East through a broadening valley,
Creeping aridity, falling humidity
It is the pumps now that bring the green
From the river nearby in this scene serene.
Downhill from Lone Fir Campground hard by a creek filled with snowmelt at 30 MPH. Payday for yesterday’s climb of 33 miles. Blew into Winthrop with barely the turn of the crank; a tourist town on the banks of the Methow River filled with mountain bikers and motorcyclists. Hot shower night for us with a cabin on the river and a break from Dave’s rice and lentils. This an easy day of recovery from the Washington Pass climb.
I remain haunted a bit by a scene I passed going up yesterday.
A viewing point, a pull over
In the distance, snow and lake
He sat on a rock, looking out
His clothes were slack now
He was bent, balding and his skin yellowish
She stood near, leaning in toward him,
Her hand on his head, smoothing his remaining hair
Disheveled at his collar;
Petting on him, looking into his face, talking.
Her body was young and taut
And spoke of a future,
Grandchildren for him, I imagined.
“Bring your kids here honey.”
“I’ve always loved these mountains.”
“I will, Dad, and I’ll tell them of this day.”
“I’ll tell them you brought me here.”
“We’ll camp and talk of you”;
Then a kiss on his forehead.
And we were all swallowed by our mountains.