July 30, 2018

Hiking with the Ladies Part 2

On our 3rd day of hiking, we drove to a different trailhead to a totally different ecozone, the alpine.  To get to the Ute Trail, we traveled on the Trail Ridge Road, which is the highest contiguous federal highway in the United states.  At it's high point, the elevation is about 12,150 feet.  There are places where there are steep drop offs on either side.  A few days prior to this, when I drove to Estes Park where our motel was located, I came through the park on this road.  Most of the route was totally socked in with fog, and it was also raining with a little sleet.  You could barely see the car in front of you, and drivers were creeping along because they were freaked out by the slippery road and the drop offs.  Here is where a clear head and some good spiritual practice came in handy for me.  I expanded my core essence around my car, and trusted that all would be well.  It was.

On the day we hiked in this area, it was extremely windy, so much so that it took a lot of effort to stay upright!  Here are some photos of the alpine tundra.
 Indian paintbrush was the dominant blooming wildflower.
We also encountered lots of stonecrop in most of the areas and elevations of the park. 
Here is elk thistle, which is the only native thistle growing at these high elevations.
Our end point on this trail was a large outcropping of rock that was covered with lichens and plants and looked like a beautiful rock garden.
Then time to struggle back to the waiting vans, which was much more difficult since we were walking into the wind on the way back.  We encountered this very cute marmot on his resident rock pile posing for photos.
Since this was a bit of a shorter hiking day, we stopped in at the infamous Stanley Hotel in Estes Park to look around before going back to the motel.  This is where Stephen King's movie "The Shining" was filmed, and it is purportedly haunted.  No ghosts in sight that day, but it was a bit spooky! 
On our 4th and final day of hiking, we did the big climb up to the top of Flattop Mountain.  This was a 2800 foot climb in 4 miles up to another tundra ecosystem. 
Getting above the tree line.
The view from above Emerald Lake.
The trail going through the tundra.
One of my best wildflower ID's happened here, when I spotted an arctic gentian for the first time. 
Another big surprise was this dear that went running past me while I was photographing the gentian. At this point, I was well above the 12,000 foot elevation mark.  
So that was the end of the last day.  We all went out for a farewell dinner that evening.  Then, the long 11 hour drive back to Cortez the next day.  What a nice trip.  My wish is that all of my trips run as smoothly and effortlessly as this one did. 

July 29, 2018

Hiking with the Ladies Part 1

The photo above was taken on the first day of a 4 day hiking trip in the Rocky Mountain National Park.  This was an all women's group, and ordinarily I would not go for that except that this was a trip that I really wanted to take.  In the past, I have found such groups to be clannish and sometimes  catty, but this was an exceptional group of very lovely women.  We all got along very well and were the best of friends by the time the trip was finished.  In this post and the following one, I will share some photos and text.

On our first day of hiking, we started at the the Bear Lake trailhead and headed to Alberta Falls, the most photographed waterfall in the park.
Then on to Loch Vale.  It must be mentioned that the glaciers played a big part in carving out the deep valleys that created the many lakes in the park.
Here we are approaching Mills Lake, our final destination of the day.
And Mills Lake. 
On day 2, we hiked a trail led us first to Fern Lake, and then on to Odessa Lake.  This was probably the most memorable hike for me as a native plant enthusiast because of the abundant and interesting wildflowers on the trail.  On one stretch alone, I was able to identify 5 different types of orchids!  Below is a close up of the tiny blossoms of the white bog orchid. 
Here we are at Fern Lake. 
The trail that continued on to Odessa Lake was very shady and moist, and it was pure delight to take my time to stop and photograph the many small plants that lived in that habitat.  Here is a heartleaf twayblade orchid.
One plant that I had never seen before was a pipsissewa.  It is in the wintergreen family, and encountering this beautiful plant was like meeting fairies in the forest!
The final bit of trail to Odessa Lake went next to a lovely creek that was draining that lake.
 Here we are at Odessa Lake. 
This was a long day and a long hike.  Probably about 9 miles round trip with quite a bit of elevation gain.  On top of that, it rained on us a bit on our way back down.  Fortunately, that was the only rain that we had to contend with that week.  More on the trip in the next post.

