Touching the Void

I can hear cars go by with a swooshing sound. It is raining here in Missoula Montana and there is not much light. This is perfect weather for depression. I don’t feel that though. I feel different. Not exactly happy but not necessarily full of doom either. There is a void in some parallel universe and it feels like I am on the edge of it peering into its chasm of darkness. In short … making a transition. Make the leap? Or just stand here, stuck? The Chasm is deep and what if I fall?

First I must ask the reader to stop and ask themselves that if they want to continue reading they should do it at their own risk. A risk of wasting time and just plain confusion. This blog is very abstract and rambles on. I suggest you just check out the photos.

Just last weekend I noticed things were starting to seem differently. What I previously knew to be fun and enjoyable was a “little off”. It is almost like I wondered off path without knowing it. Suddenly realizing that I don’t recognize my surroundings. I did a couple hikes and although fun there was this void. There are alternatives to making the leap when such a void appears. One can always return to where they left the path and find comfort again in that it all is familiar. But when was the last time I have done that?

The fall season has been extra eventful and so I consider that my capacity to have fun has filled up. Maybe I have interfaced with too many good people? Is there a limit to all of this. Have I reached the capacity for good times and must jump to a place with higher capacity. Like when your computer runs out of disk space. This idea is mostly ridiculous.

I was hiking at Snow Bowl with some friends and everything was absolutely outstanding. Good friends, great views. As we reached the apex of our journey we stopped for a snack brake in the snow hut on top of a lift. I had passed some remnants of tracks previously set by two adventurers when I felt the parallel universe make its appearance and of course the void in between. Something new and exciting happened up here I thought to myself. I joined the crew in the hut.

We talked about the summer and all the good times we have all had. We had snacks and prepared to leave. I opened the door to the wood stove to toss in some paper. There were two cups in there.  Someone was here previously. I felt the existence of something again. What was taking place across the void? Was the void just time? I longed to jump to join that other adventure but it didn’t feel right.  The other existence had been there and long gone. Still though … I wanted to be there. I decided to stick it out with my friends and we started to descend to our cars.

We descended and talked. All seemed normal but I was still thinking of what I had just discovered. I confided in my wise friend Ed.

“Isn’t it funny how things turn out”, I muttered.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, that there seems to be parallel universes or slices of time. Different seasons I guess. When we bike this trail we never see the rock cliffs but now it all seems different and a new kind of beauty surrounds us.”

Ed looks at me for a moment while I continue, “Like how come so many like minded people end up in Missoula Montana?”

We continue down the trail. We stop and I posed for a photo. I try to make it look like I am running. There I am frozen in a posture of a man running but it all looks fake. I feel kind of funny about my pose and wonder if we do this in life sometimes. Put ourselves in a situation that seems like what we want but ends up funny, forced, and ridiculous. I look down to the faded bike tracks in the snow and felt the void, the change in time, the new perspective. I wanted to try and bridge over to that exciting place. But would I land in a place where I felt funny, forced, or ridiculous? Would I even land? I shutter as the sweat now chills my body.

This is what happened up at Snow Bowl one day and now I sit here across the void of time and realize that this blog is really rambling on. Maybe I should post a warning near the beginning … or did I … I cant remember. I feel the ground shutter. I need to continue though and explore this thought. Or maybe just need to ramble some more so I can add more photos to the blog.  I just returned from lunch. As I walked across the parking lot I notice that the mountains are gone. It is foggy and raining. It is cold and damp. This isn’t Missoula weather. Its more like Juneau. Even now that parallel universe is present.  And the void between the existences have been crossed by others. I wonder about their courage and what it took to jump. Was it meant to be? Are they at home today? Did they bring some of that universe along with them? Life seems funny sometimes.  What was that shutter?

Ed walks a little way and I can tell he is thinking about what I said (in case you don’t know, we are back at Snow Bowl).

“Talk about another universe, just look out there”, he gestures to the inversion that has filled into the valley.

“This is what Lake Missoula looked like back in the ice ages.”

He is right. This entire valley was once filled in with water. The Hellgate Canyon was frozen solid and all the water dammed up behind it. I am no history buff but this is what I gleaned from a TV show once. If I were to jump the large void of time to that other place I would be on dry land. But where I live down below would be submersed under 300 feet of water. Ice cold deadly water. I shivered again.

“I need to share something with you Ed”, I said as I hiked down a trail that mountain bikers know as Beargrass Highway. My words come out jittery as I bumble down the scree strewn path.


“I actually have been here before”, I let my words tumble out of my mouth as I started to formulize an idea of what to say.

“Well yea, mountain biking…”

“NO! Not that. I mean we were here doing this very thing. I have actually come here by jumping a void, a test jump as you will. I come from the future, a place where a parallel universe has started to cause major conflicts with my existence.”

Just as Ed’s expression was changing to pure disbelief (probably thought I was doing shrooms) the ground shuttered.

“What the ….”, he proclaimed.

I realized that by jumping this void to go back in time I had created some kind of weird condition. I became scared and tried to continue.

“I needed to come back to the beginning of when I first noticed that something was off but now it seems …”

The ground cracked open and the rocks shattered. Large chunks thrust upward much like … much like … Yes. I know. Much like Borah Peak did when that earthquake hit.

“We are having a earthquake”, Ed yelled and just barely grabbed a upward thrusting rock to avoid being swallowed up by the void.

Sometimes when I blog I just start typing. They become journeys and I never know where they will end up. Blogs can be so powerful don’t you think? But they help us to go back. To figure things out. See where changes in life started to happen. Last weekends hike I realized that things are now different for me and I just needed a way to put it all down for analysis. I have become aware of things other then training and racing all the time. Come to find out there is this other universe that has been paralleling mine for quite some time. Now it is close to crashing into mine. However, I am trusting that if I just stick to my passions  I will not have to jump far.

In the end Ed survived but to this day thinks I am from another planet.

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