Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Walk



Went for a great walk yesterday. Took off South through town and up into the hills past the cemetary, then struck a bit more East and ended up in this wide, half-eroded bowl with a little vank (housed shrine) near the entrance. Men from the nearby village drive up during the day and hay the rather steep slopes, a big truck lumbering up through the pass at dusk to collect. Saw hawks, even one sitting perched on a rock near and above me on the slope. He sat as I circled around below, hearing the cries of the wild (or stray?) dogs, then finally turned full profile for a moment and took off over the valley.

As I climbed further and came over a shadowy ridge, I saw a fox running away and out of the slanting sunshine. Out here it's kind of like the highlands of Tibet, kind of like Kansas: dry and rocky with grasses and thorny plants and lichen, a perfect pale blue sky and vast peaks rising in the distance. There are summer villages up higher away from the towns, where villagers live for most of the summer, grazing their cattle, growing and gathering hay for the whole winter when they march back down closer to the lake.
As I continued along the ridge, I suddenly discovered a small, bedless stream running through the grass. I followed and found a most unlikely pond nestled in the flat summit of the ridge. Where is this coming from? Then I hear rushing water, and follow the sound up to the source. It's an open-air V-shaped cement waterway, spilling off to two sides, stretching up the ridge for miles, as far as the eye can see. Well, the sun was gone behind the Eastern mountains at this point, so I left the mystery of the pipe for another day and took off back towards town. I started a dozen ducks from the other pond who flew wide circles in formation around me until I was far away. The water runs down towards Vagheshain, Martuni's closest village, but where does it come from?

2 comments:

Charles said...

Jason,

Armenia sounds amazing. Reminds you just how much there is to experience out there. Live it up, man. Best,

-C

p.s. Applejacks are good and fun to eat!

Jake said...

I took a similar walk just the other day up the Shawangunk ridge just to the west of our new house in Gardiner. I also didn't have enough time (or daylight) to explore as much as I wanted and found this incredible little waterfall flowing down hundreds of feet of steps which were anywhere between 2 inches to 2 feet in height. I've also been reading the Sand County Almanac which is a lot of naturalist journal entries and is reminiscent of your post(s). Things sound pretty sweet where you are. I'm really enjoying the blog. With this message and a westerly wind, I send my love.