July 27, 2018


After spending the night in Salida, day 2 started out with a drive back down the San Luis Valley to find the fabled spiritual center of Crestone, Colorado.  You can read all about this place here.  The town is located half way between Salida and Alamosa, and is nestled up against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.  Over 25 years ago while I was still living in Illinois, I had heard of this place, and my curiosity has been piqued ever since then.   

Briefly, the Crestone area consists of the original town that was founded in 1880, and a huge piece of land called the Baca that is south and west of the town.  The Baca consists of a large subdivision that is situated on the flatter areas of the foothills, and numerous shrines, temples and retreat centers that were built on land upslope that was gifted to those groups.  There are Hindu, Zen Buddhist, Tibetan Buddhist, Native American and Catholic centers there.  It is also important to note that the San Luis Valley is a hotbed of UFO activity.  In 1979, when investigative journalist Linda Moulton Howe was working in Denver, she was the first to report on the mysterious cattle mutilations that had occurred there.  I have to say that driving back and forth through this high elevation valley was a bit spooky at times! 

Since this was probably to be my one and only visit there, I wanted to see it all.  I visited several Tibetan Buddhist stupas, the Universal Ashram, and even walked a labyrinth.  I always find that sitting in meditation in front of a stupa to be mind altering.  A very powerful vortex of energy exists there that can be used for anyone’s positive intent. 

Don’t get me wrong, I was not worshiping any sort of religion in these places.  Instead, I was very surprised to find my stream of consciousness drifting back through those lineages to the original people who walked the earth.  In all cases, these were enlightened beings who did not found any kind of religion, but were intimately connected to our Earth Mother as their source of guidance.  It was all very shamanic! 

After experiencing several of these centers, I walked a labyrinth that was on private property but open to the public before going into Crestone to get some lunch. 
While I was eating, there was a really big downpour of rain outside which interrupted an arts and crafts fair that was going on in the city park.  How refreshing to feel all of that moisture!

July 26, 2018

Chimney Rock

I returned home last Friday after an 8 day trip which included joining an all women’s group for hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, which is north of Denver, Colorado.  This was a road trip by car, and an opportunity to see parts of Colorado that I had not visited before.  All in all, I put over 1100 miles on my car!  Once I got to the park, however, all of the food, transportation and lodging were taken care of as part of my tour. 

The first stop on my 3 day pre hike meandering was to the Chimney Rock National Monument, which is located on a high mesa near the Piedra River west of Pagosa Springs in southwest Colorado. Tours here are run by volunteers and there are only a few each day.  It is a strictly managed archeological site.  This is a place that I had passed by many times before, but never had the opportunity to visit. 

The Ancestral Puebloans lived in this area for hundreds of years before abandoning it altogether around 1125 AD.  There are about 8 villages consisting of pit houses that were used for habitations, and a number of large kivas that were used for ceremonial purposes.  Below are photos of the kivas.

All of this is situated at fairly high elevations, so the pit houses were built with very thick walls to protect the inhabitants from the harsh winter and hot summer weather.  Below are photos of the reconstructed ruins of one of these.  A domed roof made of wood and mud would have completed the structure.
The highlights of this area are two rock pillars, Chimney Rock (rear) and Companion Rock (in front), that are located high up on a very narrow mesa, and can be seen for miles around.  Here is where the archeoastronomy comes in.  From certain locations in the area, the sun can be seen rising between the pillars on the mornings of the spring and fall equinoxes. 
View from the Great House
View from the south.
There is also a phenomenon called the Lunar Standstill that can be observed at moon rise in the same manner.  Our moon goes through a 18.6 year cycle as far as where it rises and sets on the horizon before repeating the same pattern.  The photo at the top of the page was taken during a recent Major Lunar Standstill, when the moon rose at its northernmost point in this cycle. 

