Obstacle Racing, Enchanted Rock, and Sobbing with a Chiropractor

The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” -Marcus Aurelius

Underwater, Barton Springs in Austin, Tx

Where is the water going

A trip to Houston was quickly falling through, and as the sun set on those plans, a new idea dawned, to sleep underneath a canopy of heavy stars. Oh! Yes!

I want to take some long exposures of the night sky. Wait! I want to use my gopro to do some time lapse, maybe get the Milky Way in there as well. WoOHoo! New plans were formulating.

Camping and Hiking! I began wondering where I could go to see the most stars. Turns out there is a website to help you do that.

Dark Sky Map of the US

Then I wondered, how do you know where the Milky Way will rise:

thank you Andrew Rhodes for doing the work and making the graphic
thank you Andrew Rhodes for doing the work and making the graphic

Then I found out that the Perseids were flying, but I wouldn’t make it for peak. Oh well, it didn’t matter, I was going to sleep under the stars, and I’d be outside in the dark just after the new moon.

After learning about  the “Dark Parks” project, which helps you find the best starry night in Texas, I settled on Enchanted Rock as the closest place to go. I’ve been many times before.

The last time I remember sleeping under the stars out at Enchanted Rock I was in my early twenties. A group of old friends and I decided we wanted to sleep on Enchanted Rock, which isn’t allowed. We did it anyway. We drank Chimay, smoked, and carried on. I remember feeling very small and a little scared underneath that heavy canopy of stars. I liked it. We didn’t get in trouble for our late night ascension, but it was odd waking up in the morning with early risers staring at you, with Tsk-Tsk faces, easily shrugged off, though.

Monstrously indifferent leaf in Bull Creek, Austin, Tx. 

monstrously indifferent leaf in Bull Creek

I began to make reservations for the weekend, where I learned only primitive camping was available. Usually, this is my preference, since Walk-In/Drive-In campers seem to be the noisiest neighbors, but with my hip problem, I was concerned about a hike, with gear. I checked the map, and the one primitive camping site I was booking looked to be about a mile and half away. Looked like there was some elevation that way too. I could do it. It would take some time, but I can do it. When the SI joint problem with my hip starts barking, I rest for 5 minutes or so, and it goes away, and I start again. No problem.

If I made it out on Friday night, I might even get some meteors in long exposures and time lapse. But if I left after work on Friday, and made the drive out there, that would leave me little time to get to the camp before dark. My hip was at issue again.

I started to worry about if I could do it. I became a little despondent about my hip problem again. If you’ve been reading, you know this has gone on for a long time, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better, though it is better. Then I remembered my friend gave me a number to a chiropractor. I decided to call, and see if I could get an appointment before the weekend.

I was told this guy was a bit unusual. Lives just outside of town, like me. Works out of a little trailer in his back yard. He’s 65, and provides no other services. Accepts no checks, credit cards, insurance, etc. Cash only. I was told he was eccentric, but good. Doesn’t believe in someone coming in all the time. Wants to fix you in one. $65 a visit. Worth a shot.

My appointment was for Friday morning, 8:30 am. I was on time. The guy’s place was out in the woods, in a part of the country I know well, near Common Ford. Once I pulled into his yard, I was a little wary. The place didn’t seem too well cared for, but not horrible. He was out of the door and welcoming before I could change my mind.

The doctor walked me to the backyard, where I became enchanted with the trees, bushes and the creek I saw just down the yard, and I said, “Beautiful place.” It really was. It was all a bit wild. Despite the home and trailer, the land was sweet. We talked about Common Ford, and the history of the surrounding area. I knew about campsites I found from peoples of long ago where I fire rocks and flint shavings are littered about. He told me about the ranches in the area, and his ancestors and about being a Russian Jew.

Inside the trailer, which was equally old and worn, the old Doc stood me in front of a counter filled with books and pictures. He gave me a lesson in chiropractic history, flipping through books, photo albums, and papers he wrote. It’s really amazing. He said chiropractors should offer one service, and not everyone with a shingle should be trusted, there are impostors. This is an art and a science.

