Yes, I am on a much needed vacation. Away from work, out west in the Idaho/Wyoming corner. As I sit here, looking out the window into the darkened sky, I see fat white snowflakes in the headlights of passing cars on the road just outside of this wonderful Bed and Breakfast – The Fur and Feather Inn, just outside of Victor, Idaho. In the background is the Vice Presidential debate on the television. I have my headphones on, and am listening to several Rush albums on shuffle. As I start this post, the song “Tai Shan” is playing. My mind is drifting to that mountain in China that I am working towards climbing in the future. And my mind wanders to what I have seen over the last two days.
The first day was spent in Grand Teton National Park, and the second in Yellowstone. Today, Tuesday, was spent in Jackson, Wyoming doing lunch and some tourist shopping. Tomorrow is a return to what is sure to be a snowy Yellowstone. And the final day will be spent on a return to a snowy Grand Teton.
Yellowstone was interesting, and in many places downright awe inspiring. Old Faithful geyser, on the other hand, was not nearly the attraction that folks make it out to be. It certainly was interesting to watch. But in terms of beauty and awe – well, I was not as impressed as I was with the beauty of Grand Teton. Perhaps a lot of that has to do with the fact I love mountains. Regardless, the majestic beauty of the Grand Tetons, as the clouds rose over the top of them, and began to encase their heights in the misty curtains that would bring the start of snow….for me, that was a completely magickal moment.
At the visitor center for Grand Teton, I found that some of my connection with Crow comes from the Shoshone tribe. Tonight, while doing some quick research on the Shoshone tribe, I found that part of the Eastern Shoshone tribe eventually moved southward into Texas (forced by pressure and warfare from the Plains tribes), and became the Comanche. I happen to live in a part of Texas that was Comanche country at one time. My connection with Crow continues to become clearer and clearer, at least for me.
There was a point where I pulled the car over for this particular photo, and could just feel the moment. Theses clouds were the advance guard of those that are currently raining and snowing all over the region. Watching the clouds come over the top of these mountains, and then begging the ascent halfway down the slopes that I had just seen was a completely unbelievable moment. In a way, I felt I was watching a horror flick, where the man-eating mists descend upon the town, searching for the hapless victims that happen to be caught outdoors.
The smell of moisture was very real. I could smell the sweet, heavy scent of rain. A scent that I can not describe in any other way. I knew that moisture of some sort was on the way. And depending on the ambient temperature, it was going to be snow or rain.
My ancestry comes from the mountainous region of Germany. I have a severe love for the Rockie mountains. Glacier National Park has figured into many of my dreams. The pull of the “spiritual” pilgrimage of climbing Tai Shan is strong. I know that mountains are a part of who I am. Its only taken three days here for me to feel the change in how I feel. Yes, the statement does apply to me….
The mountains are calling, and I must go. –John Muir