Thomas Doty – Storyteller

Siskiyou Pass

Image.


Beyond Human Tracks

In the Siskiyou Mountains solitary Pilot Rock soars between the winter sun and the long shadows of trees. In the paths of birds, above snow-patterned striations of columnar basalt, a lone pine is bent by the wind.

Takelmas call this rock "stone standing up," a skyward place full of stories of ravens and eagles. Beyond the daily wanderings of people, Pilot Rock is climbed by those seeking solitude in the clouds and a wealth of dreams sharpened by height, by cold wind, by the screeches of birds.

Han Shan, the poet of Cold Mountain, wrote:

"storied cliffs were the fortune I cast
bird trails beyond human tracks
what surrounds my yard
white clouds nesting dark rocks"