Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Gila Wilderness

Gila Wilderness/National Forest, NM
After my 'escape' from the hostel in T or C, I found myself heading towards total wilderness to Gila National Forest.  It is a protected forest and absolutely breathtaking.  It has plenty of hiking trails, a catwalk, cliff dwellings and canyons.  After hours of driving I gratefully got out of the
car and walked the catwalk which took me deep inside the forest, where I could explore cave and the forest.  However, the catwalk barely scratches the surface of what Gila has to offer.

Cliff Dwellings
 Some say the best way to do it is by horse, if you ride a horse that is.  A backpacking trip, hiking the scruffy jagged terrain along the canyon, amongst  the wilderness would have been heaven.

Yet, I was alone, and I was new to this traveling and being spontaneous, and I was so unprepared for a long term hiking trip.  So, I did the catwalk, and soaked up the energy of the land shaking off the negativity that came with some of my experiences in T or C....things that actually just triggered emotions, which made the situation feel worse than it was.    I felt the freedom creep back into my body and I was thrilled to be on my own again, without be accountable to anyone or having to work.

I spent the day at Gila, a much too short of a trip, and headed on the long road to..wasn't sure where, I just knew it was going to be long and desolate.

Traveling alone on the highway for hours, through ghost towns, surrounded by the white satellite dishes, made it a bit creepy, eery.  Yet, I kept a look out for anything peculiar...alien, UFOs since this was the area.  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing, just me on the road until I came to the town of Soccoro, NM.  I checked into the newly renovated Econo-lodge there, and was so delighted with the quality of mattress, the cleanliness of the room, the breakfast they provided, free internet, etc., for an incredible deal of $35.  Of course, things may have changed, but it was an incredible deal.

Socorro, New MexicoI took the night to rest, weary from my driving, requiring time to reflect on my own state of mind, my next destination, and as always dealing with the question that haunts me through this journey, 'What am I doing?'.   Sadly, the answer is 'I don't know.'  It is foreign to me, this traveling solo, with the intention of being spontaneous, letting the road guide me.   Deeply desiring to my core that I become able to surrender to this journey, developing the trust that is needed to know I am on the right path for me, and I am okay, no matter what.  To be consumed by the feeling of peace and freedom, not fear.

Socorro, New Mexico
These times when I found myself in true solitude, I could connect with my inner guidance and I knew that this was a process that would lead me to the feeling that I was seeking - peace and a deep rooted sense of trust.   I felt as though I was wasting time, letting my fears creep in, consuming me, robbing me of that trust and peace, and joy.  I am then reminded, this is a process, albeit slower than I would have liked. And a gentleness envelopes me, allowing me to be kinder to myself as I would be if this were someone else.  Sleep overrides any need for contemplation, and oh what a great night sleep...I have to say, a good mattress is priceless!  I awoke with renewed enthusiasm and I get in the car and just drive....heading North.

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