autumn sun and morning star peak
The beauty of this alpine scene quickened my pulse a couple days ago when I was browsing through my Lightroom catalog (Lightroom is the computer software I use to organize my images). It’s not my best or favorite picture from this spot but it has that virtual reality quality for me and I can literally feel the warm autumn sun. I’m usually not very enthusiastic about repeating hikes too close together (though I make special exceptions, like Buckhorn Mountain in the Olympics twice last summer….the second time with a family member on vacation) but in this case I’ve decided i’ll visit up here again this year. After two tries, I finally was able to get up Vesper Peak last October. On my way down I took this south-facing picture at the foot of Vesper (which is at my back). The water here is the outlet of Vesper Lake. Morningstar Peak is in the distance. I LOVE the Mountain Loop area, I’d like to come back up here a few times over the course of summer and fall. It’s so close to home and the mountains up here just knock me out. Haha! Do you like that expression? A couple years ago Adam was always saying that. Papa, we’re going to the park? That really knocks me out!
I’m exceedingly knocked out to put last week behind us. The nadir was Oliver Fern’s horrifying fall halfway down the stairs on Thursday night after Adam got careless and left the gate at the top of the stairs unlatched for a few minutes (normally Adam is very trustworthy about the gate, it was just an honest mistake). Miraculously, so far we’ve only found a faint, dime-sized bruise in the middle of Oliver’s back. At the time, there was no indication of a head injury. It was a traumatic event for everyone in the family. Oliver screamed for about ten minutes steady, it had less to do with the fall and more with how upset everyone else was. I was moaning like hell and running through the house with him in my arms. Diana was chasing me, crying. Adam was sitting on the sofa, crying. Lucy was hiding under the table with her tail down. All I can say is thank you for slippery pajamas and baby fat. I went through several stages of anger with Diana that night because she was upstairs with the boys and I felt she should’ve been far more careful. I knew I was getting into ever-so-slippery butthole territory, but the whole week prior I’d literally been harping about how alone I felt in the battle to make the house safer for Oliver (the primary objects of stress being regular household objects and Adam’s small toys). I felt like one of my nightmares had come true in far too prophetic fashion. After a few hours we came to a silent truce, we were both in such shock over what happened that we went to bed without talking to each other. Maybe I got a little comeuppance the next day when I walked into the kitchen and found Oliver drinking from a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon he’d pulled out of the recycle bin on the floor. I wiped away the scarlet dribble from his chin, I’m sure he got less than a drop. I never really did get around to telling anyone what happened. No more glass or cans in the recycle bin, though. That’s the new rule.
At any rate, various other miscellaneous trials tried us and we barely squeaked into the weekend with crutches and black eyes. I’d been looking forward to shooting (photography, not guns) in the woods on Sunday with an acquaintance of mine, but it fell through when i stayed up too late the night before talking to a friend in some trouble, the result being I couldn’t function safely at 3:30 AM the next morning and a more merciful departure-time clearly wasn’t negotiable with the other party. It sort of felt the way the rest of the week had gone and I went back to bed disappointed but resigned. I think it may have worked out for the best, though. I had some time that afternoon to contemplate my journeys for the coming year. I found this picture from Vesper Peak and i was filled with an immense sense of relief for some reason. So as you can imagine, yes indeed, it was a strange deflating stretch of days (that had started so high last week when we found out Adam got into Stevens) that I’m glad to be at the end of. Obviously, it could be much worse compared to the rest of the world as I’m reminded daily by the headlines. Much worse. So in our own little Madison Valley universe, healing took place on Sunday night when we took the boys to Gas Works Park and had fish n’ chips on kite hill, for dinner. Some art students nearby hurriedly sketched Adam as he rolled down the hill over and over and over. He itched so bad from the grass we had to give him a hot bath as soon as we got home. Ah, normalcy!