Friday, September 10, 2010

good for what ails me

Last year I won a raffle drawing for a "Flight over the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness" at the Selway-Bitterroot Foundation fundraiser. Actually, this was the second time in a row that I won it (I gave it away the first time since I was the one collecting money for the tickets that year). When I won it a second time I figured there was probably a reason I should keep it. (I designed the SBF website, by the way!) This past Friday my friend Lisa and I got flown into the Selway-Bitteroot Wilderness and hiked out, 25 or so miles, over a couple days.

Feeling oh so connected.

Being dwarfed by an old growth cedar forest, staring in amazment at an age old migration, listening to my own heartbeat, my own breaths, my own feet hitting the trail, carrying a pack that doesn't contain my child, gathering dirt in my shoes, taking photographs of the world around me, dipping my tired feet in a cold creek, studying Mother Nature's way, taking time look at the tiny things along the way, watching my dog run, and some uninterrupted time with a friend are all good for what ails me.
My trusty companion during the early morning car shuffle on Lost Horse Road to the Bear Creek TH, just South of Hamilton.
Bob Schumaker.  We were supposed to fly in a different plane, but the battery was dead so we got a more roomy model.

Lisa, Ellis, and Bob.....and my girl behind the back seat.
Leland - our pilot.
Just about to land at the Moose Creek Ranger Station.
Lisa had to bring in a special delivery for Ranger, Host and Crew.
And the trade out for a slice of freshly baked bread was a bonus.
Host Dee & Forest Ranger Anna
The mighty beautiful (and rattlesnake ridden) Selway River.
Skagit snug behind me on the trail so she doesn't scare up any snakes.
Ellis belly down in the cool mud.
Pack Bridge over Bear Creek near where it dumps into the Selway.
Bear Creek.
If you look closely you can see salmon and the salmon redds in Bear Creek in these amazing pools.

It is almost unfathomable to me that they swam all the way across Washington, all the way across Idaho...just shy of Montana. They were 12 miles from the pass (Montana border). We watched them in their spawning frenzy for what seemed to be over an hour.


My absolute favorite part of the trip are in the photos that follow: The cedar forest.
My girl is so beautiful I can't stand it.  She makes my heart beat to see her on the trail up in front of me...leading the way.
Every color in the rainbow could be found on this hike.
Mother Nature thought of everything!  Even a tasty treat for those walking along the trail.
Maidenhair Fern, and a wildflower I can't identify.  Do you know what it is?  Lower left:  Mother Nature reclaims!
Towards the end of the hike....near Bear Creek Pass and the Trailhead.
Shortly after this was taken Lisa and I each had a Cold Smoke that I had left in a cooler in the car.  It was ice cold and tasted great... at first.  Of course, it promptly went to my head and came back up at the end of the long car ride down the twisty road.

The dogs were laid out in the sprawled out over the seat, the other lying on the floor...both with their heads still up to make sure they didn't miss anything, but both sets of eyes closed.

The only part of the trip that wasn't so pleasant was the amount of knapweed along the Selway and the lower part of Bear Creek.  My ankles to my knees were bloodied and itchy for days.

Astrid watches next to zero T.V., but occasionally we go to Sesame Street online to find some entertaining clips.  These are kinda sweet.  We like them.  Plus, they are sort of appropriate to my post!

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