My feet have never looked so bad, my backpack has never been so dirty and my legs have never felt so strong. There were times when I doubted this goal was obtainable, then complete joy when I realized it was. There were times when I felt lonely (up with a twist of isolation) mile after quiet mile. There were times, deep in the forest, when my shoe’s laces broke, when a crown popped out of my mouth, when I struggled to find the trail through brambles of berries which cut up my legs, and when my inner peace was disturbed with the shot of adrenaline caused by flapping birds. Then, there were the times where I sat in subalpine scenery listening to ravens clack and call above me, watching mountain goats graze in green meadows below, with views all the way to the heavens. Or when I questioned my ability to put into words the serenity of sitting completely alone, in perfect stillness, by an alpine lake surrounded by jagged snow capped mountains.
This has been a journey of seasons, of inner strength, of education, of gumption, and stamina. It’s solidified my choice of freelance writing; a perfect career move. I’ve reached out and embraced fall, while still stuck in the wispy-cloud moments of summer. This experience has stuck to my soul like sap on a trekking pole. As it comes to a close, I’ve come to realize, it’s simply, who I’ve become.
|the beautiful shores of Little Cougar Lake|
|goodnight Mt. Rainier, goodnight creatures|
who are blessed to live under your powerful shoulders
|I knew there would be cows. Yes, I knew, but I went anyway.|
I'd been down this road before.
|And met this cowboy, who was rounding them up. Suddenly I wasn't afraid.|
Tex had my back. Mama's DO let your babies....
|They were, however, standing on the trail. But these weren't vindictive|
and did not give me stink-eye.
|They starred at me from Conrad Meadows. Curious.|
|I left the cattle and wandered into Goat Rocks where I met this guy.|
|The very low Rimrock Lake|
|I bamboozled a hiker friend to join me on the Three Peaks Trail. |
Having a pulse within shouting range was oh...so refreshing.
|To eat or not to eat? There's only one way you know if |
you've eaten a bad mushroom.
|the "lady of the flies"|
|Big bull in the fading light. Long lens, big tree|