Took one more look around for Carson, but no luck. Don't even know if the address on my envelop was legit. There is no street named Calle Rindor on Google maps these days. I abandoned my search and headed to the Pyrénées on the French border 130 miles north...

Pyrénées Mountains

The Pyrénées reminded me of Yosemite in California where Carson introduced me to outdoor living and the resident mosquitoes packed 100 per cubic foot that constantly swarmed around my face and body sucking my blood — Dracula's pets or draconian pests?

Carson was not one to tolerate, let alone tutor, a tender foot like me for very long, and after a week of instructions in woodland survival, he left me on my own, took off for a mountain lake somewhere he could be alone to fish for trout. I took the other fork in the trail and headed to Benson Lake, Thanks to Harry and Steve — adventure chasers —
for helping me remember 2 weeks in Yosemite back in '70, 43 years ago.
a glacier lake 8000 feet high with waves from winds that lulled me to sleep, and more importantly kept the skeeters away.

Benson Lake

I did not know enough at the time to pack sufficient protein to survive very long. After a rice diet for a couple of days, I was rather weak. Then along came Scout Troop #9 out of Modesto. Those boys knew how to fish and I knew how to play a few songs on my flute that I was silly enough to lug around, but in this instance, silly paid off. For every song, I received the gift of a lake trout fresh out of water. I gutted, grilled, and ate 17 that day, and grew stronger, strong enough to walk down and out of the park, catch a ride back to 'Frisco with a couple of poopy dog owners, and endure the coldest August I ever knew (until that night freezing on the Bay of Fundy). I can still visualize the cathedral like scene looking back up the mountain range as I left the park — definitely a cathedra where nature is the bishop.

I met up again with Carson in Berkeley. He had been in Yosemite for a month living off the land and was ready for another trek to Mexico. I split to Canada and then onto New York City feeling stronger and more alive than ever before or since. A year later, on his way to New Orleans, Carson detoured through Nashville to say hello. We shot some campy photos. We were very hairy back then.


Slept in Puigcerdà in the Pyrénées on the border with France.