment. Perhaps a bit lazy just regurgitating Marshals writing but who cares. ive been writing so much in the desert man and its so beautiful. all the blogs and pic I saw before I came here really didnt do it justice. which is probably a good thing really, you gotta come see it. im not sure if Im going to keep blogging, I think its served its purpose, im here and im feeling really really good.
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org