The Path of the Raven’s Spirit at Sidewinder Canyon… 01/16/17

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It was one of those days folks… It didn’t’ start out good when I woke up late and was supposed to go on a hike with Trey… Also, I wasn’t feeling too great… I almost canceled all together…

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But it was one of those days where the hike was calling my name… As much as the negative Dan wanted to step in and screw things up, #TheTravelingMac wouldn’t hear any of it…

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I was destined for this #hike and what an #adventure it turned out to be… First of all, I want to point out this orb that was appearing in my pictures as I captured this gorgeous, mighty #Raven drifting across #SideWinderCanyon… What an introduction to a #hike!

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Now, I’m not a big believer in #spirits and #orbs… But this was just too coincidental and strange…

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If you look at the pictures, the orb actually follows the Raven… I think its the reflection of the sun on my lenses, considering I am taking  pictures in that direction…

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But its just really weird that it followed the exact path of the Raven and then disappeared…

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Whatever it was, it really set the mood for this hike…

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Immediately after exiting the car, I followed this Raven along its whole flight path…

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As I took in the beautiful sights around me, for the first time…

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What lesson is this Raven trying to teach me here… Or was he just one of those theatrical Ravens that loves a dramatic opening…

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I tried looking up information on Sidewinder Canyon… There wasn’t much except many warnings that this #trail is vey difficult…

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Well, the negative Dan was nowhere to be seen by now… The Traveling Mac was awake and ready for an adventure!

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Being in the middle of #DeathValley is a feeling you will get nowhere else…

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It’s so vast and simple yet so mysterious… Every where you visit, you find a different climate, different terrain and different obstacles… Every part of #DeathValley you visit is like opening a door to a new world…

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Each hike and location is different… They all have a different feel with new sights you could never imagine… Right when you think you can’t be shocked by the beauty of it all anymore, you turn around and the wind gets knocked right out of you…

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Sidewinder Canyon had a very special, distinct feel… I really felt connected to the land and its heritage out here, even though I didn’t know anything about it…

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The weather was warm yet there was a nice cool breeze cooling you off every few minutes… The silence was deafening… Your ears felt this huge pressure building up against them as the vastness made it difficult for them to adjust to its massive surroundings… Then a cool breeze would suddenly blast you in the face, as your eyes watered from it all, and your ears would momentarily feel normal as they captured the sound of the passing air… I kept on spinning around slowly, trying to take it all in at once as the Raven kept on circling around us, almost like he was taking part in my soul searching moment…

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I wonder what this Raven is thinking as it circumvents this gigantic, vast #canyon…. He must feel so free, just drifting in the breeze, as he takes in all of the gorgeous visuals below…

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If I could fly, I don’t think I would spend too much time on the ground… lol… I wonder if you can hang glide across the desert? This would be a perfect spot for it…

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Trey, the guy I am hiking with, is a host at #StovepipeWellsVillage… He travels the country feeding his passion for #photography… He works any job he wants really… just as long as he has #nature to #explore and photograph…

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He even works as a photographer at some of his #vacation jobs… A lot of the #rafting companies and #AdventureTours like to hire photographers, so they can sell the memories at the end of the day…

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But when there isn’t a job which involves his passion, he just works any job that will pay the bills while he pursues his true dream in life…

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I am really impressed with Trey. He is young, he knows what he wants in life and he goes out there and makes it happen…

This is the entrance to Sidewinder Canyon… A little intimidating, don’t you think?

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Once I get my small debt paid off, I would like to take a step in Trey’s direction… I would love to travel the country and work small jobs while I feed my true #passions in life… I actually can’t see any other way of living my life happily… I certainly am not happy when I am not doing what I want… So why not model and mold my life around my passions, so I can give them the most attention possible and I can be the happiest fucker this planet has ever seen… lol…

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I mean, the whole purpose of #TheMillenniumFalcon was to downsize my life so I could enjoy it more, right? That was the plan in the beginning at least…

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But as all plans go, things change… I have been sidetracked here and there with all kinds of trials and tribulations, which life brings… I have met someone, which changes a lot…

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But the initial goal hasn’t really changed… At first this trip was supposed to be about checking out free campsites and writing about them…

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Now it has become a trip about working at different vacation spots, trying to pay off an unavoidable debt, as I explore on my time off… If I was a plot in a movie, I would be “a guy trying to downsize his life as he discovers himself…” That would be the log line for my movie…

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Sidewinder Canyon was miraculous! It was a very challenging hike and definitely not for the claustrophobic…

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There were twists at every turn… there were points where I had to slide through sideways because the width of the rock path was so narrow…

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Then it would open up into paths like this one above…

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The temperature changes were what really caught my attention…

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Every part of the canyon you navigated through would feel a little bit colder or warmer than the previous… The smells were earthy… I had a thin layer of sweat that never seemed to form into a stream because the dry air would pull it right off of my skin… The dry heat actually cools you down because your sweat ends up evaporating right away and when a breeze hits you, it cools down that little bit of sweat… Exactly the science behind a swap cooler, which I have spoken about before…

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I can’t help but feel so small and insignificant out here… When you really venture out into the world and leave all of the rules behind, you realize how small we and our stupid little rules are…I know I sound like I should be wearing a tin foil hat but when you live by natures’ rules, our rules seem so stupid… Even our money system seems childish and ridiculous… Because when it all comes down to it, we aren’t even big enough to be a pimple on the earth’s ass… Not big enough to be a piece of hair… We are as important as the single grain of sand we step on… We will be gone one day and all of this will still be here, going through the same routine, waiting for the next asshole to try and foolishly control it…

