Friday, September 21, 2007

Meet Me at the Vortex

by Cathy Anderson Corn

An article in the Summer 2007 "Point of Light" magazine sparked my husband's and my interest. "In Search of Healing Places in Somerset County" told of energy vortexes along the Casselman River Trail. The two vortexes discussed in the article can be accessed on the bike trail that connects Pittsburgh via Confluence, Pa., with Washington, D.C. via Cumberland, Md.

Alan and I waited until the hot, humid days had passed so we could enjoy the experience, and then drove out from Pittsburgh to the Markelton trail head. Last Sunday was a gorgeous, bright day, and we made the most of it as we pedalled along the trail, over a former railroad bridge, and then located the path down to the Casselman River.

Massive rocks faced the river, and we tripped out onto them to savor the first vortex. (A vortex is a place of high energy on the earth, a place of natural beauty, and a special healing spot where one feels more alive.) I don't know about you, but I can always use a jump start, so this sounded great to me.

We weren't disappointed, and both of us felt an energizing effect, especially as the river cascaded through many rocks, before it wound by more sedately past our rock perches. We meditated separately, when I noted a hawk circling not too high above Alan, then it wheeled off, calling "kree." Best of all, we ate lunch on the rocks; no vortex is complete without a sandwich or two.

We didn't visit the Fort Hill vortex, as it was a ride downhill from the trail and we were vortexed out by then. But we stopped on the second bridge and gazed way down below at the river, rocks, and trees. Such a panoramic view, with no houses, cars, or billboards. We also saw only a handful of other bikers. Right before our bridge stop, I spooked our second hawk that flew up from beside the trail and perched in a nearby tree watching us. (I'm big on hawks--always makes my day.)

For the next day or two, I felt especially good and excited about our day trip. So of course when we booked a short vacation this week, I remarked on the recurring theme of vortexes. We'll visit Sedona, Arizone, in a few weeks where the grandmas and grandaddies of all vortexes lie waiting to energize the fortunate. My daughter and I visited there four years ago and the experience was awesome, also fodder for another blog.

So what does all this have to do with writing? These spiritual experiences fuel my writing and send my mind where it needs to go. Writers need life experiences and direction. Plus my day job as healer/massage therapist figures in here, for the healer needs to be healed, too.

I'm sure you all have experienced vortexes, too. Where are the places in nature you find powerful? Where do you feel more alive? Have you recently visited Pittsburgh's vortex or heard where it is?


Annette said...

For me, standing on the shore of Lake Erie at Presque Isle as I let the water lap at my feet is the most soothing, meditative place I know.

It may not be "nature," but the most powerful location energywise that I've experienced was the cemetery at Gettysburg. Standing there amidst those ghosts was an unforgetable experience for me and still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

Anonymous said...

Cathy, I went on the "vortex hike and bike ride" with the Point of Light group to Somerset County. The second bridge IS the second vortex, though I didn't see any easy way to get to the river from there, except bushwacking. I thought I might go out after there are a few less leaves (and snakes) and see if I can get down to the river.

Our leader said there were 3 vortices. For me the first was great, the second was awesome. The third didn't do anything for me, and, in my humble opinion, I'm not sure there's a vortex there at all. So it was interesting to hear you talk about only two.

If you and Alan are up for some bushwacking in the fall to find a vortex, I'm game!

P.S. I get a similar high driving highway 1 in California and boating along the Napali coast in Hanalei, Hawaii.

Joyce Tremel said...

Annette, I'm with you about Gettysburg. I've never seen a ghost there, but you can sure feel something, especially looking out over the field of Pickett's Charge. I get the same kind of feeling at the Flight 93 Memorial.

Anonymous said...

Cathy--You can call me the "original skeptic." All this talk of vortexes and such was so much hooey, IMHO. Then Jim and I visited friends, Darla and her husband, also Jim, in Sedona, where my Jim's quest for enlightenment came to naught, despite Darla's enthusiasm and support for his search. Anyway, while visiting an Indian ruin, we got separated; I was walking across an empty field toward the parking lot, where the 3 waited for me, when I apparently stepped into a vortex. Quite remarkable--an overwhelming calmness and lightness came over me, and I couldn't stop smiling. I felt separated from earch and from self. Darla, Jim and Jim knew immediately that something had happened to me. Now, whenever I get agitated, I think back upon that moment and relax. I still think crystals and Tarot and all that is still so much hocus pocus, so the skeptic in me lives on! But I'm going to have to retrace your steps; I actually was planning to riding the trail this weekend to check out the new tunnel. Even if I miss the vortex, that part of the trail is beautiful, isn't it?

