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If Only the West Were Cheaper (I’d move there)

December 8, 2014

Its been a while. I haven’t had a lot to talk about that I thought would interest anyone else. I haven’t DONE anything (or so I’ve thought). Well, recently, I did something that I feel is worth sharing.

My first (and to date, only) hike in Washington State was amazing. Maybe it was because I was out in the greater outdoors for the first time in ages. Maybe it was the fresh, clean air. Maybe it was just being in the forest, on a mountain, feeling the old backbone of rock beneath my feet.

I’ve always loved the outdoors. I have photos from almost everywhere I’ve been. But I’ve always felt my photos have never conveyed what I felt at the moment I first saw the subject. That may be due to my short-comings as a photographer, but I like to believe it is because some things have to be experienced.

I knew that there would be something on this hike – it was impossible to feel so at peace in a place without finding something to represent it all.  Halfway up (down?) Mount Si, on the Talus Loop back down to the trailhead, I found such a thing. We hadn’t made it to the summit due to the amount of time we didn’t allow to reach it, but the different route we took to get back down was well worth the trip.

Slightly less steep than the main route, I was just wondering where the ‘talus’ of the Talus Loop was, when my lead companion stopped short slightly ahead of me. Paying careful attention to where I was putting my feet, I nearly bumped into her as she waved us on, saying “You have got to see this!” Her voice was filled with so much wonder, that I pulled up short and looked ahead.

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Hmm, I thought. Well here’s the talus – there was a great old rockslide in front of us. Not too intimidating once I took a closer look, as it was old and pretty much stable. Nothing to write home about. Then I turned my eyes outward, off the mountain and trail. And saw this.

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Perhaps the view from the summit would have been better somehow, because of the sense of achievement one feels from reaching a summit. But I’m convinced that nothing will beat this view for providing that certain thing that makes the effort worthwhile. This is what I came for, what I felt in amongst the trees.  This is what rocks and trees and water mean to me.

I can’t wait to go back and see more. And I’m so happy I had 3 tremendous people (yes, Winston, you are a people) with me to share it with. And even though I can’t afford to live there right now – I really need to make sure I visit it as often as I can.  For now, at least our Christmas tree makes the house smell like the woods.

 

 

 

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