12 November 2013

Insert John Muir Quote

The last few weeks of camp were, as expected, bittersweet. As one of the final hurrahs before departure we at long last made it down to Yosemite. It is as awe-inspiring and magnificent as promised. But even in November, to my annoyance (and yes, I am spoiled rotten), there were hundreds of people scurrying around the Valley floor like supplicants at the feet of their false idols. Lines of hikers plodded up and down the worn rockwork of the Yosemite Falls trail, and cars packed the scenic pull-outs and the Mariposa Grove parking lot.
But lord, was it beautiful
With that essential California experience checked off the list and the season over, I headed east. Halfway through Nevada, I was struck by a frightening and exhilarating revelation. Everything I owned was in my car and I had no obligations before or behind me. I could take any exit, go any direction, settle anywhere. I've never felt so untethered. But Victor seemed as good a place as any, and there was someone waiting for me there, so I stayed the course.

Then I made it into Idaho. The roads between Pocatello and Idaho Falls were long and lonely and it seemed like I could hear each slow breath of the great interior expanse of land. The sun set as I crossed through Swan Valley and over Pine Creek Pass, and my heart rose in anticipation. It's so different from California. Teton Valley reminds me of nothing so much as Etowah; a patchwork of farm plots, worked over by tractors and cows, latticed by dirt roads and creeks, ringed with trees, and grass (that rarest of commodities in Tahoe) everywhere. But then, unlike the countryside of WNC, the valley is buttressed by snow-choked mountain ranges: the Tetons, of course, but also the Snake River, the Big Hole, the Palisades, the Caribou.

The potential is overwhelming.

Who is this lucky asshole who got to see Half Dome and the Grand Teton in one week??