Walking Through the Bob, Waiting Patiently for Winter
The hills burn in color, autumn becoming a dying season. Reds have mutated into burgundy and purple. What were once glowing, golden yellow leaves whither into a shade of mustard. Perhaps a dijon, with brown speckles spattered about.
The Bob Marshall Wilderness was remote and fulfilling. A six-day stretch in the woods is enough time for a hiker to get far away from society and removed from the noise. Seeing one or two people a day allows the mind to rest and wander. Enjoying quiet miles, I listen for critters and airplanes.
Every step north takes me further into winter. Walking into the future as the cold weather settles in around me. Each day darker than the last. With less sun comes less green. Less daylight leads to less life in the trees and plants, and we all nervously await the first freeze of the season. Over every mountain pass the gradient of color slowly got darker. Each step up trail colder and more omniscient than the last.
The first snow was welcomed. A little too early but I knew it would be a matter of time. The second snow was prettier than the first but came with overgrown trail and thoroughly soaked feet within a few miles. The snow nestled upon the forest and silenced every movement. Noise soaking into moisture on the leaves and between blades of grass.
One of the great tragedies in life is that all things must come to an end. The yellow leaves fallen on the dirt remind me of this. As does the white fluffy stuff that settles upon the landscape. As do the burn areas scattered about the mountain side.
Everything is temporary: fear, pain, solitude, love, life. The warmth, cold, and everything in between. Even thru-hikes have to come to an end at some point. The trail is only so long and the sun won’t shine forever. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pursue these miracles of the world, but a mere reminder to enjoy them in the moment and to not take any of it for granted.
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