Centered

I apologize for my metaphors and vagueness over the past couple months but I wanted to focus on my journey through life and how my adventures mold them. I don’t want to focus on the who and what but the overall big picture. Dealing with deep emotional feelings and how friends and adventure can help overcome life’s difficulties.

This weekend I became centered. This is a set of short blogs (ramblings) that I did with my iPhone when I had a chance. Enjoy the photos 🙂

I spent the weekend up in the Tobacco Root Range with my friends. Our main goal was the  Curly Lake Highline trail.

This is the first time I have spent time there and I soon fell in love with it. It was a good place. A beautiful place. A place of healing. A place that puts things in perspective.

Saturday Morning, 6 a.m.

I cant sleep. I have been  up for an hour now and I have Seattle on my mind. I left my place of slumber for a walk outside in the crisp mountain air. The creek is rushing behind me. Rushing it’s way out of the 10,000 foot mountains that surround me. The silver moon is just enough light to illuminate the landscape.

My mind drifts to Seattle and my need to come to a understanding about my relationship with it. I know I will not permanently move to Seattle but do I continue to commit myself to it’s future? Do I try and step back to leave it as it was, a beautiful place that I could visit  … or not. To step back means to turn my back on it for a while until it just becomes another city again.

I can’t continue to stand here under the big dipper and look west. It’s not fair to myself and others.

Of course Seattle is just a metaphor for a person who lives there but it symbolizes the very thing that separates us.   It’s distance away and it’s established existence from where I stand. Under the stars in Big Sky Country.

Sunday Morning, 6 a.m.

Once again I am up early. Once again the Big Dipper is off my left shoulder. The creek is the prevalent sound and the 44 degree temperature bites into my fingers as I type this out with my thumbs on my iPhone. This time I feel much better and at the same time a little ragged from a weekend of mountain biking, campfires, and contemplation by the creek.

Yesterday’ ride on the Curley Lake Trail was the most spiritual and mental clearing ride I have ever taken. It is also the best loop I have ever ridden. This one ranks up there with the Fisher Creek Ride near Stanley Idaho.

After the ride the food was good. The Double Haul even better. The pivotal moment of the weekend happened by the stream as I relaxed. I was alone with the sounds of the creek clearing my mind and the visual stimulation of rushing, tumbling water soothing my soul. My mind was drifting to the two things that was ripping at my heart like scavengers do to a new carcass.

In the end I realized that I  am helpless against the forces of life and that the best course of action would be to just let go. Let go and stop feeling like I somehow have any power to control things. Like my friend Lucy says, “let go or be dragged”.

I released and drifted off. Thinking back to the ride earlier in the day. It started off climbing up this beautiful fall colored valley and continued to climb through diverse terrain. Much like the last couple months it had moments of beauty and moments of fun ripping downhill. Downhill which is fun but always a little chaotic.

I rode up and over high mountain passes that resembled my late summer highs. Being in such high places gives a person a different and sometimes overwhelming perspective.

It was beautiful and I fell in love with this place high in the Tobacco Root Mountains. In the last 10 plus years I have come to believe that I was not capable of love but the last few months have taught me otherwise.

I sat there by the creek almost nodding off now when a fury creature brushed up against my side. It was Sadie my friends dog. She looked into my startled eyes and re assured me that she understood. I hugged her and thought back to my last dog Marcy who next week I honor in the RMVQ.

My mind returns to the day’s ride. I climbed to 10,000 feet and stood looking out over the twenty other ten thousand foot peaks.  I have never been to 10,000 in my life until this year. I reflected upon my last stint at high altitude and new friends that I was with. “I wish you were here”, I whispered into the wind.

Sadie left my side and returned to the group at the campfire as I stayed, alone, and I drifted back to today’s ride. When I rode off the top of the mountain I was not aware that I was about to ride some of the best single track of my life. Through open alpine tundra and around scary switchbacks on the side of scree strewn cliffs. Twisty wooded trails and by numerous waterfalls. It was more then I could ever dream of in a trail.

The water rushing downstream refocused me to the present and as the consistent sound kept me in the moment I realized that from this weekend forward I could be in store for some of the best times in life. Just as today’s ride turned out.

I got up and returned to the group sitting around the campfire. Ready for a future that may hold some more of my greatest experiences. I am ready to let go and let life take it’s course. It will most likely turn out more then I expected.

Sunday Evening 1 p.m.

I was running in my new shoes and they were terrific.  I rounded switchbacks and stammered up climbs. I ran down and then up. Continuing up until I suddenly became aware that I had to be back at the trail head to get a ride back to my car. My friends and I climbed to an alpine lake. On the way back I felt I needed to run. Alone.

I ran back to the trailhead and then up Lost Cabin Trail. I lost track of time. I thought about what I had to do before the day ended. I had to pack and drive back home to Missoula. But that is not all. I needed to let someone know that I was stepping back and centering. Instead of obsessing over the things I can not change I need to let go. Let go of someone.

I stopped running and just stood there. I breathed deep and took in the forest which seemed to be giving me advice. I turned and ran back down the trail to catch my ride.

Now at my car I begin my journey homeward.  I have things to do.

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