Friday, September 20, 2019

Kaleidoscopic Collision

Good God, it's been a season of trial and error. Weird weeks abound, and I'm learning to combat a decrepit cynicism that aims to turn me into some kind of haggard witch of a human.

I planned to spend Labor Day weekend with my Dad at the park he's been hosting this summer in Oregon. That plan fell through, so instead we agreed to meet for a much needed hike at Rainier. Neither of us had done a single hike since we scaled High Rock in the end of June. Wow, what happened to July and August?!....

Some shots from that very lovely, albeit very crowded, trail:

High Rock tops out at 5,865 feet, and we both felt the gain from sea level in our lungs as we climbed the seemingly modest trail. An unmanned fire lookout balances at the top of the natural rock spire. With views of Rainier, Adams, Tatoosh, and St. Helens, it's truly a glorious peak. If you need a refresher as to my deep and abiding love for lookouts, click here: With Love From The Top

Back to Labor Day weekend, though. We started our journey early in the morning, meeting in Ashford and hopping into Dad's car to hike to Van Trump Park, a lesser known trail past the very popular Comet Falls. We struggled up, feeling vastly out of shape and in need of training before we venture back to Utah. The trail provided a host of fun and unexpected wildlife sightings. Parting a sea of constant cobwebs, we were very clearly the first to tread the path beyond the falls that morning. I had seen a slew of recent trip reports regarding bear activity in the park, but instead of a lumbering figure in an alpine meadow, we encountered the following: an absurdly fat and lazy marmot, a family of questionably friendly grouse, three mountain goats, and a plethora of burgeoning fungi. We completed the day with 7.5 miles and 2500ft of elevation gain. Had the clouds parted, we would have continued on to Mildred Peak, but it just didn't seem worth the push. Rainier showed herself for only a moment, long enough to snap some proof of Dad's first visit back to the park in two decades.

On the way home from Rainier, I totaled my car, along with someone else's. Stop and go traffic at 5pm on Labor Day Friday could be to blame, or my deeply distracted mind state; realistically some combination of the two. I didn't have collision insurance, a clear indication of where my finances were already at, so I won't be getting a dollar for my VW. Sayonara, sista..

I'm so lucky to have the support of key individuals in my life, making this disaster bearable. My best friend lent me his extra work van, but I returned from a long (and ARDUOUS) work conference last night only to discover that it needs some immediate work done. Fingers crossed that my bad car luck is hit with a cease and desist stat.

So much more has been going on in my personal life, but let me be clear. I'm really, really lucky to have walked away from this accident in one piece, feeling mostly in tact. Life is all about money moves right now, which I can't help but resent. I'm almost 32 years old, shouldn't I be more financially capable by now? And- does it even matter, if I can't take it with me when I go?

In the mean time, I've written down this quote from naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, and I keep it next to my bed to re-read every night. Powerful words to focus on:

"The essentials of a healthy and happy life...(are) ample relaxation, adequate change of occupation, and the means of enjoying the beauty and solace of nature on one hand, and art and literature on the other."

1 comment:

  1. Being a life-long cynic, I had to adopt two mantra quips.
    It could be worse.
    Fuck it-him-her-them.
    I still use one or both daily...
    During my working debt and bored, with a slower than shit time clock, I remember standing outside, watching with envy all the happy vacationers pass by on Highway 50, wondering if I would even live to enjoy a long vacation, let alone, retirement. In a blink, it happened. The only way I got through it was to fill nearly all my weekends with mountain/desert/wilderness trail time and exercise.


Comments Welcome