“Those roads provided breath-taking views. There’s something special about an empty road going on and on and on to the horizon where the sun burns the world away into a dancing, shmmering heat haze that reflects the crystal blue sky, literally blurring the line between heaven and earth.”
― Dave Gorman
—Mark Patterson, @Expherience (via kushandwizdom)
The haze was thick. Obscuring our views of Lake Pend Orielle and the surrounding mountain ranges. As a result of fires in Washington, Northern Idaho and the surrounding Montana area were plagued with a blanket of white fog.
Initially I was immensely disappointed. Typically, when I’m hiking and exploring I live for the sweeping panoramic views. I focus on getting to the top and taking in the breath-taking expanses. However, I wouldn’t be doing that much on this trip.
With that said, I headed out with my uncle to hike around Schweitzer Mountain. What I didn’t realize was how the lack of long distance views would offer a literal shift in perspective.
As we hiked, I felt the smoky air in my chest and the dirt under my feet. I opened my eyes and observed the beauty of the trail. Fields of bear grass, indian paintbrush and lush wildflowers flourished around every corner. I noticed how a few hundred feet of elevation change and the presence of a waterfall deeply affects the surrounding ecosystem.
In life and in outdoor pursuits it is a constant challenge to experience the present moment. I am always thinking about the top of the mountain, the next adventure, the weekend’s plans, the future.
So slow down, smell the wildflowers and enjoy the journey.
Sweeping valleys swallowed my pride
while loneliness stabbed at the bones I didn’t know I had
taking root, spreading through the confines
of the dark spaces,
I’ve been struggling to write about the last two months of travel- largely because there is everything and nothing to say.
A quote from Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino says, ” “Memory’s images, once they are fixed in words, are erased,” Polo said. “Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if I speak of it, or perhaps, speaking of other cities, I have already lost it, little by little.”
This holds great significance for me while reflecting on the experiences of this summer. There are so many moments I don’t want to forget. On one hand I feel I must write about them in order to preserve them, infinitely. On the other, writing about them seems like a disservice to the sort of events that bring you to tears. How do you put to words the feeling of living in such vivid colors?