Hiking in the Tetons
Getting up early to hike through the woods brings memories of the morning light as it casts long shadows down the mountains, brings fire to the aspen leaves and makes globes of dew gleam in the sun. Smells of pine needles, boggy creek grasses and tumbling water under rocky outcrops begin to fade in my mind, sooner than the sound of the wind through the trees. Clattering aspen leaves and rustling pines sprinkled over a deep, muffled mountain roar, the voice of the Tetons, writ small on the trail to Inspiration Point. We saw quite a few people, an international collection taking two forks of a several mile hike up the mountain. The only animal who made contact was a grouse, almost invisible until she stepped out onto a log and walked daintily by me, a gentle, lovely little being. Her trust and friendliness were surprising and she melted into the underbrush as quickly as she emerged when a young couple came up the trail.
It was good to work out on the mountain, not knowing what was around the next bend, wondering “am I there yet?” stalking the next nature shot. I was tired when I got to the bottom breathing deeply the clean, pungent air, knowing how long it had been since I went to the mountain and felt its strength. I hope it will be sooner than later the next time. It has been liberating to explore this new terrain, see the ancient movement of the earth over time and share a few moments with the animals who taught me much about tribe and community. A wonderful, if brief journey North and West.