Two hitches down, six to go: a brief summary in words and pictures.
Snow. High water. Run, River, Run. Can't cross that creek here. Nope, not there either. Turn around. Go home. Oh, hello black bear, hello grizzly. And bounding mink, all sleek and wet-furred with a limp mouse danging from that sharp little bite. Down your hole. Feed your kits. Happy Birthday, America! We salute you with sweat and beer, with volleyball and flying bean bags, with stars and stripes, with fires and guitars, and tents pitched in dewy fields. Camping with a ten-month-old baby can be quite fun. Fly little dandelion seed! But, Oh, Canada. Hey, look! Lake Janet still has icebergs floating in it! Let's jump in. So, um, refreshing. Hey Mr. Toad. Fat stuff. Howdy tailed-frogs creeping by backpacks. Nettles, why must you be so cruel? Thunderstorm. Shake, you silver snags, shake! Rustle you aspen leaves, bob and weave, jazz hands to the sun. Didn't you know that all the best rockstars wear long underwear? And safety goggles. And sometimes helmets, too. Sorry the camp stove doesn't work. Luckily I forgot dinner, anyway.
Mosquitoes, oh you foul beasts. You testers of sanity. You nighttime tormentors. Hey there bruise! Jump up on my shin. Join the party! Smile down on these sunny glacier lilies. Bursting blue lupines. Paintbrush. Bunchberry. Self-heal and shooting star. Aster and Ox-eye. Drink little hummingbird, drink. Laugh it up, loons. Nannies and billies and kids, fancy meeting you here, down by the river, off your craggy ledge. New larch needles, soft as feathers, feel good against cheeks. Water, water, everywhere. Snowy passes. Do the mountains know how beautiful they are? Cold marmots. Fuzzy-antlered elk. Seriously mosquitoes, we get it. You want to kill us. You too, nightjars, exploding up from the gravel, your wing lines flashing and glowing in the headlights.
Who says 1am isn't anything but a reasonable time to get home?
|A sleepy field|
|See ya, playa!|
|Sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures|
|We did it all for the data|
|Do fish recognize international borders?|
|Rock it, yea-eh. (Photo courtesy of M. Beall)|
|Preparing a whiskey-cider reward|
|The North Fork: Just another uncrossable river|
|One hidden lake on the way to another|
|I love my backyard|
|Slim silver sentinels|