Watching the River Flow

On our first walk along the river, we come upon an elk, feeding about 8 paces from our trail.

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I’m looking at that picture, and I cannot believe we took it. Today, here. Reality can feel very surreal when you’re not used to it.

Day 21: Sunday 12th June 2011. Real life car Top Trumps on the freeway, after big huge bagel and coffee with Eric, who helps us to the Hertz Ranch where we mount up. Route 66 steers our course towards snow capped mountains, across oceans of grass and then through small holding farms to port and starboard. (oops! metaphor overload!) Our lodge is just far enough from the tourist town. We wonder when is a walk due, but instead settle on a swing chair by a rushing mountain stream. Above us white mists are consumed by yet higher clouds in the azure ceiling. Up here we’re watching the cloud factory, assembling vehicles of refreshment ready for dispatch to the dry low-grounders waiting below. We can sit by the river for hours. A John Denver song buzzes my brain from time to time, but I try to concentrate, and recall the correct protocol on meeting a bear, was it something to do with Nike shoes?

Night is heavy despite our clear moonshadows, the darkness is thicker than the weak pale darkness of cities. I’m reminded of Warren LaVille’s story of hunting. He camps in the road where the trees are visible only in silhouette. Looking up, he sees the heavens framed in an arborescent absence of stars.

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