Thursday, June 23, 2011

Your Soul Is Alive

 I read somewhere recently that Wyoming has two different seasons - Winter and August 11.
For the past couple of days the weather has been very warm and it seems that Summer has come early to cowboy country.
I ran on BLM land the other evening and ended up cutting it short.
Too overheated and the entire time I was out there I was suddenly very aware of the fact that there is no shade on BLM land.
I have been running early in the morning instead, trying to get it in before the heat builds too much and before I effectively talk myself out of it completely.
But this morning I mountain biked with LC.
When I first met my Mountain Boy he had not been on a bicycle in many many years and while we were still in the "getting to know each other" phase I loaned him my road bike while I rode my mountain bike, and we rode on the roads surrounding the military base where I trained so often.
Somewhere in that first ride he remembered how much he used to like biking, and the next thing I knew he had gotten his hands on a mountain bike and we began riding together often.
We used to bike together frequently in Tennessee.
I could always outdo him in endurance and he could always outdo me on technical riding skills.
We got to know each other better as we weaved through technical single track and rode wide open double track and long stretches of rutted out horse trails and flat stretches of gravel jeep trails. 
Not too long after he started biking with me we did a 6 hour adventure race together down in Georgia on the hottest weekend of the year.
We finished mid-pack after swimming the last mile in full gear to the finish line when his legs were too shot to trek the rest of the way at the end of a long day.
There is an expensive headlamp laying on the bottom of that lake.
It slipped off my head during the swim and was long gone before I noticed.
We biked together this morning - not far because we have not biked together since we lived in Tennessee.
Not far - but good...........

Late this morning, after attending to some things that needed attending to in town, LC and I drove out to the Northfork.
Through Wapiti and part way to Yellowstone, stopping first at a quiet picnic area beside the very swollen Shoshone River.
When we first arrived in Cody the river was little more than a rocky stream.
Now, with temperatures finally reaching the mid-80's snow runoff from the mountains has turned this rocky stream into a swirling, boiling, deep and fast flowing river.
Pictures of the Buffalo Bill Reservoir on the way out to the Shoshone National Forest in the Northfork............
 There are very many campgrounds along the highway leading to Yellowstone and also very many picnic areas along side the river that winds its way alternately on both sides of the highway.
We pulled into one of the picnic areas and thankfully and surprisingly had the entire area to ourselves.
We have been reminded again recently just how glad we are to no longer be living in Alaska.
And have also been reminded recently that the mental regrouping we have experienced since arriving in Cody is tenuous.
We were both glad to be alone with each other today and glad that we had the picnic area to ourselves in this very beautiful and peaceful and quiet place.
It wasn't much of a picnic but baloney and cheese sandwiches, brownies and Diet Pepsi never tasted so good.
It even got the puppy seal-of-approval since James the mooch got part of the sandwiches and dessert as well............
 A very large picnic shelter, but we chose to eat at a table beside the river.
My Mountain Boy said it best today - the water was brown from the silt and runoff it was picking up as it traveled, it was cold and fast moving and uncontrolled.
But there was something very cathartic and relaxing and peaceful about this place.
It was a hot and sunny day, we were together with mountains around us and the river flowing beside us.
Life was OK................
 This place has come a long way from the Afghan-Pakistani Border Region look-alike that it was when we first moved here in mid-March.............
 Somehow Jamie seems to get her face into a good number of my pictures.
Most of the time I don't even notice until I download the pictures............
 After eating and taking some pictures and exploring for a good while a van with Kentucky tags pulled into the parking lot containing a mother with three young boys.
As LC and James and I continued to slowly wander around this very green and peaceful place, the young family unloaded the van, pulled the cooler over to a grassy area and the mother set up a lounge chair.
As she relaxed in the grass and in the sun the boys walked over to a piece of play equipment to do what young boys do.
It was a nice scene to watch.
But there was another side to this scene that was disconcerting.
From the outskirts of Cody onwards we had seen multiple signs along the highway, at the ranger station, at the entrances to campgrounds and picnic areas, that this was grizzly bear country.
The mother had a baseball cap covering her face as she relaxed in the sun, they had a cooler presumably filled with food,  there were bushes obscuring her view of the boys, and the kids were all happily playing hundreds of feet away on the monkey bars.
I watched this young family for a short while wondering if the messages about grizzly country had gotten through.
I think perhaps not.
We continued driving a few more miles down the highway, not yet quite ready to head for home............
 Clusters of bright yellow wildflowers covering hill after hill on the way further out the road............
 We stopped here a few months ago during our still-Winter explorations of the area.
It is a beautiful, isolated and always devoid of people place beside the river.
The last time we were here it was cold.  There was much snow in the mountains but the trails leading down to the river were muddy.
This pull off is only a few minutes from the highway and yet it feels like it is in the middle of nowhere.
Today it was filled with dry trails and fast river, lots of green and lots of yellow.............
 Soon to be moths...........
 As my Mountain Boy sat on a log at the top of the hill, I walked down to the river.
I stood looking out over this lovely and quiet place and was very happy to be standing there.
Very pleased that even in Summer, even during the tourist season that this region is now firmly entrenched in, we unexpectedly and wonderfully had this place to ourselves..............
 There are endless rock formations in this region that are hugely interesting...........
 Finally on the way home, we stopped one more time at this bridge.
As LC and Jamie walked the shore, I wandered up to the center of the bridge to take pictures of the churning river.............
 LC and James along the shore...........
 We made one last stop before reaching town at a small convenience store (actually the only convenience store) in Wapiti for ice-cream cones.
While I waited in the truck with mutt-dog this very sweet black lab walked over to the vehicle, looked up at me in his wonderful and friendly way, then sat down right beside the truck door.
Hello beautiful thing............
 If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.......Eleonora Duse

No comments:

Post a Comment