Yellowstone Wolf Watching

I wrote this when Yellowstone's wolves were still a novelty and they were referenced with two-digit numbers. I am posting it today for a friend's birthday. Mike Five layers of warmth under my Gortex shell serve as an effective barrier against the wind and cold, snow impacts the small amount of skin I have exposed, … Continue reading Yellowstone Wolf Watching

Hermit Trail–Grand Canyon

Hermit Trail—Grand Canyon I can sense but not see their number. Night introduces them as individuals, complementing the quiet serenity accompanying me on this trail. They seem to be comfortable with the cool, dark air, enjoying their brief respite from a reality of too much sun and too little water. More come into view, morning … Continue reading Hermit Trail–Grand Canyon

Snake River Dam

My time here will be brief. Arriving before sunset, I will leave with receding light. The known and the unknown, the unrelenting perfection of the Tetons, the randomness of wildlife—it all combines to bring me here, to bring me back. Stopping, I gaze at a carefully constructed pile of twigs and sticks, their apparent random … Continue reading Snake River Dam

The Future of my Past

Pictures, photographs, images—words describing a dimensionally-limited medium, one that constrains our senses and reduces our world to a flat, motionless image. Yet, given the right tools, an artist can weave emotion and imagination into her work, an artist can replace time and distance with depth. With proper framing and lighting a frozen image can become … Continue reading The Future of my Past

Teton Sunset

Long before it bore its name, Earth began turning on its axis. The direction of spin must have been predetermined. Some higher being must have known that plates would move, rock would shift, mountains would lift, and water would flow. Emotionally, I cannot accept randomness as a cause. These mountains were placed here; this creek … Continue reading Teton Sunset

The Oxbow

A ripple--movement in my peripheral vision, a small wake defining a muskrat’s progress, its life defining a small portion of this river. I am absorbing, searching this limitless bend of the Snake, searching for its next gift. The oxbow is a stage, improvisational theatre, always pleasing, always unexpected. Her only requirement is patience. Scanning the … Continue reading The Oxbow

The Confluence

I want to be everywhere; I don’t want to leave anywhere. We are strangers. A confluence of diverse backgrounds, distant homes, variations in culture and different expectations, drawn together by the Yellowstone Institute—held together by the gravity of a common bond, a love of places wild. The narrow trail suggests solitude, focusing thought; not many … Continue reading The Confluence

Going to the Sun

“…those soft green leaves of the maple and the dogwood, are small, precious hints of the wild tapestry that once circled the earth, the patterns and paradigms that first breathed meaning into human existence. For many people those hints are what help transcend the tumult of daily living, they are the slim measure of miracle … Continue reading Going to the Sun

BEAUTY CREEK

90 MAXIMUM. The sign, posted in Kilometers, allows motorists to traverse Alberta's Icefields Parkway at approximately 55 miles per hour. This stretch of road, featuring rugged peaks, waterfalls, glaciers, lakes, and white water, defines the Canadian Rockies. Contributing to the magnificence, surrounded by dramatic peaks, is a depression in a wooded slope. A small creek … Continue reading BEAUTY CREEK

LAKE AGNES CHAPTER TWO

The trail is short, almost nonexistent; its lack of definition indicating the solitude offered by this nook in the Rockies. By walking on rocks when I can, the faint trail when I can’t, I avoid disturbing the meadow more than my presence requires. Time in this setting, time in similar settings allows me to recognize … Continue reading LAKE AGNES CHAPTER TWO

LAKE AGNES CHAPTER ONE

Few venture into this cirque, I have been alone on every visit. A not too distant headwall, a narrow valley and steep cliffs define the small glacier that once lived here; my walk through its legacy will take me to the headwall, to its birthplace. A cooling planet allowed snow to accumulate, compact into ice. … Continue reading LAKE AGNES CHAPTER ONE

Moraine Lake

My brief time on this planet, the perspective granted by my short life, moves the patience required for the birth of this lake beyond my imagination—in this instance, my understanding exceeds my imagination. Shaped by a mass of ice that bulldozed its way through this rock, perfected by the brush of more subtle erosive forces, … Continue reading Moraine Lake

Trail of the Cedars

Glacier is a hiking park, it is a place that overwhelms and envelopes anyone willing to wander from the road and expend the energy required to place one foot in front of another. Your feet become an afterthought, your eyes move you forward. Your senses control your pace as you surrender to the sculptured landscape … Continue reading Trail of the Cedars

SOUTH KAIBAB TRAIL

With each step, I am closer to the river, farther from the rim. The drumbeat of my feet marking my progress, my heartbeat not yet matching my pace. In their own way, each marking my progress through time. I’ve been here before, I’ve done this before, the rhythm is steady. The rising sun reveals diminishing … Continue reading SOUTH KAIBAB TRAIL

Phantom Ranch

The South Kaibab trail twinges in my calves, a gentle reminder of slope rather than distance. An active mind and the irregular cadence of an unknown snorer disrupt my sleep. Five bunk beds fill this small two room cabin; ten of us enduring close proximity, giving up privacy for the privilege of time at the … Continue reading Phantom Ranch

Moose in the Grand Canyon: Chapter Three

  His physical being has been reduced to ash; the weight of the loss is a far greater burden than the small portion I carry in my pack. My headlamp keeps me on the trail; the horizon will hide the sun for another hour. Dark skies are appropriate for the sorrow I feel, but my … Continue reading Moose in the Grand Canyon: Chapter Three

Moose in the Grand Canyon: Chapter Two

He had thought about this day, had walked this path in his mind; thought he knew what it would be like. Now he finds distance and depth eroding his imagination as the reality of the South Kaibab and Grand Canyon slowly reshapes the landscape of his mind. This man, who has motivated thousands from a … Continue reading Moose in the Grand Canyon: Chapter Two