July 20, 2020

The Twisted Forest

Today I drove up to the Brian Head ski area to hike the Twisted Forest Trail.  To get there, I drove from the main road, through the ski lift area, and west to the trail head.  The trail itself is short, about .9 of a mile, and with an elevation gain of 291’.  That does not sound like much, but there are some very steep sections.  The trail starts at about 9750’, and one must be very careful hiking, as there are a lot of loose rocks and gravelly areas on the trail. 

This trail is named for the many bristlecone pine trees that are there.  Most of them are partially dead, and they are all twisted into fantastical shapes.  It is really quite eerie.  The soil here is limestone, and I would imagine that the growing conditions in the past were more favorable to them.  Otherwise, they would not have grown to the size that they are now.  If you remember from a previous post, these are the oldest living organisms on the planet, and can live to be 4500 years old or more. 

The trail ends up on a high point overlooking the forest below, and the drop off is straight down.  In the information about the trail, people are warned about this, and especially warned to keep an eye on the children that may be hiking with their families so that they do not fall over the edge.  Here are some photos.  

The trail ends up on the top of the hill below.

Here is the drop off at the top.
Cedar Breaks can be seen in the distance.
The view as I started back towards the trail head.
Because I was scrambling up the steep parts of the trail on the way up, I didn't take many photos of the trail.  I did take more photos on the way back to the trail head.  You can see from these, the in several places, the trail appears to end in mid air.  The steep parts are just beyond these places.

Some of the twisted trees.

Something magical happened while I was at the top of the ridge.  I heard a commotion of chirping birds off to my left.  Shortly after that, I saw a peregrine falcon take off and fly high.  It then occurred to me that the commotion was caused by the falcon’s fledglings begging for food.  How often does one get to experience something like that?  This was a message I could not ignore. 

I was going to take delivery of a skull made of epidote as soon as I got home.  It was carved in Peru, which is what attracted me to it in the first place.  The first thing I do when I get a new skull is to sit with it and get its name.  The name for falcon in Quechua is huaman.  There is also a sacred mountain in Peru called Huaman Lipa.  It is considered to be the protector mountain for shamans.  So there you have it.  The name for my new skull would be Huaman Lipa.  This is a good example of how it pays to pay attention to the signs and signals that come our way every day, as this is how our Greater Self guides us. 

Shortly after I got home, the mail carrier knocked on my door with my package.  I have to say that this new skull  carries a very high vibration, and loves his new name! 

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