stopping with eyes wide openthe Weather Report

MY SONG SINGING

I spent this past week in Norfolk VA attending the annual North American Cartographic & Information Society #nacis meeting. I was there with the help & generosity of several individuals. My presentation & talk ‘But What About the Place’ should eventually find its way online should you be interested. It is not easy to sing your song as an artist when it runs perpendicular to the nature of maps and mapping but I did and am happy to have done so. This is my practice after all.



Morning breakfast and talk preparation at Cure, right around the corner from where I was staying

I put my feet firm on the earth and with clarity and determination sung my voice and spoke from my heart


Ten Percent Tithe the two matrix print on Missoula County Plat Book pages that I distributed to conference attendees


Conference closing dinner. A wonderful gathering of map makers, friends and maps.

The looming presence of power and violence; Wisconsin 64

I was not impressed, I was disturbed. . . the largest Navy base in the world


My poster-map contribution to the conference; “Put Earth First” and “Because Loving Her, Tithe


A visit to the local Art Museum; Felipe Jesus Consalvos’s “The American System”

A visit to the local Art Museum; South African Ubuhle Women ”Beading From The Soul

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SIXTY-NINE TRIPS

I set off late in the day for a climb up Mount Sentinel. Birth Day practice now for many years. Wind, weather and a steep climb to the top and back. So good to be alive. This makes sixty-nine rides around the sun, turning dancing and returning back.



Steps down to the river trail.

Stopping and writing just above the “M”.

Looking upstream through Helgate Canyon. Just above the high water mark of Glacial Lake Missoula.



Mount Sentinel looking out over the Missoula valley, sunset September 28th.

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WHOLLY GRATUITOUS

A crisp autumn morning, just 35˚F but blue and beautiful along the river. I got the okay from the doctor yesterday to start running again and so I did just that this morning. Dancing along the river trail, up and down the side hill and then off-trail on the way back on the single track. New shoes to soften the landing . . . I feel so grateful that I am still doing this. And approaching my 69th trip around the sun next week. The Equinox arrives this Saturday evening; days and nights equal and the cold means the cat is sleeping close in between us all night long.



“So I think about the valley. And it occurs to me more and more that everything I have seen is wholly gratuitous. The giant water bug’s predations, the frog’s croak, the tree with the lights in it are not in any real sense necessary per se to the world or to its creator. Nor am I. The creation in the first place, being itself, is the only necessity, for which I would die, and I shall. The point about that being, as I know it here and see it, is that, as I think about it, it accumulates in my mind as an extravagance of minutiae. The sheer fringe and network of detail assumes primary importance. That there are so many details seems to be the most important and visible fact about the creation. If you can’t see the forest for the trees, then look at the trees; when you’ve looked at enough trees, you’ve seen a forest, you’ve got it. If the world is gratuitous, then the fringe of a goldfish’s fin is a million times more so. The first question—the one crucial one—of the creation of the universe and the existence of something as a sign and an affront to nothing, is a blank one. I can’t think about it. So it is to the fringe of that question that I affix my attention, the fringe of the fish’s fin, the intricacy of the world’s spotted and speckled detail.”

Annie Dillard : from “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

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A BUMP ON THE TRAIL

A lot of miles on trails. A lot of running over boulders and skree fields. And a tree root that didn’t move out of the way of my foot. A stress fracture on the ball of the left foot.


Sore Feet

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I GO FOR A RUN IN THE BOB

RATBOB or ‘Run Across the Bob’ is/was a two day run through the Bob Marshall Wilderness AreaThe wilderness, along with the adjoining Scapegoat and Great Bear wildernesses, make up the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex … all three wildernesses total 1,535,352 acres.” The complex straddles the continental divide and appears on my new edition “The Way Across” that is currently on display at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Montana. I was at once humbled, excited, sore and among the company of wonderful support persons, superb trail runners old and mostly young, male and female, and some dogs (not a big fan). I had anticipated retracing parts of my 1971 hike with Dave but this didn’t happen as we went north from Black Bear and did not go through Gorge Creek . . . and from Holland Lake we took the stock trail to Upper Holland Lake (which was frozen over & we walked across) because of the snow at the end of June then crossed into the Bob via Pendant Pass. Later that night a mountain lion followed us in the shadows along the river until we made camp.

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Circa 1971 on the long hike. Traveling much lighter now !
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RATBOB 2018: Napa Point Trail Head to Gorge Creek Camp (via Sunburst Lake) to Holland Lake Camp.
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Making our way to Sunburst Lake.
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Swim and Lunch at Sunburst Lake.
IMG_9308Sunburst Lake reminded me a lot of Avalanche Lake in Glacier N.P.
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The 2016 burn along Gorge Creek at the end of the days run.
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Gorge Creek.
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Tired feet at the end of the day.
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Gorge Creek Camp. . . dinner and stories.
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Night in the Bob, a full moon about to rise.
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Elevation gain to Holland Lookout !
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Holland Lookout. Downhill to the Lake and end of RATBOB2018.

