Cairns of 2018 – Great Moments from the Trail

tassajara-everywhere.jpg

Cairns are trail markers, usually piles of stones. On uncertain terrain or long journeys, they are a welcome sight – a little trailside affirmation put there to assure us that we are still on course. 

2018 was grand and magical for Wildtender, our first year offering programs to the public. Together we trekked twice through the Ventana Wilderness to the Tassajara Mountain Zen Center; we crossed the primordial Yosemite valley and summited peaks of the High Sierra; we learned to track our wild animal kin on the Big Sur coast; we tromped, splashed and camped; we marveled, delighted and wondered; we pondered, practiced and played; and we grew ever closer to the wild world around us and within us. 

Here are just few moments from our tremendous first year that made us stop and take notice, a few cairns that stood out on the trail, and made us feel certain that this is indeed our path.


Tassajara Pilgrimages

Hiking through endless fields of rare wildflowers, blooming after wildfires for the first time in generations!

Hiking through endless fields of rare wildflowers, blooming after wildfires for the first time in generations!

Witnessing the emergence of millions of butterflies in the Tassajara valley.

Witnessing the emergence of millions of butterflies in the Tassajara valley.

Teaching and trekking with some of our most beloved teachers.

Teaching and trekking with some of our most beloved teachers.

Finding joy, intimacy and community in the difficult task of making a fire after a long night of rain.

Finding joy, intimacy and community in the difficult task of making a fire after a long night of rain.

Spontaneous trail-naps, coffee breaks, and laughter!

Spontaneous trail-naps, coffee breaks, and laughter!

Truly falling in love with the sacred wild lands of California over and over again.

Truly falling in love with the sacred wild lands of California over and over again.


Yosemite (Ahwahnee) Pilgrimage

Deep in a glacial valley, sitting in circle, sharing the depths of our hearts and minds.

Deep in a glacial valley, sitting in circle, sharing the depths of our hearts and minds.

Our amazing pilgrims rose to the exquisitely beautiful challenge of an unseasonal two-day snowstorm!

Our amazing pilgrims rose to the exquisitely beautiful challenge of an unseasonal two-day snowstorm!


Big Sur Animal Tracking

What could be finer than acorn pancakes in the redwoods at dawn?

What could be finer than acorn pancakes in the redwoods at dawn?

Bird language and sensory mediations as the Pacific Ocean swallows the sun.

Bird language and sensory mediations as the Pacific Ocean swallows the sun.

Fletcher Tucker