Driving through the entrance to Amboseli National Park, in southern Kenya, the vehicle was filled with suspense as we kept our eyes fixated on the green swampy landscape. And then, elephants. Wild elephants everywhere. The vehicle fell silent as we watched in awe the enormous gray figures swaying, ears flapping, tails swishing, tusks shining. Tears welling in our eyes in the euphoria of the moment.
Every single one of us had seen elephants in captivity at some of the best zoological parks in the world. But nothing, absolutely nothing could compare to seeing so many magnificent elephants living in the shadow of Kilimanjaro. Stoic creatures. Beautiful. Their flashy white tusks gave off an ethereal glow against the backdrop of bright green and blue sky. Tusks gleaming in the daylight, a source of their beauty and of their demise.
Rancho San Gregorio is nestled in a canyon on the western slope of the Peninsular Ranges within the Vizcaino Desert and the Valle de los Cirios, a designated biological reserve on the Baja California peninsula. We drove from San Diego in what seemed like an eternity packed like sardines into a van with too many people and too many bags, with food, water and supplies. The road was more than a little rough and after many hours of being cramped up and tossed about , the road eventually came to an end, and our destination was before us.
After the jubilation of being free from the confines of the van, a feeling of uneasiness washed over me as I tried to get a feel for the surroundings and wrap my mind around what I was doing here in the middle of nowhere, literally at the end of the road.
I still had that dull headache from dehydration and sleep deprivation when I boarded the afternoon flight to Launceston, Tasmania. We had arrived in Melbourne from Los Angeles one-day prior and even though I had the chance to swim off some of the kinks in my back from the long flight at the Balgownie Estate pool, the fog of jet lag made everything seem surreal. Just a couple of weeks prior to my departure if you had told me I would be travelling to Tasmania with Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild film crew I would have thought you had lost your mind. Read more
“The wilderness will lead you
to your heart where I will speak.
Integrity and justice
with tenderness you shall know.”
From the hymn “Hosea” by Gregory Norbert.