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DANCING

Beaverhead Ultra-marathon run along the continental divide between Idaho and Montana. A twice now, in a life, dancing adventure that is stunningly challenging, difficult, beautiful and …. What a joyful experience; but a very difficult one to reach. To get an idea of what this course is like watch the video The Beaverhead Endurance Runs.


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Distance: 34 miles. Ascent/Descent: 5,900 ft/8,900 ft. Elevation: 10,047 ft, 5,500 ft, 8,500 ft. Terrain: 65% single track, 23% double track, 12% boulder/skree.

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The race starts at Lemhi Pass (12 miles east of Tendoy ID on Agency Creek Rd, 52 miles south west of Dillon MT on Lemhi Pass Rd). The course from the start to mile 18 is on the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT). The CDT is on or very near the Continental Divide from the start to mile 18. The length of Continental Divide covered in this event also represents the boarder between Idaho and Montana. At mile 18, runners will leave the official CDT for the remainder of the course, but will continue along the true Continental Divide boarder. FYI, at mile 18 the CDT dips into Montana then turns parallel to the Continental Divide in-order to divert away from a section of hard to navigate terrain consisting of high mountains, skree, and cliffs. We as masochistic trial running RD’s think you should experience some of the beautiful skree fields but not the cliffs, so we will drop off the Continental Divide at mile 23 and descend into the head waters of Bohannon Creek and onto the finish line.

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EVERYTHING GOOD IS COSTLY

A long run this morning. 2,000ft elevation gain/loss and 13 miles on mostly single track trails. Despite drinking water I lost almost 5 lbs during the run; it’s hot today. I was tired, legs and body, by the time I got down to the river trail.

“Everything good is costly, and the development of the personality is one of the most costly of all things. It will cost you your innocence, your illusions, your certainty.”

C. J. Jung

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On the climb up, pausing in the forest.

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On Top, above the “M” on Mount Sentinel

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It was already getting hot at 8am.

IMG_9140 - 2018-07-06 at 08-48-54_wmTired feet on top, touching the earth. Joy, deLight and Gratitude.

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THE DAY IS GOOD

Out for an early morning run on Global Running Day #globalrunningday . . . flowers, sky, earth, birds, deLight of being alive and breathing hard. The day is good, really good.

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GATHERING TOGETHER

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Freshly Green and a Local Dinner (Msla Grain & Veg)

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Trail Running Gathering at Marshall Mountain (Runners Edge and Run Wild Missoula)

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THE OPTIONS

In other news worth noting . . . writing in the journal Science, Guy Midgley of Stellenbosch University in South Africa warned that the options for humanity are becoming severely restricted. . .”Habitat loss may soon mean half the world’s insects, and many plants and animals as well, could find themselves without their familiar home ranges.

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We’re going the wrong way.
Human race is just 0.01% of all life but has destroyed over 80% of wild mammals

“Humans depend on plants, insects and other animals to deliver water quality, soil conservation, flood prevention, crop pollination and natural pest control. All this is now threatened, not just by the clearing of forests and the growth of the cities, but by the profligate use of fossil fuels which release greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, to drive global warming. Researchers know, through a detailed study of the geological past, what higher concentrations of carbon dioxide can do to global climate . . . There is way too much debate about the issue of climate change and whether or not it is real. What we really need to be doing is debating how we solve this problem . . . Those very high CO2 concentrations could well change the ecosystems of the world irrevocably. If we increase CO2 to over a thousand parts per million, over the next fifty to sixty years, which we are quite capable of doing if we fail to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, we could literally move the world back 20 to 30 million years in the space of a century. It is like moving ecosystems backwards in time at the speed of light.”

Professor Guy Midgley | Climate News Network

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WHERE ARE YOU GOING ?

I cannot begin to address the near complete dysfunction of the airline industry. Spending the night with the cleaners on the hard floor at Gate B95 in Denver.

Cat: Where are you going?
Alice: Which way should I go?
Cat: That depends on where you are going.
Alice: I don’t know.
Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


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Moving up in the world of air travel // stopping

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EARTH DAY

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First stop above the “M” before crossing the face of Mount Sentinel to the Pengelly Ridge climb.

Dancing on the hills, this morning a 12+ mile 2,100’ climb up Pengelly Ridge to Mount Sentinel and then down a very icy snow packed covered Smokejumper trail to the river corridor and back. What a joy, a deLight, breathing hard, legs tired, softly touching earth I wore the Sokra/moccasin shoes.

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Pausing on the climb up the ridge to Mount Sentinel.