I understand now how the cowboy feels… the reason a lot of cowboys back in the day never settled down was because they realized the power of nature… Just like the American Indian, I think the traveling cowboys of the past knew deep down inside how ridiculous man is, trying to control it all… When none of it is remotely controllable really…

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They weren’t kidding when they said this hike was very difficult… We had to crawl through many tiny holes and squeeze through some very narrow paths…

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Sidewinder Canyon even had its own version of a sun roof… If I was living out here, I would definitely look into setting up camp in one of these canyons… It’s cool, good reliable shelter and you could even build a campfire in a spot like this, where the smoke can escape…

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My shitty little iPhone camera doesn’t do this canyon any justice … The picture above gives you a good idea of how massive this canyon really is…

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Here’s a good picture of the many crawl spaces we had to make our way through…

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I felt so fragile as I rubbed up against this massive rock, knowing it could crush me at the slightest shift…

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We trust our surroundings so much, knowing they have the ability to wipe us off the face of the earth without any effort at all…

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Yet we crawl through the belly of the danger, addicted to the feeling of adventure… Addicted to the adrenaline these places draw out of us as we regress into the animals we once were…

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I love the feel of it all, even the pain… I love the feeling of the jagged rock and cold gravel digging into my bare skin… I love how it scrapes me, leaving white, powdery lines on my dry skin…

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I love the sudden darkness that you not only see but feel… the temperature drops drastically as you crawl into the empty blackness… Goosebumps form on your skin as chills run down your spine…

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Sudden feelings of nervousness conjure up as your body panics, imagining being stuck, not being able to claw your out…

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This gets your heart beating and your imagination running in all directions… You naturally pick up your pace without even noticing…

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Your mind is too preoccupied focusing on the unimaginable dangers… And before you know it, you are scurrying on your hands and knees, trying to make it to the small opening which is gradually getting larger…

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You feel the soothing heat in the near distance, knowing the light at the end of the tunnel is your freedom from this dark, suffocating place…

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Your skin starts to tickle and itch as the warmth quickly battles the cold… The light gets bigger and bigger, the warmth intensifies, first hitting your face, warming your cold nose…

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I was glad I wore a hat because I bumped my head numerous times… You realize how weak your head really is when you bang it against one of these mighty rock walls…

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And finally when your body is almost in full panic, the blast of heat really hits you as you crawl to the open freedom… Your legs wobble a little, standing up, adjusting to its newly found erection, feeling like you have crawled out of a unforgiving, cold womb…

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And thats when you get the true feeling of freedom… A feeling that is addicting, knowing in this exact time and place, no one has any power over you… You are your own man navigating the god which created you…

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I know I keep on talking about this feeling of freedom… I know I am obsessed with it… But nature and the earth is my mother… She gives me the feeling of security and worth…

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Yet also gives me a feeling of freedom… every feeling I have out here is met with the opposite feeling… For you feel the bad feelings also…

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But the difference out here is you are alone but yet you don’t feel you’re alone… Where in our civilization I feel the exact opposite… I am surrounded by all kinds of people yet that’s when I feel the most alone…

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Here’s a picture of Trey above, just to show you how small and tight these canyons can get…

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I was having so much fun here, I kept on checking the time, hoping it would never end…

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I could spend days out here hiking through these canyons…

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There were neat little openings like this one above…

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And there were all kinds of little paths to explore… Some came to a dead end… Some came to new openings and canyons…

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This turn above really interested me… There was an opening about 50 feet up… So the curious Traveling Mac climbed up to see where it went..

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I was feeling very inspired at this point and was getting a little careless… The climb was met with a dead end…

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And I paid the price on my way back down… When I hiked back to the floor of the cave, I hopped to the ground not realizing it was uneven…

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That’s when I fell forward and almost bashed my head off of a rock wall… Luckily my reflexes were on point and my forearm saved my head from cracking open…

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But I really hurt my forearm… it was bleeding and I had really banged the bone up…

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I was in excruciating pain for a few minutes but couldn’t help but feel relief that it wasn’t worse… I thought for a minute that I had broken my arm but I had just bruised it pretty badly…

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This injury will definitely take a couple of months to fully heal… But knowing that it could have been my head, I will take the couple of months of discomfort… lol…

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I know I repeat this point over and over again but even a seasoned traveler and hiker like myself has to learn this lesson over and over again…

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You have to respect Mother nature folks… The moment you think you are above it all and get feelings of grandeur, that’s when Mother Nature teaches you a lesson…

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Its a great experience to feel that connection and you never want it to go away… But you are still a vessel of vulnerable energy that was created by this massive rock we call earth….

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As fast as she put you here, she can take you away… A reality our egos don’t like to think about…

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For we are just tiny creatures that crawled up out of this earth… And as easily as we crawled out of it, we just as easily sink back into it… If you like it or not, that’s our reality when take all of the religion and rules out of it all… That’s the rules all of the animals follow on this planet… And no matter how many rules we make up, it doesn’t change our ultimate reality…

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Thank you Trey for an amazing adventure… I was soon back at #TheMillenniumFalcon sharing my tales of exploration with my new found love…

It’s a good life folks…

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