Walden is where you make it

Picture: Moon setting over Boothe Lake, near Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, Yosemite National Park, California

Photo: Moon setting over Boothe Lake, near Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, Yosemite National Park, California

I just returned from a 4-day solo backpacking trip into the Yosemite high country. It was a great personal goal, being the first time I’ve backpacked into the wilderness since my accident last year. When I arrived at Boothe Lake, I had the place completely to myself, up until about 6:00pm when a pair of fellow backpackers set up camp on the far side of the lake. In the hours of quiet stillness during the preceding hours, I thought of John Muir and others who hiked the Sierra more than a hundred years ago. Sitting on a rock above the lake, I thought to myself, “this would make a perfect Walden.”

In the quest for an inner peace, or of a sense of harmony, understanding, or our interconnectedness with nature, our personal Walden can be wherever we choose it to be. For me, Walden is anyplace I can spend even a short time alone with my thoughts, admiring the plethora of miraculous life forms surrounding myself, and feeling the breath of the planet whispering through the trees or across my face. I don’t need to be a sole survivor living off the land to get the message of where and why I am.

People that know me, know my license plate expresses my love for the wilderness. It was a gift my wife got me nearly 20 years ago. As I entered Yosemite this last week, the ranger at the entrance gate noted his approval with a big smile & thumbs up.

BTW – My home for this day was on the rocks above the lake, near the two trees directly under the moon. Ain’t no Motel 6 on the planet that’s got a wake up view like this!

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11 Comments on “Walden is where you make it”

  1. Tweets that mention Gary Crabbe / Enlightened Images » Blog Archive » Walden is where you make it -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gary Crabbe, Gary Crabbe. Gary Crabbe said: Walden is where you make it; a new post on my weblog: http://bit.ly/9GRNob […]

  2. Russ Bishop Says:

    Sounds like you had a wonderful trip Gary. There’s nothing like time spent at a high Sierra lake to revitalize the senses, and Boothe Lake is one of my favorite the the whole Tuolumne area. I don’t think Muir or Thoreau would disagree.

  3. latoga Says:

    With my opportunities for trips like this in short supply with the family expansion, I even more appreciate your photo and sharing your experience a little bit (envious too). Great place for some solitude and reconnecting!

  4. Greg Russell Says:

    It sounds like you had a fantastic trip, Gary. Getting out in the mountains and listening to the advice of the water, wind and silence can be some of the best council we can receive. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and images from your trip!


  5. Richard Wong Says:

    Glad that you were able to get out and do this Gary. I’m sure it has been a long road back for you.

  6. Carl D Says:

    Hey Gary

    Sounds like a great trip. I’m not sure that ‘Walden’ can be something we share so fleetingly, but perhaps so. Seems to me the point of ‘Walden’ is about living in place, not momentarily enjoying one.



  7. Michael Says:

    I came here via retweet courtesy of Carl Donohoe. Great post.

  8. enlightphoto Says:


    I always took the core of Walden to be a mental approach and awareness to a style of living. Place and duration for me are more relative, but the mental attitude is what should remain constant.

    Cheers back at ya!

    – Gary,

  9. Carl D Says:

    Hey Gary

    I’m sure the trip was a deep experience, given the accident last year. That sort of thing, a return of sorts, is so important, I think.

    By the way, ‘preceding’, not ‘proceeding’, cause, well, grammar’s important too. 🙂



  10. enlightphoto Says:

    Thanks, Carl. Yeah I know preceding – surprised I mist that w/ my dyslexic speech to text & spill checker. Thanks for pointing it out and keeping me on my tows.

  11. Carl D Says:

    Know worries.

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