Then he led me to the next room where his table was. He sat me down and told me what he saw from me standing at the table watching his presentation on chiropractic history. He talked about how I shifted my weight, stood on one leg, etc. I told him I stood there for so long, that my SI joint was hurting. He nodded.

I lay on the table, and he started pulling and wiggling my toes. He had a little song and dance like routine he went in to as he tugged the toes down the line, jerking on my legs, giving me instructions, telling me to breathe, and then popping parts of my body. I was giggling and laughing, uncontrollably. It’s like I was watching my self laugh. It wasn’t nervous laughter either. Each little pull and tug, and my body produced laughter. He continued giving me instructions, I breathed, he cracked, I laughed. He squeezed the air out of me. He twisted and cracked my bones. By the time he was at my neck, I was sobbing uncontrollably. He cracked my neck, “These are old,” he said, “Go on and cry.”

I was flat out crying. Snot crying. He pulled up a chair, and told me not to worry about it, to let it go, and I did. I covered my face with my hands and sobbed.

“I know, I know,” he said, “for so long you’ve been asking for help, trying to heal, and no one would help you. For so long. It’s ok. Let it out.”  This made me cry all the more. When I was done, he told me it happens. He said I could’ve been in knots since birth. Who knows, and with that, he went in for a second pass of my whole body, starting with my toes again. This time, he kept saying, “Oh Yeah, much better. Yes, that’s what you want to see.”

No uncontrollable laughter and giggling. No crying at the end. I was still buzzing from the experience. The next patient came in to the trailer, but he asked them to wait a bit. I sat in a chair and gathered myself, and he said to give it a couple of nights sleep. I asked if I should take it easy. No! he replied. Live! I told him I planned to go to Enchanted Rock. Go! He said. I paid, and asked if I could come back in a couple of weeks, just in case. He said sure, but if I change my mind, no problem. If it is still bugging me, to come back. Maybe it isn’t a chiropractic issue.

I made it to work, still buzzing from the experience. I decided I would go out Saturday, and spend Friday with a friend. Just to give this a chance to heal, and this friend is a special friend. I’m glad I did. There is no doubt everything changed. There was a definite shift in how I was aligned. The pain was less, and different. I hiked a mile straight out with backpack, tent, sleeping bag, a change of clothes, water, and some fruit, all on my back. My plan was to keep the cooler at the car with more water. I’d have to hike some more food in later. I didn’t weigh the pack, but it was heavy. I rested a couple times along the way, but the nature of the pain was different. Better. Even now, it feels different. Better. I still plan to go back to Doc.

No long exposures or time lapse of the sky. It was mostly cloudy. I did get stars, for short breaks in the clouds, though. It was quiet and wonderful. I’ll process some photos and post them on flickr. There are a few on instagramI shot some video I might post. The whole trip was more about being there, more than anything else. I spent alot of my time at camp, in my meundies and earth runners. As such, I may be responsible for some albino Sasquatch sightings, if anyone believes Sasquatch has some badass tie-dye meundies. I spent some quality naked sun time as well. I spent time sitting on a rock, just being witness. I had fun.

Every bird visit and lizard scuttle was a gift. The wind, the heat, the dust were all healing. I had a marvelous time. I sat, witnessing, breathing for long periods of time. I brought little to distract me, mainly because I didn’t want to carry it, and that was a good thing. It was one of the most restorative camp trips ever.

I hiked over hills and in the Texas heat. I hiked further than I thought possible with the injury, and I felt great. I’m ready to do more. I’m going back the next new moon. I may make reservations now, and hope it’s a clear night.

Another note, the hike was two miles to the primitive camping, not a mile and a half.

I’m going back to the chiropractor, atleast, one more time too.

For food, I took some hard boiled eggs, avocados, almond butter, carrot and cabbage cut up, and fruit. Lots of oranges.

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