Saturday, September 22, 2012

just a stop along the way

I’m home for a brief cameo which gives me an opportunity to write a few words, share a few photos and kick it old-school with all the comforts of home.  This past month on the trail has been a mixture of nearly every adjective you can conjure up!  There have been moments of complete frustration, blissful joy, scary rutting elk, dead elk, laugh-out-loud feet fumbles, exciting presentations for my current book, happy evenings shared with salt-of-the-earth people and sketchy shale-trail ramblings.  Someday I hope to elaborate with short stories of each experience, because they all, are worthy in their own right.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Writing this guidebook deserves a companion book of ‘how it’s done’ shenanigans.  In the meantime, here are a few highlights of this past month:

* Appearing as a guest on the Bob River’s Radio Show
* Locking my keys in my truck, 11 miles out on a 4x4 dirt road in the middle of nowhere and having to activate my SPOT messenger which informed my husband that his Friday night was about to get exciting
* Book signings, presentations and banquets
* Watching a mother mountain goat, head-butt her baby in the rear to get it to keep up with the pack, while it protested.
* Walking on sketchy shale and scree near Mt. Aix
* Driving hours only to find trails and roads closed due to wildfires
* Getting kicked off trails due to thunder and lightening storms
* Meeting a group of 25 backcountry fire fighters, dousing a 3-acre wildfire near Mt. Adams.
* Passing two guys and a horse carrying out a huge elk carcass- head, antlers and all
* Having my eyes,throat and lungs burn from spending time in poor air quality
* Watching the sunset in layers over the Cascades
* Hiking to the soundtrack of bugling elk, then looking them in their wild eyes
* Sipping chocolate milk on the top of Tumac Mountain in the middle of bright fall colors
* Discussing forest politics with a sooty grouse hen
* Tripping on a rock and flying hiney-over-tea-kettle into a clump of blueberry bushes (nothing to see here folks)
* Finding a very strange clump of clothing and the remains of a campsite and reporting it to the forest service. (Trust me, I didn’t investigate too closely).
* Watching summer hand her torch to fall
* Learning that this universe, is so much larger than I ever expected and being grateful I am a part.

Mt. Adams in a haze of smoke
The brave firefighters in the backcountry 
Jug Lake
Mt. Aix
Nelson Ridge
Shellrock Lake
Twin Sisters Lakes
Big Twin (Sisters) Lakes 

Autumn has arrived!


Uncontrolled fire SW of Goat Peak

Bright red sunset in smoky haze

Marine layer from above

Tucking in Mt Rainier

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