in The Swell

I first heard “licensed to ill” when I was around 14, listening to it on my friend’s walkman in the back of a van heading to the mountains to ski. The memorable times of youth.

When I heard on the radio that one of the co-founders of the Beastie Boys, Adam Youch (aka “MCA”), passed away on May 4th, I wanted to give tribute to this incredible artist.

The San Rafael Swell worked just fine for this purpose.

Climbing stone outcrops onto the edge of existence, looking for memories. I find the past in this land, the VW bus and a girl named Angie. Family trips when sis was still with us. No cares and the world ahead me.

Tired after hiking through rock and sand with the spring sun baking my skin, I go on the search for a refuge from the heat and night winds. The hidden splendor of Hondo’s Arch will work.

I set up camp, cook a meal by the fire, then retire to the tent. The night is brilliantly clear, a full super moon shines down, illuminating cold earth in it’s light.
A settlement of horse traders sing and play guitar. John Denver pierces the darkness. I close my eyes look forward to comforting dreams instead of stress and nightmares.

The morning brings an exploration of abandoned uranium mines and shafts. Eerie and hauntingly beautiful. Mixed in between are remnants of the past.

At the end of the journey was no great epiphany waiting for me. Only the faint words out of the lips of a wise man, saying….

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around, you could miss it.”
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Wench, bring my ale, what say you?