South Sister Summit – 10,358′
Trailhead – Devil’s Lake
Total Distance – 12.5 miles out and back
Elevation Gain – 5000′
I climbed South Sister recently. Climbed is not the most accurate word for it though; it’s more of a strenuous hike. The whole trip turned out to be a throwback to last year when I was oh so free and acted like it. I camped near the plateau at the base of the mountain and rambled about the moment and about life in general. Wanting to spice things up and maybe even freak myself out a bit, I threw down an edible and took it all in . It helped to focus my thoughts on learning about my new Sony a6000 mirrorless camera and put me to sleep soon after . The next day, I summited in 3 hours and relaxed above 10,000 feet for the first time this year. Making my way back to the truck took another 3 hours, and allowed time for feelings of joy and accomplishment.
How wonderful life is if lived in the moment.
Here I am writing at the base of the mountain. The wind, the colors of the sky, the air, the dirt…all are present. A lone deer crosses the plain in the distance, too far for my camera to capture. Instead, I’ll just look at it walk.
There is nothing to bother, nothing to worry, nothing to disturb the soul. Around here, everything just is. And I am a part of it.
It seems there is a sound to silence. One that can only be heard if present. It’s a kind of white noise that becomes louder the more it’s heard. Deafening. I try to listen to its meditation but a bird cracks a twig above me. It’s lost for now.
The dark closes in and I lean closer to the paper. My eyes squint and open their lens for light. I’m fighting it, racing through the ink. And then. There is no more. The darkness wins and I am reminded just how small a person is in the cycle. There is no escaping the cycle.