Ramona said...

Because Louisiana could use some positive press this week....Across from Jackson Square in New Orleans is a walkway (the Moon Walk, named after the mayor) that leads down to the Mississippi. Standing there, you gaze over this incredibly massive, powerful river that is scary and energizing at the same time. It's not exactly beautiful, but it definitely is inspiring.

When I was in grade school, a geography teacher made us all close our eyes and pretend we were Hernando de Soto coming out of the woods and "discovering" this huge river. Never forgot that lesson.

Unknown said...

What an intriguing idea. I've certainly heard of vortexes but never purposely sought one out. I fill my soul at the tops of the mountains, near lakes and streams and mountain meadows. But I may just take a trip to Sedona myself. Sounds very interesting.

Anonymous said...

I agree that certain places have a sort of unexplainable energy to them. I felt it at the Flight 93 site, too, as well as at Ground Zero in NYC.

Anonymous said...

I agree about Lake Erie from Presque Isle. That lake energy is incredible--let's go. I didn't know about Gettysburg. Sounds like a wonderful setting for a mystery.

Obviously the person who led your bike hike wasn't the person who wrote the article in Point of Light. All my information is based on that. The second vortex is down by the river in Fort Hill. We could have ridden down on the road, but I was too pooped. We did a drive-by in the car via Fort Hill. You could stop down there and walk a short distance to access that vortex, and we want to do that sometime. We'd be glad to join you for a vortex search.

Ditto to you about Gettysburg. My stepson heard a story about the Flight 93 site from the caretakers there. They say funny things happen, like a knock on the door and no one there, and voices with no bodies. That doesn't surprise me with such a sudden tragedy and such trauma.

Your experience with Sedona is way cool. After I came back from there, I started meditating with crystals, especially twin crystals, which help you find your soulmate. In less than a year I'd found, lassoed, and hogtied Alan. I value my crystals.

What part of the trail will you be riding, Mike? I don't know about the new tunnel. These vortexes are near Markelton and Fort Hill, off the beaten path. I could give you better directions if you want. Anyway, any part of the path is gorgeous and uplifting, no matter where you are.

Your description gives me the shivers. How lovely.

Sedona is a very spiritual place to me as well as Hawaii. I'm sure you've experienced plenty of powerful places.

Ground zero must have very strange energy. Talk about destruction and sudden death.

Joyce Tremel said...

Cathy, the book I just finished writing takes place in Gettysburg. No ghosts or vortices, though.

Anonymous said...

One of the most awe-inspiring places in the country is Mt. St. Helens. Standing there looking at the vast emptiness left behind by the mountain's expolsion is an experience like no other. Then, if you look closely you can see the new signs of life that have emerged since that devasting day. It makes you realize just how insignificant we really are.

Anonymous said...

Cathy: The expedition I went on was the one they talked about at the end of the "Point of Light" article. Now I look at the map from the article, it does show road access to the second vortex. Sounds easier than bushwacking!

Mike: If you're riding the Casselman river trail, you can feel the vortices from the trail, but you get more of a charge if you sit by the river. Like Cathy says, you can't go far wrong, the whole place is beautiful. I've got to get up there when the leaves change, it must be spectacular!

Cindalee said...

I know this post is old, but am hoping you still see this. I am planning my first solo bike tour arriving in Pittsburgh on 9/10 in the morning. I will have through 9/25 to bike ending in DC.
My route will be primarily the GAP and C&O but also planning some excursions along the way.
Am interested to know more about the Pittsburgh vortex and others along these trails. Plus am wondering if you have ever biked from the trail to Gettysburg or Chambersburg.
If I can confirm that the Chambersburg Hospital from 1949 still exists, I would love to cycle past it as I was born there and I definitely want to cycle around Gettysburg.
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.