Jilara (jilara) wrote,

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Autumn in the Gold Country

Aye, there is Gold in those hills, the Gold of Autumn, which calls to me. I spent last weekend up at the condo at Angels Camp, and enjoyed the turning of leaves and a quality in the air that speaks of the Eld. Angels has a lot of folks who decorate for Halloween, a homespun hallowseve of scarecrows and pumpkins and homemade ghosts. It's like a primal urge takes over, and commands that you honor the season. This season is somehow much more real there. And it wasn't just in Angels, but also Moke Hill, and other old haunts of mine that call. And then I found out that Sutter Creek is doing a Samhein festival. Not Halloween, but the elder Celtic holiday. Oh YES! Hmm, and Tempest is going to be playing there. I think about if I want to go up for it...

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.

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