February 25, 2020

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A Yellowstone Hike

A recent project I was working on had me going through some of my pics of a past trip to Yellowstone a couple years back.  I’m always amazed that I can look at a picture and virtually relive that moment, that smell, the thoughts that passed through my mind the exact moment I experienced it.  A first look at a Yellowstone valley and how inviting it was, begging me to come walk through its trees.

The first Bison to captivate my mind, is this where perhaps 200 years ago an American Indian stood in this exact spot  and hunted the ancestors of this powerful animal. 

Walking through sage brush, stirring so many aromatic smells that reach my nose,  smells not found here in the Adirondacks, smells of a different environment, a different way of life, a different world of that I know.  Yes, I remember standing here, the Pronghorn watching me, crouching in the sage, I snap a quick picture and pull some leaves of the bush and place it in my camera bag to discover another day, to inhale the sweet smell and bring me back to this moment.  

I go on my way, there’s a ridge that needs to be climbed. Whether I make it to the top or not isn’t important to me, it’s the journey there that I crave, there’s so much to discover. 

Wolf tracks ! 

I look up and around to make sure I’m still alone, I realize for the first time in my life how minuscule I really am.  I remember the pure excitement when I found this perfect track, the power it represented, the solitude I felt at that moment yet the feeling of being the most alive I have felt. 

 My first Elk shed, has anyone else even ever gazed upon this exact antler?  I wasn’t on a trail and far from the road and my answer was no, no one else could have possibly seen this, no one else is bush whacking their way up this ridge.

  A  bull Elk stood in this exact spot high above the valley floor on this lonely ridge, yet so spiritual. We both shared a moment in time in a space so far far away from my every day life.  I feel as though I’ll always be connected to the animal that gave  this memory to me. Though I’ll never see him he’ll always be in my mind standing there on that cold lonely slope. 

 My goal was the Bighorn Sheep that were still 500 feet above me and a half mile down the top of the ridge but I took so much time exploring the way up that I don’t have enough time to make my destination.  I ‘m not sad, or mad or disappointed, today it was about the journey there, not what was at the end of my walk, but what was along the way.   I have the same feeling today looking out over the valley  through this picture that I had that moment I took it ………. It is truly great day to be alive!!

Make today a memory, Happy Tracking!!

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