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Mount Gleason

July 19, 2008

By: Karen Leverich, Matthew Hengst, Harvey Ganz


Leaders: Suzy Hermann, Lilly Fukui, Karen Leverich

Someone told me that visiting Gleason via the PCT from the east, even in summer, was delightful. They were right. We started ¼ west of the entrance to correctional facility (see hike 54 in Robinson), followed the nicely shaded PCT to the ridge north of the summit of Gleason, then up the dirt road to the summit. Lovely weather, inspiring trees, tremendous views. Everything was perfect ... other than the rattlesnake curled up on the register.

Matthew Hengst took several photos. See here:
2008-07-19 - Mt Gleason & Hoyt Mountain


Suzy and Frank nearing the summit

Hardy hikers on the summit

Enjoying the view

From Harvey Ganz, a poem:

The Soul of The Tree


The tree stands alone.

On the south ridge over sixty six hundred feet above sea level, it overlooks
valleys and mountains to the south; far in the distance are the suburbs covered
by fog and a marine layer and the ocean to the west.

Its upper branches are swept back to the North and horizontal as though combed
by the winds.

I am sitting sixty yards away - separated from the tree by a field of
semi-dried clover: bee filled clover, swarming and buzzing with bee clover. And
on the ground ants are scurrying about buzzing if they could.

But the tree is alone and I am alone. The solitude has washed over me and I
think about the week and the hustle and bustle - of my life and the lives of
those in the suburbs far off in the distance. Does the tree know? Does the tree
have a soul?

This morning, public radio featured a story of a man who commended the soul of
a goldfish to the heavens - the man was sure the goldfish had a soul. Does the
tree have a soul too?

Does the tree sense the beauty before it and around it? Does it sense the
separation from its species - not far off but not close either? Does it laugh
at man with our frenetic lives, our short lives? Does it laugh at the bees and
the ants and their scurrying about? Is it like Tolkien√Ęs Ents with a sense of
fair play, this tree that will live for several hundred more years?

Or is this sturdy organism just concerned with sending its roots deeper,
waiting for the morning mist and the dew on its leaves to quench its thirst? Is
it waiting for the next strong wind to flex its branches back some more? I
wonder.

Does this tree have a soul?

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