dangling for dear life off the back of a two-door honda civic in the dark at 35 miles per hour down a bumpy dirt road after earlier in the evening watching a bear forage for blueberries

I found myself stranded at sunset high in the Cascades last night on a misty mountain road and did the only thing I could do……start walking. A couple miles later I stumbled upon a slightly dazed man and woman drinking beer and smoking by the edge of the road in the dusk while their babies cried in the backseat of their tiny car. There was clearly no room in the Inn and I didn’t bother asking for a ride. I chatted with them for a few minutes mainly for the purpose of putting them at ease, they were obviously jittery at this strapping, hairy ape of a man who’d materialized out of the night. But they caught up with me a few minutes later and offered me a ride in their Honda Civic’s trunk, which given the circumstances was like being offered a ride in a stretch limo with a hot tub and Swedish masseuse. The next five miles were the most terrifying car ride I’ve had in a while, I was really caught off-guard by how fast the guy was driving. I had the option of whooping for a stop but decided the imminent danger of tumbling out, being bashed in the head by the bouncing trunk lid and having rocks fly up and hit me in the face were a far more attractive alternative than walking in the dark for hours with a forest full of wild animals and possibly a few meth addicts tucked away here and there. By how gingerly he slowed down each time we arrived at a pothole, I figured he was only finely buzzed and not past the point of serious, major concern.  I fought with a 30 gallon ice chest all the way down the mountainside but I was so scared- my grip on the trunk lid was like adamantium grapple hooks. I’m filing this under really, really stupid things I’ve done and wouldn’t repeat if I had a second chance. When we reached the end of the forest service road at Red Bridge I could barely walk because both of my feet had fallen asleep after my legs were pinched so hard against the trunk lid but I gratefully proffered them the few bills I had in my wallet I was so happy to be stranded in the dark 5 miles further down the mountainside.

I took this picture earlier in the evening at one of the Cutthroat Lakes on the Walt Bailey Trail, I was astounded by the seemingly infinite number of tarns and ponds in this area. Unlike the rest of the sunny Cascades on Sunday, this area was inexplicably socked in by local clouds and fog. That worked to my advantage for some good shooting. I’m standing on the west shore of one of the bigger Cutthroat Lakes- It was certainly dreary in this basin but I severely underexposed here to get the effect I wanted. There are other possibilities for this exposure (the sky is a brilliant blue) but I like this b/w at the moment.

One thought on “dangling for dear life off the back of a two-door honda civic in the dark at 35 miles per hour down a bumpy dirt road after earlier in the evening watching a bear forage for blueberries

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