The 1200’ ascent up the exposed Pengelly Ridge is the most challenging for me. I have to walk sections of the climb. I was reminded that today is Earth Day and that 48 years ago while a student at Oberlin College I invited Gary Snyder to speak for the first Earth Day, introducing him before I set off for Canada later that year. Those years we had such hope and held such vision for a “future to be possible.” A future not bleak or dark like the oil-gas-coporate dominated agenda today. . .but one where the #EarthToo is held in high regard, in reverence and in respect.

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The climb up Pengelly Ridge.

On the way I pass a startled deer, chickadees, buttercups and later on icy snow in the shadows. After the climb up the ridge and before you get to Mount Sentinel (which is actually lower that the ridge top) you pass through a quiet forest grove. I go slow here and listen to the pines and grasses and wind. . . and Gary Snyders poem dances past in the shadows.

Piute Creek

One granite ridge
A tree, would be enough
Or even a rock, a small creek,
A bark shred in a pool.
Hill beyond hill, folded and twisted   
Tough trees crammed
In thin stone fractures
A huge moon on it all, is too much.   
The mind wanders. A million
Summers, night air still and the rocks   
Warm.   Sky over endless mountains.   
All the junk that goes with being human   
Drops away, hard rock wavers
Even the heavy present seems to fail   
This bubble of a heart.
Words and books
Like a small creek off a high ledge   
Gone in the dry air.

A clear, attentive mind
Has no meaning but that
Which sees is truly seen.
No one loves rock, yet we are here.   
Night chills. A flick
In the moonlight
Slips into Juniper shadow:
Back there unseen
Cold proud eyes
Of Cougar or Coyote
Watch me rise and go.

©Gary Snyder, "Piute Creek" from Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems.

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Mount Sentinel above the Missoula Valley and just above the lake shores of Glacial Lake Missoua.

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THE PRESS OF MY FOOT

This past four weeks has seen that not-yet-spring | no-longer-winter weather come and go across the intermountain west. A high of 58˚F, low of 21˚F with a mean just below 40˚F day & night. The relative humidity has been about 74% more or less but that should change with daylight now more than 13½ hours. The trails are soft and muddy in places this time of year. It’s a new moon today. When was the last time your naked feet touched the earth ‽

“The press of my foot to the earth springs a hundred affections.”

Walt Whitman

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NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR STRAVA TIME

SPRING INTO GOOD OPEN SPACE CONSERVATION LANDS PRACTICES

1. Be prepared for mud! Walkers/Runners - go through it down the center of the trail. This ensures our trails aren’t expanding and eroding conservation lands. Bikers – stay off muddy trails. Bikes leave ruts in the mud that will be there all season. Don’t want to get muddy – go in the morning when the ground is more solid or hit a trail in one of our parks
2. Be a responsible dog owner – spring means snow melt and lots of “presents” appear from the winter. Pick it up, toss it out. Bags on the side of the trail won’t walk themselves to the trash and are you really going to pick it up later?
3. Have awesome trail etiquette – hikers/runners and uphill traffic always have the right of way.

REALLY NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR STRAVA TIME BUT YOU.
Be aware – take an earbud out if you’re recreating with music. Look up, be alert, recreate in control, be kind, high five people on the trail. Our open space lands are our shared resource.

Missoula Parks & Recreation Open Space

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Missoula, Montana Open Space Lands

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TO THE FULLEST

Once again, I made Run Wild Missoula’s 1200 Mile Club, running more than 1500 miles last year.

“People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they'll go to any length to live longer. But don't think that's the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you're going to while away the years, it's far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive then in a fog, and I believe running helps you to do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that's the essence of running, and a metaphor for life — and for me. . . I believe many runners would agree”

Haruki Murakami | What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

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My favorite shoes, moccasins, to touch the earth gently underfoot.

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Spring of 1968 48.9 440yds.

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Summer 2013 Lake Superior 50M Ultra.

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Autumn 2014 Blue Mountain 30K.

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TO BE ALIVE

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”

Alan Watts

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BEING GRATEFUL DOES NOT MEAN

I managed not to slip and fall today; making a challenging 9 mile loop around town, up into the north hills and along the river corridor. But winter running means cleats, keeping a watchful eye and a slower pace. Meena the Cat seems to be professional couch cat these days. I’m grateful for many things and many people these days; especially my wonderful wife, the cat, my feet . . . and a warm place to live and work.

“Being grateful does not mean that everything is necessarily good. It just means that you can accept it as a gift.”

Roy T. Bennett

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The bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™ . . .

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Winter walking & running is dancing of a sorts.

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We take a cat nap together.

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THE TREASURES THAT ARE HIDDEN


“So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”

Elizabeth Gilbert | Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

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Sunrise run along the ancient Glacier Lake Missoula shoreline above Missoula.