This leads me to the most prominent ruin of this whole area.  After our volunteer guide led us through the ruins of the pit houses in the village below, we climbed up a somewhat steep and rocky path on the narrow spine of the mesa to a very different ruin called a Chacoan Great House.  At 7620 feet in elevation, this is the closest that we could get to the rock pillars. 
Trail to the top.
The complex building below was constructed between 1076 and 1093 AD, only to be abandoned by 1125.  Who built it?  It is uncertain if this site was connected to Chaco Canyon in NW New Mexico by one of the Chacoan roads that radiated out from that huge complex.  Perhaps people went back and forth between those locations.  Perhaps also the Ancestral Puebloans who were living at Chimney Rock recognized the importance of the archeoastronomy of that place, and wanted to build a grand building to commemorate that in the style of the Chaco Canyon society.
In fact, if one stands on the ruins of the Chimney Rock Great House in a certain spot, the moon can be seen to rise between the rock pillars during the Major Lunar Standstill. In it's original state, the Great House rose about 20 feet above the mesa floor.
Below is a photo of the Rocky Mountain Bee Plant that was taken at the Chimney Rock parking lot below the ruins.  It was the secret ingredient that was combined with ground up hematite to create the black pigment that was used on the ancient pottery.  
After a perfectly delightful morning at Chimney Rock, I proceeded to drive east and then north through the San Luis Valley to Salida where I was to spend 2 nights on my way to Rocky Mountain National Park.

July 9, 2018

Interview Now Archived

Many thanks to those of you who tuned in on Saturday and hung in there until the actual start of the interview with Lance White.  Because of technical issues at the BBS studio, we didn’t get going until 25 minutes after the hour.  To listen to our abbreviated but fun interview, go here.  I have been rebooked to come back to “A Fireside Chat” on October 6th, as that was the soonest that could be arranged between Lance’s schedule and mine.  I will undoubtedly be adding more to my experiences at Palenque, with Lord Pakal, and the Pleiades.  Stay tuned! 

July 4, 2018

Carla's Interview on Saturday with Lance White, the Zany Mystic

I am very pleased to be letting you all know that I will be interviewed this Saturday July 7th by Lance White, the Zany Mystic, on his internet radio show "A Fireside Chat".  The last time I was on his show was a little over 2 years ago, so we are long overdue for a good conversation.  We will undoubtedly have a lively exchange on a variety of topics.  The show will be starting at 7 PM Pacific time, 10 PM Eastern time, and is about an hour long.  Click here to join the show.  You can also go to https://bbsradio.com/afiresidechat.  For my bio that is posted on the show's site, go here.  You might also want to check out the archive of past shows, and Lance's recent guests George Kavassilas and Barbara Hand Clow to name a few.  If you miss the show, no problem.  It will be archived for listening later, and I will let everyone know when that happens.  I am really looking forward to the interview, and I hope you can join us on Saturday.

July 1, 2018

Are You Prepared?

It is the way of human life on earth.  Eventually, we will all drop our physical form and move on.  But move on to what?  And to where?  Up until now, very few if any humans have gotten off of the wheel of reincarnation.  We have been going round and round, and for myself, I am done with that merry-go-round. 

But exiting from that entrapment involves more than a belief that you can.  It is a matter of clarity, high vibration, being aware and awake at the moment of death, and knowing where you are going.  The ancient Egyptians and the Tibetan Buddhists both spent their whole lifetimes preparing for this most important moment. It cannot be left to chance! 

Please join me for “Journeys Beyond the Physical”, which is a workshop that will prepare you for your final transition. You will learn shamanic journeying, and also the Shamanic Death Rite process.  Do you have dear friends or loved ones who have passed and may need your assistance?  Did they die suffering?  Was it sudden?  Were they on morphine at the end?  In these cases, most likely, they are stuck and are still suffering on the other side.  All of you who are reading this have parents who have already passed, or certainly will be in the future.  The greatest gift that you can give them is to assist them on the other side and relieve them of any suffering. 

I am still registering students for either upcoming workshop date.  These are September 7-9, or September 28-30.  For more information, please go to my previous post here. If you have any questions at all, feel free to get in touch with me at Quantumstargate@aol.com.