“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”
Circa 1971 on the long hike. Traveling much lighter now !
RATBOB 2018: Napa Point Trail Head to Gorge Creek Camp (via Sunburst Lake) to Holland Lake Camp.
Making our way to Sunburst Lake.
Swim and Lunch at Sunburst Lake.
Sunburst Lake reminded me a lot of Avalanche Lake in Glacier N.P.
The 2016 burn along Gorge Creek at the end of the days run.
Tired feet at the end of the day.
Gorge Creek Camp. . . dinner and stories.
Night in the Bob, a full moon about to rise.
Elevation gain to Holland Lookout !
Holland Lookout. Downhill to the Lake and end of RATBOB2018.
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.
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.
“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
On the climb up, pausing in the forest.
On Top, above the “M” on Mount Sentinel
It was already getting hot at 8am.
Tired feet on top, touching the earth. Joy, deLight and Gratitude.
The past four weeks we have received 4.3 in. of rain. The river through town remains muddy, turbulent as it moves logs and rocks downstream and builds islands upstream . . . well above mean flow. We have had a high of 82˚F and a low of 36˚F. The cottonwood bloomed with the later second cresting of the river, sending their duff over the trails, and the hills are green.
On my run last week I came upon a recently fallen hawk. Still warm and breathing I carried it off the trail and laid it in a bed of grasses. I stopped and sat with it . . . then carefully folded its wings and left it to die in quiet, undisturbed I guess. Suddenly it opened its eyes, large yellow eyes and looked at me, opened its talons. I placed some flowers over it and said a prayer, the hawk had more lifetime left, cut short by a power line. But, not unlike Jefffers hawk, was asking my help to die off the trail, in peace and solitude.
The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,
The wing trails like a banner in defeat,
No more to use the sky forever but live with famine
And pain a few days: cat nor coyote
Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.
He stands under the oak-bush and waits
The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom
And flies in a dream, the dawns ruin it.
He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse.
The curs of the day come and torment him
At distance, no one but death the redeemer will humble that head,
The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes.
The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those
That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant.
You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him;
Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him;
Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying, remember him.
I'd sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk;
but the great redtail
Had nothing left but unable misery
From the bone too shattered for mending, the wing that trailed under his talons when he moved.
We had fed him six weeks, I gave him freedom,
He wandered over the foreland hill and returned in the evening, asking for death,
Not like a beggar, still eyed with the old
I gave him the lead gift in the twilight.
What fell was relaxed, Owl-downy, soft feminine feathers; but what
Soared: the fierce rush: the night-herons by the flooded river cried fear at its rising
Before it was quite unsheathed from reality.
Robinson Jeffers | The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers: Poetry 1903-1920, Prose, and Unpublished Writings
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a ride!’”
Hunter S. Thompson
“Photography, as we all know, is not real at all. It is an illusion of reality with which we create our private world”
YA) The River
Finishing the Blue Mountain 30K
“You can think of death bitterly or with resignation ... and take every possible measure to postpone it, … Or, more realistically, you can think of life as an interruption of an eternity of personal nonexistence, and seize it as a brief opportunity to observe and interact with the living, ever-surprising world around us.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mount Sentinel above the Missoula Valley and just above the lake shores of Glacial Lake Missoua.
Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay. Want more of everything ready-made. Be afraid to know your neighbors and to die. And you will have a window in your head. Not even your future will be a mystery any more. Your mind will be punched in a card and shut away in a little drawer. When they want you to buy something they will call you. When they want you to die for profit they will let you know. So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute. Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing. Take all that you have and be poor. Love someone who does not deserve it. Denounce the government and embrace the flag. Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands. Give your approval to all you cannot understand. Praise ignorance, for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed. Ask the questions that have no answers. Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias. Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant, that you will not live to harvest. Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold. Call that profit. Prophesy such returns. Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years. Listen to carrion — put your ear close, and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come. Expect the end of the world. Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts. So long as women do not go cheap for power, please women more than men. Ask yourself: Will this satisfy a woman satisfied to bear a child? Will this disturb the sleep of a woman near to giving birth? Go with your love to the fields. Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head in her lap. Swear allegiance to what is nighest your thoughts. As soon as the generals and the politicos can predict the motions of your mind, lose it. Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn’t go. Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection.
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, Montana Open Space Lands
“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
My favorite shoes, moccasins, to touch the earth gently underfoot.
Spring of 1968 48.9 440yds.
Summer 2013 Lake Superior 50M Ultra.
Autumn 2014 Blue Mountain 30K.
“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
The view from the east window into the canyon.
“You must accept the fact that others don’t see what you do.”
Crossing the River
Adding in Russell Street bridge is a possibility but the sidewalk there is narrow and close to fast traffic, still I might give it a try and make it six bridges and twelve crossings. I’ll have to redo the route plan not to backtrack across a bridge & cross each bridge from opposing directions. Here’s a possible plan:
“Being grateful does not mean that everything is necessarily good. It just means that you can accept it as a gift.”
Roy T. Bennett
The bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™ . . .
Winter walking & running is dancing of a sorts.
We take a cat nap together.
“We cannot live in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening. To use our own voice. To see our own light.”
Hildegard von Bingen l from Selected Writings
Christmas Shirts and Ties
“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
“Inside the river there is an unfinishable story and you are somewhere in it and it will never end until all ends.”
Mary Oliver | “What Can I Say,” Swan: Poems and Prose Poems
“Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul.”
“Beauty is something that burns the hand when you touch it.”
Yukio Mishima | Forbidden Colors
July 8th I completed the Beaverhead 55K Ultra run; a 35 miles adventure along the continental divide between Idaho and Montana.
August 21st I drove to the Mount Borah trailhead in the Lost Creek Valley of Idaho to experience the total eclipse of the sun.
September 28th I hiked the 22 mile Dawson-Pitamaken loop in Glacier-Waterton NP for my 68th birthday.
October 6-7-8 we delighted in the wedding celebration of our son Nate and now daughter-in-law Ursula.
“With one long breath, caught and held
in his chest, he fought his sadness over
his solitary life. Don’t cry, you idiot!
Live or die, but don’t poison everything . . .”
from an early draft of Herzog by Saul Bellow
“Always go too far, because that’s where you’ll find the truth.”
Crossing the Chewelah - Colville River Valley before sunrise Easter Sunday
Crossing the flooded Colville River sunrise Easter Sunday
Just a few more times to run in the valley. I made a nice circumambulation this morning, 7 miles and stop’d to watch the mists lifting effortlessly off the fields and dance away. Mid-sixties with little savings and no jobs we are nevertheless blessed with many strengths, even a nice studio space, and faith that the Joy and deLight and the miracle of life and beauty will cary us on.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein
“When spring comes, go to the flowers — why keep on sucking wax?” Antonio Machado
“Love one another or you perish . . . . We have reached a decisive point in human evolution, at which the only way forward is in the direction of a common passion, a ‘conspiration.’” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
“I and all beings are of the same essential value.” Zhuang Zhou
"There are crimes that no one would commit as an individual which he willingly and bravely commits when acting in the name of his society, because he has been (too easily) convinced that evil is entirely different when it is done 'for the common good.'" Thomas Merton
- alley life
- earth events
- meena the cat
- morning piece
- national park
- open space