Friday, April 19, 2013

Climb the Mountains and Get Their Good Tidings

What a crazy week. I can't report anything more on the fate of the first two Shattered Sigil books, since nothing is resolved yet.  In the grand scheme of things that means little, especially in comparison to the disasters in Boston and Texas, for which I don't even have any words.  Yet being a Type A sort of person, I've spent way more mental energy on the books' situation than I'd like (or than I should, most probably).  Fortunately, I've got a great way to clear my head. To quote John Muir,

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”

Muir sure knew what he was talking about.  Yesterday I had a lovely day of hiking, so in the interests of sharing a little of nature's bounty, here are a few pics from my quest to achieve inner peace.  (A more or less successful quest!  While I might not have achieved zen calm, I am at least now feeling ready to properly focus again on writing book 3 without wasting time worrying over 1 and 2.) Bonus points to anyone who can guess from the pics exactly where I was hiking.  Shouldn't be too hard, since the rock formation featured below is an iconic landmark...

Morning mist makes for some nifty "cloud waterfalls"
Similar view a bit later in the day, after the mist cleared.  Back in 1997, my husband and I did a wonderful multi-pitch rock climb up the middle pillar. Sadly, rock climbing isn't allowed anymore.  But there is much excellent hiking!

Panoramic view.  Wish I had audio as well as a picture of this so you could hear all the birdsong drifting up from the trees.


  1. Looks like the 3 Sisters from Australia to me, Courtney! :)

    1. Yup! They're in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney, about 1.5 hrs drive from the city. The sandstone of the cliffs makes for great climbing, canyoning, and caving, and the eucalyptus rainforest is beautiful to hike through. (Well, except for the leeches. I hate leeches. But I douse myself in repellent and do my best not to think about them.)

  2. I tested out Google's reverse image search, using your photo, and dang if it didn't peg it.

    It looks like it'd be perfect for climbing. Also saw a bridge of some sort to the left - is that where the panoramic view was taken from? Quite a place.

    1. Yeah, the area right around the Three Sisters is pretty built up/touristy, lots of handrails and cut steps and overlooks - there's even this "scenic world" right across the canyon that includes a gondola, a railway down into the canyon (the world's steepest, at 52 degree incline), a cableway, etc. The large numbers of people is why the climbing isn't allowed anymore - the sandstone's a bit chossy on the Three Sisters, and the park authorities thought the danger of climbers knocking rocks down onto the crowds walking the trail below was too high. So, no more climbing. Good news is, once you get a couple miles out on the trails, the crowds vanish and you've got the cliffs and rainforst to yourself.