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SO THIS IS WINTER

This week is the Winter Solstice, longest nights of the year. And it is also the Fourth Sunday of Advent [Love] tomorrow. The Equation of Time is 4min 17sec fast. The 2018 Calendar from toMake™ is in the works. We found all this new snow this morning. Along the river, after a bit, mine were the only tracks beside the deer, the rabbits and other small peoples . . . quiet/hushed all the way out to the gate by the railroad tracks; a snowy eight miles. ‘So this is winter’ with the sun now rising at 8:15 MST and days 8hrs 32min. long. Just two more winter share markets, but then comes spring!


“So this is winter – and what remains of the world now that autumn has left us, gone underground with the once luminous grasses and the husks and seeds of all the left-behinds. This is the cold season. Learn to endure it.”

Laura Lush | “Winter,” The First Day of Winter


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RESTORING MY SOUL

I go for a run this morning; dancing and stopping and restoring my soul.


“Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul.”

Alice Walker


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SATURDAY

Saturday and in the early first light I go on an 8 mile run along the river stopping at the bend to watch the mist, I do the laundry, bring back a bounty of our ‘winter harvest’ vegetable share from the market, walk endlessly about with the cat on my shoulders in the afternoon sun, count the fallen leaves, pick a few remaining apples . . . YA) my life is burning with beauty.

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“Beauty is something that burns the hand when you touch it.”

Yukio Mishima | Forbidden Colors

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SUNDAY BESIDE THE CREEK

We took our Sunday walk along the Rattlesnake Creek and it was slow, quiet, enveloping, the present moment ours. We had to stop and said nothing or what we said was forgotten in the creek corridor being washed downstream with the leaves and the rocks and the wind. On the way back it was cold in the early evening shade, days are shorter now; less than 11 hours of daylight and growing shorter every day.

“We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas.” Alan Watts


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the Image Gallery is online

A lot has happened since I last posted to this blog… too much recount but in coming days I’ll try. I’ve made some images available for friends in several folders. They tell the story of several memorable events and trips. The image gallery is located here.

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July 8th I completed the Beaverhead 55K Ultra run; a 35 miles adventure along the continental divide between Idaho and Montana.

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August 21st I drove to the Mount Borah trailhead in the Lost Creek Valley of Idaho to experience the total eclipse of the sun.

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September 28th I hiked the 22 mile Dawson-Pitamaken loop in Glacier-Waterton NP for my 68th birthday.

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October 6-7-8 we delighted in the wedding celebration of our son Nate and now daughter-in-law Ursula.


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Again, the Song

A sunrise run in the north hills. YA) what places my feet take me. Again, the song. Shirt off but then the weather comes; cool and a light wind. Stopping, stepping, stillness into this wonderment of a day. I always try to go too far ….

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“Always go too far, because that’s where you’ll find the truth.”

Albert Camus

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YA) the river

Monday, after Easter, I journey east with Meena the Cat, along that blue highway 200 and stop again along the Flathead River. For only a short time, put feet on the soft earth and walk off the highway down a small path overlooking the river. And for a moment everything stops and I stop and enter the place itSELF. YA) and all this disturbance, all that is unsettled and set in motion … is just. I move downstream with the river.

Flathead River April 17 2017
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Sunrise Dance

For the past six years to get to the Easter Sunday sunrise service I have used my wonderful feet dancing about upon the earth. I’ve had this practice running every day during lent and ending with this six mile run, the last 2 miles of which is a long uphill. I leave at 5:30 and cross the Colville River before sunrise. This year under waters of a 100 year flooding in the valley. Early morning, it was just 20*F with fog in the hills and Venus rises, the waining gibbous moon setting, daylight & the earth turning, deer, silence. Everything in motion, turns, now.

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Crossing the Chewelah - Colville River Valley before sunrise Easter Sunday

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Crossing the flooded Colville River sunrise Easter Sunday

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stopping; again

Driving west on the blue highway 200, Missoula to Chewelah for Ash Wednesday services, I stop’d, again, along the Flathead River nearby the Perma bridge to Hot Springs. The snow was wet walking down to the point and a strong, fierce wind was blowing upstream. I could hear the waters’ living surface dancing and leaping. I had just one slide of 5by7 in. film in the bag. I took 5 second exposures, one upstream and one down with the #65 camera. Back in Chewelah I read off the max/min temperatures for the past couple of weeks; low 6℉ - high 52℉ … spring is here. Still reading Thomas Merton.

"My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone." Thomas Merton from Thoughts in Solitude

Flathead River


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laundry day

Laundry Day. Hanging the sheets in the cold dry winter blue sky sun warmer day. Meena the Cat asleep in the sun. I am wondering if I have a voice, what I can do, what difference I can make in this world

“There is no difference between the Divine and the one who desires to see the Divine.” Papaji


still going strong after all these years


Meena the Cat

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