Pilgrimage to the Hill
By J. Paul Moore
It was the first day of Spring and the windshield wipers slashed furiously across the glass as David Springhorn and I negotiated the 101 North out of L.A. to Agoura. Slipping in through the Cheseboro back way, passing large limbs down we made our way out Cornell Road and down the gravel entrance to the Paramount Ranch parking area where two vehicles awaited our arrival, a lone figure standing in the downpour.
Whils’t wriggling in to a freshly purchased rain suit, a knock came upon my door. As I opened, a voice came through the tempest…”How long are you going to dither about in there?” It was Kevin Patterson. He had already been to the Hill, had danced and sang and scattered memories and was about to depart, soaked to the skin and near to froze .The Lloyd kept a wizard-watch from his pick-up. Marc Mangano rolled in about that time and took documentarian photos. ( Check on www.dragondance.com) We hugged, photoed and parted; Kevin and company to the warmth of recovery - Marc to civil locations and, fools that we are (and Kings, as that) – [read as plug for www.foolsguild.org] David and I proceeded through Cowboy Town and on to the site.
Explaining to Lee Golden at the gate that we had left our passes in another dimension was to no avail until we mentioned we were friends of Joe bfnl.. where-upon we handed him a hot chocolate and pressed on.
Continual, and moderate rain (The Rain of Elizabeth?) accompanied our journey up Finance Hill where the ghost of Jack Albee, Jim Kahlo, Louisa, at Sheep- to- Coat and others greeted us with great gusts of wind and raindrop tweaks upon our cheeks.
Down the High Road above Drury Creek, that raged past downed tree limbs and polished boulders, to Ale V where long-ago drums were silent and royal apparitions graced The Glade. Staking a placard of Ron, “Master of the Revels” to hazard the storm in a somewhat protected space we made our way up the road toward Celt Camp. Taking a hard right into Don Brown’s we weathered the increasing weather long enough for a virtual Chai. (I thought I heard music)
Now began the wind to howl and the rain to fly as we slogged our way to the base of Procession Hill, wading the Creek out of Troll Hollow on the way. Upward, up the rocky face, David’s doing King Lear as the Mayor’s Parade descends over us like a phantasmal waterfall. We pause…and climb…pause…climb…pause, …scale the height. Lafayette, we are here. Er…Ron.
A MAGNIFICENT AND AWESOME SPACE! High wind…piercing rain -- ..taking the leeward of the great bush, we catch up with ourselves -,recover - reclaim – commune with Ron…Bring forth The List of Absent Friends…begin a walking circle…..reading names, far too many…paper dissolving as we conjure thoughts of those gone on and times gone by.
Memory recalls Frisbee-tag with Ronnie Wilson on the Hillside – horses grazing – water trucks and water tanks and Faire Issue Raingear.
The visualization realized we begin the decent of the proverbial slippery slope, circle out past Pig’s Gulch, waving to Linda and all on the way. No time to pick up a ration of Harbor Lights, we approach the culvert-crossing and marvel at the great timbers of Brewer’s Bridge remembered.. and secret poker games below.
Up the Hill, down to Ground Zero, flash our Exit Passes, said so long to Therl in the Radio Shack and on out to Cowboy town where we encountered Arrr Merlin and others coming in. Patti Blanco also … “put her life upon the cast and stood the hazard of the die.” I look forward to her narrative on the “peak experience”.
A demanding pilgrimage we shall all remember always.
Journey on, Mr. Patterson.
From this life….to the next