What’s with the name of the place I’m chilling out at, you ask?  There’s a quality to the area that is “wrecked” or “ruined”, suggestive of some mass-destructive event that occurred from which the locale has never recovered.  It’s lush, green, and isolated (for now) from the vast high blood pressure world of history and the iron rule.

It’s also a headwater, a fountain of sub-natural energy in the psychological plane of experience.  Pouring out is a grease, a resin if you like of wild energy growing out of the desolation.  Like a flower in the mud of a dung heap.  Very likely the whole mystery of it will fade as the intrusions of the clickers and droids arrive.

For now, the place is like entering an alternate world where ghosts tend the fields and the landscape swallows you up to see what you taste like.  The trees and stone barriers, star marks and rusting material give witness to a way of life removed from what we are told to think of as “inevitable progress”.  Yeah, the inevitable progress of the grave, buddy.  Go back and tell it to the Post.

It’s the off season, and the weekday, so there’s three “groups” at the campsite out of twenty-five or so spots besides us.  Spread out along the hillside, the trees absorb human speech for their own amusement.  We’re the wildernesses’ version of short-term disposable entertainment.

Even during the day, if you stay on the path, there’s a sense of life-forces of many kinds relating to one another.  Some good, some not so good.  I got to walk the paths by myself and feel again the primordial sensation of being at one with nature, and it’s unconscious dangers.  Bear poop.  Twisted ankles on rocky, root-infested slopes.  Losing your mind and being possessed by natural forces that have nothing to do with personal, conscious relationships.

Cue Lola Heatherton:  “It’s so scary!  Baaa-haha-haaa!”

The gang decides to climb a nearby mountain.  The mountain has acquired a certain reputation, as we’ve only been talking about it for the four years we’ve been running to this place to get back on an even keel.  It’s a steep, hour and a half climb to a splendid view.  It takes us three and a half hours to work out our overall adventure.

The two couples we meet are both going down the way they came up.  We go up one way, decide to try a shortcut and end up taking the long way back to a point where we can descend safely.  K gets to go on a scouting mission and sees a view only she can bear witness to.  The gang melts down over the need to get down before we run out of BLT sandwiches, water, and sanity points.

I packed us plenty of warm clothing and rain gear, plus some snacks and flashlights.  We’re prepared, but the trek ends up being a long and hard one for us all to take.  Our feet start to hurt two hours in, and thanks to the map and compass we don’t lose hope.  But I keep thinking this is how people end up on the news.  They go into the wilderness unprepared or they go too far and make a wrong turn.  We come close to the edge several times, but somehow we stick together despite the arguing and make it back to a trail that makes sense.

Then it’s the long haul back to the vehicle, down the steep slope through the horse poop and winding paths to safety.  The trek becomes a question of how long people can keep going before they stumble and injure themselves.  It must be the promise of rum punch, chimney-roasted hotdogs, and brownies & ice cream that keeps us whole through the misery.

Out on the deck with a body shock that won’t hit until the next day, we munch our food in thanks.  I toss a bowl full of cherry tomatoes out into the darkness for the Chicken Cow.  That’s all he gets this time.