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Travelogue F17

August 11, 2015

After an uneventful first day on the left lung, we had decided to turn instead to the right and so took a different route through the park. Stopping off for a hike at one of the higher peaks, we were turned away from the cliffside access a stern ranger. It would seem that a small family of peregrine falcons had there made their nest, and the park authorities thought it best to avoid possible intrusion. Though stern, the ranger pointed us to a hike of a similar profile, some miles down the road.

Pulling off once again, we found ourselves at the nexus of several trails which we would begin to explore over the course of the day. We started on the Beehive, following the park officer’s recommendation, the name of which, as best I could guess, owed to the promontory’s vaguely oblong shape. Though lower in elevation, the Beehive presented would-be hikers with a series of ledges, sheer faces and iron handholds for the near vertical approach. The heights provided an excellent outlook or lookout, between which I had never quite settled the difference, their similarity obscuring the semantic gymnastics at work.

Whereas an outlook most often connotes a vantage point, perspective, approach or mindset, a lookout relates to the sentinel or vantage point, which feeds back into outlook. As I could not be certain as to whether I outlooked or looked out, I returned to the question of the origins of the rock formation’s name. Perhaps it owed instead to a period of great activity in these parts, as one saw with bees, and this thought in turn led me to imagine a stronghold at the top, somewhere above me, as well as the massive labor required to transport goods from strand to summit, what with the need for freshwater, building materials, foodstuffs and everyday amenities, the sheer effort involved leaving the place in ruins more quickly than even the weather assailant.

Now at the ledge just below the peak, we caught our breath a final time, and I leaned out as far I dared in an attempt to meet halfway my urge to leap out and fall away into a freshwater pool as seen from above. My companion restrained me. 

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