We wandered amid the giant trees of Calaveras Big Trees park. The South Grove takes serious effort to visit, and one leaves behind the stations of tourism, and finds more of the spirit of the ancient forest. The dogwood was turning pink and red, and red berries hung off many plants.
Sunday was a bit of shopping in Jackson, where a new *real* Irish shop has gone in, one that sells items made by small craftsfolk, not like the "export trade" Irish crafts. And then a visit to Moke Hill, a former hangout of mine, with its Legre Hotel, a shade of another era. Then up to Indian Grinding Rock. Odd, but since they have fenced off and "preserved" the mortars and petroglyphs, they seem lonely, less real, and like they are slowly losing their power. I think these are things that need human interaction, not to be treated like a painting on a museum wall. At least the local native community still uses the site for ceremonies, and the huge Round House was very present. Then checking Black Chasm, the newest show cave of the area, home to a fantastical collection of the most astounding helictites. Any day with caves is a good day. It was interesting to hear from our guide how she, her husband, and two other people, built all the amazing webwork of stairs (this is a very vertical cave) themselves, over a period of 10 months. I was seriously impressed.
I feel more connected again. There is something about autumn up there that restores me.