Monday, September 5, 2011


Headlights glint on the sleek fur of the moose. It throws its tall rack up as Bailey pounds the gas and her little green car bucks out of reach of danger. Blood shivering in veins, we continue the journey to the peak, slipping around three-foot ruts and barely avoiding potholes. The sky is stars as we start a fire and unload our camping gear by the light of the flames. When the tent is up and the sleeping bags unrolled, we bundle in jackets and move slowly through the dark, toward the rocks. I find my favorite crevice and curl up to stare at the moonlit Palouse, at the lights of man below and of God above. Stars fall across the blackness like acorns bouncing from oak trees; the Milky Way is bright and the Big Dipper hangs behind me. We whisper and laugh, but we don't tell ghost stories--we'll be able to hear coyotes as we fall asleep tonight.

Morning slips through the trees, the sunlight like a secret. And before us stretches an entire day on my mountain: to hike and climb and eat roadside berries, to study and dance with bees and find mushrooms and build fires and to breathe, to breathe that fresh, clean mountain air.

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