Oregon High Desert

Camp Pasichigare:
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Ancient Ways has hosted 3-day to 2 weeks camp outs in the Oregon High Desert since 1993. These gatherings have taken place on a privately owned 275+ acre juniper and sage covered mountaintop in the center of Oregon. Known for years to rock hounds as an agate, jasper, and angel wing formation, now it is known as Camp Pasichigare.

Music, Nature and Relaxation

The campouts have been developed for families to join in community, and also for children on their own, to live self-sufficiently but inter-dependently with each other. Past family gatherings have drawn up to 90 Zimbabwean music lovers to the Oregon High Desert. Campers come from all over the west coast to participate in days and nights of music under the evening stars and the simple shade of juniper trees.

The Children’s Campouts have been created with a focus on nature and music. We spend our time learning about the spirit of the nature around us rather than the scientific identification of it. A week away from their family and living in nature always gives the children another perspective on marimba music, community responsibility, and desert camping, offering these children from 8 to 18 a memorable range of experiences.

Since Central Oregon is world famous for its semi-precious gem deposits, rock hounding is also a lazy afternoon pastime. Mountain biking, hiking, swimming at the reservoir, and night sky watching, all invite us to relax. Viewing eastern Oregon from the top of the rim rock brings into focus the world of big and little. The combination of all these elements help us to let time stop, expand our moment to include more than we know, and breathe.

Food, Water, and Weather

Extremes in weather, water availability, and food preparation challenge a camper to live close to the land. The weather has always varied, ranging from over 100-degree days to all day long rain showers, giving us a taste of true central Oregon summers. In the beginning everyone brought their own water. Water delivery became one of the first refinements to the annual camp structure. Food preparation occurred in individual camps and gradually has evolved into the communally built outdoor kitchen. Two years we had the blessing of Zimbabwean cuisine. In 1995 Mai Chi Maraire offered us catered meals followed by fireside ceremony and learning. In 1996 her sister Ruth Nemarundwe provided us with catered meals, sharing in a rim rock ceremony and her friendship. 35 people from around Oregon attended the Oregon High Desert 2001, with Cosmas Magaya and Beauler Dyoko as special guests from Zimbabwe, making available their generous teachings of mbira, singing and hosho. In 2002 Cosmas and Tsitsi Magaya and their family in America, spent time at The Land for some rest and relaxation and time away from business. Over the last 20 years various families have delighted in the awesome inner ‘bigness’ of this primitive high desert experience.

We always learn a lot about living together, and remember most clearly star-filled night skies, piercing silence, and the joy of hearing the sweet sounds of marimba and mbira against the backdrop of juniper and sage.

Interested?

If you want more information, or are interested in attending or helping to organize a camp out in the future, please e-mail bridges@ancient-ways.org.