Awesome. Beautiful. Amazing. Gorgeous. All such over-used and inadequate words to describe such a pretty spot. This is exactly why I love working in the woods. Some days it's in-your-face, awe-inspiring beauty, other times it’s the tiniest, under-stated flower. But no two days are exactly the same. And even if I have to endure the mosquitoes (which I did) it still doesn’t dampen the effect. And even if I have to endure the mosquitoes and stack rocks (which I did) it is still an amazing place to work. And even if I had to endure the mosquitoes, stack rocks and deal with 80-90 degree weather (which I did) it still is better than any day I’ve worked in the office. And even if I had to endure the mosquitoes, stack rocks, deal with 80-90 degree weather and 78 people that can’t (or more accurately, choose not to) read three “Trail Closed” signs (which I did) the thundering water is still soothing to the soul.
Because at the end of the day, the mosquitoes will still be biting, but I’ll have a respectable rock wall, the sun will go down, and I'll get to sit in the cool of the evening under massive Douglas-firs, true firs, spruce and pines and smell the evening forest smells, and all of the people will go home and it’ll be quiet. And I can drive to the top of the mountain and watch the sun turn the clouds all shades of red, orange, pink, peach and rust. And I can listen to the thunder and lightening shaking the ground with their might and feel my pulse race a little at the thought that it could possibly hit that tree right there.
Undoubtedly, that’s my favorite part - the evening when my body is worn out from a hard day’s labor, driving through the woods when everyone else has gone home to watch TV or work on the computer or do whatever it is people do in the evening tucked indoors. I’m still out watching the way the light of the setting sun plays on the Cascade lilies and hellebore in the meadows, anticipating whether a bear will pop out of the snow brush that hugs the edge of the road, hoping to spot a heard of elk near a wallow across the draw.
As I was stacking rocks by the thundering water the other day Hubby had a profound statement. “It’s amazing that it just keeps flowing.” At first I kind of looked at him like, “Well, duh!” But the more I thought about it the more amazing it was. Little Man has this kids’ book from the 50’s that talks about where water comes from. It’s very repetitive, but the gist is that water can come from rain, snow or a spring, this flows into little brooks and little brooks flow together to big brooks and lots of brooks make a river. The Clearwater River isn’t very big by Oregon standards and yet it flows everyday. The big and little brooks feed it everyday. The springs and snow and rain feed those brooks everyday. Everyday it flows and doesn’t run out of water. I am awe-filled by the thought.
Happy Trails to you all.
p.s. If the sign says closed. That means you too.