King Of The Mountain / Ollie - VER
Queen Of The Sky / Emma
Ollie was only 2 ½ months old the first time he witnessed the mystery of the mountain. With an extremely nervous and most likely FOOLISH Father, Ollie was able to cling to his Papa’s chest one year ago and summit to the top of the 2nd highest mountain in the Wasatch Range. After returning home from our accent that beautiful summer’s day I had my doubts that Ollie would see her (Mt. Timpanogos) over the next several years. He was slowly putting on weight and by the time the season would arrive I was positive that he would be too heavy for me to carry to the top.
Machu Picchu / Emma
Emma returned home from her Peruvian adventure and service with a beautifully driven and vibrant outlook on goals and life. There was a bright light beaming from her pupils that illuminated the MTN upon her arrival. One night after tending the garden and finishing the days work she turned to me with a schemish smile. “Let’s hike Timp together.” I stood there, staring, wondering if I had heard what I THOUGHT I had. Could this be? Was this an honest offer? Had my hearing failed me? “You want to hike Timp!?” I responded shortly after. “Yes…Let’s do it.” This was an incredible thing to hear from my lover’s mouth. At the tender age of 16 she had summited to the top of this gorgeous mountain with a high school group of friends. The hike was long, rigorous, torturous even, and she vowed to never hike the mountain again. Every spring I ask her to join me in my summit to the top, and every year I get a resounding “NO”, and so to hear an actual offer to be joined by her to the top was something I thought I’d never hear. We made a plan to hike it in a week and half, before the sun became to bold and a bit after some of the winter’s mist had melted from the ridges that lined the unruly landscape. Tuesday, June 24th, the date had been set. Monday, the 23rd quickly arrived and preparations were in order. We packed the bags with sandwiches and Lara bars, water bottles and dried goats milk. Weather and mood permitting, Ollie would see the top of the great mistress once again.
“Buzz…..buzz….buzz.” 4:45 AM and it was time to get up. Eggs, toast, coffee and the car was quickly loaded. Ollie was pulled from his sound slumber and with little effort placed in his car seat. Not too much was said from our driveway to the trailhead. Maybe it was the fatigue, the lack of sleep, or MAYBE it was the mental exhaustion that came from the thought of hiking 7 miles up the side of a mountain, I really can’t be too sure. We placed our apparently sleepily little man in his hiking backpack and started up trail that would eventually lead us to the top of the range. Within the first mile Ollie was extremely unimpressed with the adventure upon which we had embarked that early Tuesday morning. After 30 minutes of constant screaming I began to wonder if it was possible to make it to the top with any shred of sanity left. Soon thereafter he began to calm down and the hike started to become painfully beautiful. The scenery through which one passes on the trail is some of the finest that I have ever had the privilege of being in. A different face / flower / foliage at every turn. From forest to meadow to snow and rock.
Father / Son / Peace.
We made it up and over the first “point”. I believe they call it “The Meadow”, the sun was stealthily hiding behind the cover of pouty clouds, shedding a soft light over the mountain. We stopped and got out our sandwiches and let Ollie run his hands through the dirt, much to my surprise he seemed content for having had to ride in a saddle-style backpack for the past 3 hours and took his bottle with much anticipation. We knew that we still had a mighty distance to go and so we didn’t dally too long in the meadow. As we made it up the side of the mountain that leads to the area known as “The Saddle” (which is most likely due to the fact that it is the lowest, most saddle-like section of the ridge), which overlooks the entire valley, there was a very steep patch of snow, and the only way to make it to the saddle, not to mention the summit, was to cross this part of the trail. I looked at the area and analyzed my options. 1) Turn around and head back down the mountain. 2) Cross the patch of snow and hike to the summit. 3) Try crossing the patch of snow and slide down the side of the mountain to costly hospital bills or death. Now, I had my baby boy strapped to my back, and what I would deem to be a sharp sense of what I can and can NOT do. I put my foot on the skinny, 12-13 inch wide trail of icy snow and decided that I would be able to cross the section without any problems. The patch was maybe 25 meters long and at about half way, with my lover behind me, I deemed my decision to be a foolish and absent-minded one. The footpath was much to skinny to turn around and I felt it safer to proceed than to try and turn around
. All three of us made it across the patch, but I sincerely regretted coming across. What would I have done had I slipped? I could’ve easily caused harm to not only myself but to my son, and/or my lover, all for the silly pursuit of triumph.
Mother & Child / Top Of The WORLD
Above the Saddle / Emma
Meadow Lark / Emma
As we approached the saddle and looked over the other side that faces the west side of the mountain I stood in amazement of the smallness that I felt, the insignificance that penetrated my body. It is humbling / beautiful and real, that feeling of lightness that comes with realizing your microscopic being is such a small piece to the giant puzzle of existence. Oh, the magic of that sentiment. From the saddle the hiker is about a mile from the top. At this point my back/shoulders were really feeling the weight of my baby boy, but we were determined to make it to the top. I had done it once before when he was younger, and there was very little that would have the power to stop me from reaching the top. We faced the wind and up we went, higher and higher until there was nothing left to climb. I felt invincible, and exhausted. I looked at my lover and my boy and felt overwhelmed for my life with them.
We had made it to the top of the world in 4 hours, and it wouldn’t be for another 3 before we were back to the bottom. The experience drew me closer to my boy, to my lover and to my inner workings. Life and Love in the greatness of the mountains is incomparable to anything I have experienced.
Yeah, I Love Her / Kissin In Heaven