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Opening the Mountain (shared, public)

List Owner: geodarts

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In 1965, Gary Snyder, Phillip Whalen, and Allen Ginsberg "opened the mountain" by circumambulating Tamalpais, keeping the summit on the right. Snyder wanted to "consecrete Tamalpais" for future generations to walk. Whalen stated it was "something to do."

They established ten different spots that had special significance. Some were chosen because they had a sense of power in their location or shape, others because they were easy places to stop. Snyder writes, "I have advised people to use the idea of 'stations' in their own way -- feel what they feel or stop at other points where they feel drawn. . . After all, Allen, Phillip, and I just made it up, with some Yamabushi background."

Two years later, the three poets led the first public walk, beginning at Redwood Creek and continuing to the top of the mountain before returning to the start. The practice has continued since then.

To Open the Mountain, you must find each of these caches.

Results per page:

X   GC Code Cache Name  

GC19KQM Unknown Cache 1 / 10 - Opening the Mountain
  The walk starts and ends here. Snyder writes, "Even in the dryest season of this year, some running water. Mountains make Springs." Some roll up their pants and walk through the creek. Some fall in. When the walk was established, there was only a seasonal bridge here -- more recently, it has been left in place year round. But when this cache was placed, the bridge was out and the trail was closed.

If you do not want to ignore the signs and walk through the water, you will have to walk or drive to the Deer Park Fire Road. This trail is just down the road, a half-mile away, and meets up again with the Dipsea as you head up the mountain.

As it is, the area is reminiscent of the John Cage story about a Hindu yogi and a Buddhist monk coming to the river. The Yogi started to walk across the river on the water. The Buddhist yelled out, "No, not that way." So the Yogi returned and they both waded across.

GC19KRK Traditional Cache 2 - Tree / Rock
  Interesting in its own right. Rock. Tree. There is a sense of power here, as the hike continues up. My wife once asked me why I enjoy uphill climbs. Its just something that you have to do to get to where you are going.  

GC19KTD Traditional Cache 3 - Lone Tree Spring
  Just before the actual Spring, A few steps lead off the Dipsea to the Spring itself, well worth the visit if only for historical reasons. The Spring was added to the walk after Rock Spring was capped, so that this kind of spot would be included in the journey.  

GC19KTQ Traditional Cache 4 - Heart of the Mountain
  An old acquaintance drove David Monongye here when he identified this as a place of special power. He never told me that story, so its surprising what you learn about people. Although I have walked across this area to The End of the World, it was good to stop here. Do you feel the heart?  

GC19KTX Traditional Cache 5 - Serpentine Cairn
  Whalen identified Rifle Camp, where we stopped to eat. Snyder identified a serpentine point. Matthew Davis writes of a serpentine cairn in that area. So we placed the fifth cache in this series between the two spots -- not wanting to repeat a serpentine hide and taking heed of Snyder's words about how each station is up to whoever is walking (or in this case, whoever is placing the cache).

My dog would want you to know that this is the first cache in the series placed where dogs are allowed.

GC19KV0 Traditional Cache 6 - Colier Spring
  An area that has long deserved a cache. Although the springs rarely run these days, it is a place where trails meet, and a bench welcomes the hiker. It is another one of those places where your gpsr will only get you so far. So when you get here, put down your gadget, read the description, and look around you.  

GCXNF7 Traditional Cache 7 - Inspiration Overlook
  This location is used by Matthew Davis, who has led dozens of walks around the Mountain, and is a great spot for a cache (if I do say so myself).  

GCA6D Traditional Cache 8 - Mt. Tamalpais
  The summit is the Eighth Spot of the Circumambulation -- the number holds special meaning in a various traditions and some have believed its number on this walk is no accident.

Snyder describes "A ring of rock pinnacles around the lookout." Whalen asked "WHERE IS THE MOUNTAIN" as he climbed up here along the North Side Trail, and then describes the mountain top, where they recited as many sutras that could be remembered in music and song.

Since this cache is not officially part of the series, if it is ever disabled, simply take your picture on the summit and let us know.

GC19KWB Traditional Cache 9 - Mountain Home
  If you have done the walk, you will be heading down the mountain. Whalen wrote that "We marched around the mountain, west to east, top to bottom -- from sea level (chanting dark stream bed Muir Woods) to bright summit sun victory of gods and buddhas . . . ."

Some read the Smokey the Bear Sutra here. Some remove trash that seems to end up in the lot or the side of the hill. We found a little trash and practiced our CITO skills.

Total Records: 9 - Page: 1 of 1 - < Prev   <<   <[1]>   >>   Next >