Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The call of the mountains

I sit and wait. High in the mountains, the snow still measured in feet, tries to melt to accommodate alpine sojourners for a short summer, hiking, backpacking, or fishing. My time is not yet, but soon. Soon I will be breathing faster in anticipation of once again being in the forest, among the cliffs, high in the Wasatch, Uinta, or any other mountain range I can get to. Already, I feel the pull of the timberline, and the call of the fresh air.
I don't have my new hiking shoes yet, but my old ones, still breathing--even more so with the extra holes that are working their way through the outer fabric--will still carry me up onto the wind-scoured peaks and ridges on trails likely used for millennia, first by wild animals, then later, by Native Americans, before finally becoming trails for throngs of people wanting, like me, to just get away and see some country--the high country.
Part of the Mt. Nebo trail
The view from Kings Peak is what it's all about
Eagles and hawks live here among the cliffs. Marmots, and pikas abound in the rocky scree. I long to watch the raptors circle the peaks, hoping for a tasty meal, perhaps of a pika or marmot. The freedom of flight is magnificent to watch.
And then, for me, there is God. When John Denver penned the words, "you can talk to God and listen to the casual reply" in his hit song, Rocky Mountain High,  he was without knowing it, penning the path of my life. So often I have poured my heart out to Him, when I'm in some far away, remote place.
Hiking in the off-season has its risk and rewards too.
This is an October hike to the Notch in the Uintas.
There is always danger in nature. If not to the rodents, to those who venture in. No one knows when something might happen that could keep them from returning home. A fall, lightning strikes, getting lost, bear attacks--those are all part of the risk of heading out into the wilds. They are part of the thrill. If you don't put yourself out there, you don't live a life--and I don't mean just in the outdoors.
So I await my next adventure. It is always calling me. This life is too short to ignore it. So get up. We're burnin' daylight.

Hawk on the Lone Peak Trail.

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