Sunday, August 21, 2011

My Favorite Central Sierra Nevada Hikes

The Cover photograph is McClure Meadow along the JMT in late June
The back photograph is of Sharon and me sitting near the San Joaquin River

Fr. Dale Matson

One of my friend Morton Kelsey’s last books was Prayer And The Redwood Seed,(1991, Element Press). There are so many ways our lives connected and now I think of him again as I published my latest book My Favorite Central Sierra Nevada Hikes. He used to walk daily near his home among the Redwoods in Northern California up the hill from the Pacific Ocean. It was an ideal setting for prayer, contemplation and writing. He and Barbara were blessed. I am also reminded of Luther’s comment about the Eucharist. “He is present in, with and under the elements”. This is also true in nature with God as creator and sustainer.

For me, the granite, trees, wildflowers and water are restorative. Most of my hikes now involve others too. I have always enjoyed sharing these experiences. I cannot offer the prose of a man so gifted by God as Morton Kelsey but I included many Black and White photographs that also speak volumes. The book is primarily a narrative description of the hike routes with photographs along the way. 

I am blessed to live in a city, Fresno California that provides a central location for day trips to Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon Parks and the Sierra National Forest. One can even travel to the Pacific coast for the day too. The Central Sierra Nevada Mountain Range is stitched together with a thin golden thread called the John Muir Trail. It is a trail of indescribable beauty and I have been fortunate to travel most of it in sections over the years. When I close my eyes, I have images that pass in front of my mind’s eye that return me to those places. Sometimes, like today at the altar, time stands still, God is vividly present and I am at peace.


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