07 October 2014
Looking down the river from my sitting rock across the street from the house...
As I finished up with my obligations Saturday, noting it was havemanyintoxicants-thirty, all I could think was thank the gods and bodhisattvas the calendar had turned October. The weekend before, that last weekend in September, saw my love-with malicious intent-of crowds in its full flower. One of my volunteers even noticed. I told her come January, I'd be begging for such crazy, crowded days. January is when it is dark and quiet and cold and liner time stops working.
It is not January or even close...
The leaf-peepers are not as legion as they had been in the waning weeks of September. Some struggle to understand how our leaves could be past peak here, or how the winds could be as audacious as to strip many from the trees. There's still some color, lower and on south faces, but that, which draws the lookie-loos like locusts to crops, has faded. Now comes the time we catch our breath and get ready for winter.
Cornices begin to form on the stark and sheer tundra ridges. It was a warm day without wind, which is a rarity so high up. Even and especially this time of year. I relished the quiet and mild as I watched a group of three marmots sun themselves on a rock just below my vantage point. Sniffing the air, I wondered how many more times I'd be out here before the snow and avalanche danger barred my way for the next several months. I don't have an answer, so I cherish the time I've got.
It's not like there'll be nothing to do once the snow starts flying. Just the other day, Sabina and I came across several new-to-us ruins along some obscured side trails of the 730. This, of course, is just another facet of the magic of this place; wander the same roads for years, and make a different turn and there's something else to discover. Were I a romantic, I'd say it's like falling in love all over again. I don't have a romantic bone in my body, but it certainly reminds me that this is the place I need to be.