After the Notch Trail’s gloomy rock faces it’s time for the Castle Trail, an 11mile long easy hike through serene Badlands scenery. Today we are hiking the first portion, tomorrow we will close the loop by returning on the Medicine Root Trail.
The beginning gives the impression of a Badlands nursery where smaller and younger Badlands rock structures emerge from the ground and grow.
But the further one walks, the more distant they become, tantalizingly so. What is the right distance? Do we always want to stay apart, or do we always want to be near?
Few people walk here during a cloudy afternoon, and there are few signs of civilization.
Trails and phones lines allow for different kinds of connections — what is more important, instantaneity or physicality?
Then the landscape opens up, becoming inviting and forbidding at the same time, another strangely familiar balance.
Could this become home? Now we have reached Saddle Pass — —
On my way Northwest I stopped at Starved Rock State Park in Illinois.
This is a scenic and much photographed place, so here is a slightly different perspective.
Above you see the holes made my water droplets in the eroded rock. These holes are deep enough to create resonance not unlike organ pipes, but of course using tones from a grown scale. Together with the constant drone of the nearby waterfall this was a wonderful peculiar experience.
Time has created larger pits. Don’t fall down there.
Instead, let’s meditate about water. If you take two of these little water droplets, can you tell them apart? Can we hear the difference when we listen careful enough, at the moment when they hit the ground?