Then there is that moment…
Stay with me here as this might get sentimental, but I’ll try not to get too sappy. All my life I have been an avid outdoorsman. I’ve spent a significant portion of my free time in the mountains. Most of you already know that. Over the years I’ve seen so many things I wish I could have captured on film. Truth be told, there are a few things I’m glad I have not frozen in time forever as I think everyone needs to have private moments that only they have witnessed.
My time in the west, specifically the Rockies, has given me enormous amounts of joy and fulfillment. I’m taking a journey with my muse and capturing these moments in time. Many of them good, some of them not so good and then there are those that stop time, cloak you in deafening silence and bask you in it’s true sincerity and warmth; one of those moments you almost feel ashamed to witness as it is so private and so unique that part of you feels you have not earned the right nor should you be allowed to be part of it.
Ding, Ding… Ding Ding…Ding Ding… ughhhh, mmmmpphh… uhh. 3 a.m. already. “Seriously babe!?!” I hear coming from the other pillow as I feel the covers being pulled from me. “Sorry sweetie”. “It’s OK, love you and be careful, take the bear spray.” OK, love you too, I’ll text you from the trailhead.” I pull myself from the warm soft bed, struggle to find something that resembles clothes and YELP!....wuff….crap, sorry Scout… “BABE really!!!” “…Sorry!”
Over the next few minutes I grab coffee, find my gear, load the truck and down the gravel road I go. 50 minutes go by and finally I am in town. I stop for more coffee and Gatorade. I gulp both as I drive through town and out the other side…another 20 minutes pass. Softly lit by the sliver of a moon, I see the mountain range begin to emerge. The road winds and to be honest, I’m guessing if I am even on the right track. I hastily laid out directions late last night - I’m going to a new place that a local Biologist recommended, but I’ve never been over here before. Finally, I see a faded sign that says what it’s supposed too. I take the path pointed out by the arrow, bump-bump goes the pickup and I climb my way up on a worn out road to the trailhead.
After a long, uncomfortably bumpy ride (mostly cause I gotta pee!) I’m at the trailhead and as planned, there is no sign of anyone else. I bailout, on goes the pack with the gear… Headlamp, GPS, binocs, water, snacks…..Ummm, what else, what else….ummm… just go, go… you’ve got a long all up hill trek… Off I go…
Time goes by and it’s dark. I hear stuff in the dark I should be skeptical of, but I ignore it. I push on… sweating now, a lot, the temperature said 28* at the trailhead, huh, I murmur to myself.
I finally break over the top. Morning is here, the world is beginning to take shape again. Wow, I say out loud, just wow… I refocus to the task at hand and see white spots amongst the rocks... has to be goats… off I go… I make my way to with in about 100 yards of where I think the spots were. Lighter now. I assume the prone position, cradling the big lens and body; a belly crawl over gravel, dirt, grass and rock.
Cradling the stuff works on and off, but I know the abuse the equipment is taking. I’m painfully aware every now and again. Maddening.
I glance up to see nothing but rock and above that, the horizon. They should be just over this next sheet of rock. I inch myself closer. I grab the tripod from the pack of gear I’ve been dragging. Spreading the tripod legs wide, I mount the big lens and body that feel like 100 lbs. I slowly push it into position and inch my way to the viewfinder. A wave of adrenalin washes over me, my breath is taken and I can hear my heart beating. Blood surges through me. This is a moment I’ve wanted for a long time. My mind races as I see 5 Goats placed neatly amongst the rocks. No sun up high on this side yet, I remind myself. Give it a few minutes, I think. Over the next 15 minutes, which felt like 5 hours, I calmly and ever so slowly ease myself into a shooting position so I can manipulate all the cameras functions with some resemblance of comfort. I glance up the cliffs just a bit. Here comes the sun, as I actually see it moving like a blanket of life over us. I peer again through the viewfinder.
The next moments of my life are a blur yet so vividly clear I could describe every second with the utmost clarity and detail. What I am looking at feels indescribably spectacular, tender and warm, yet so rare and so very private I am unsure if I deserve to bear witness. Nevertheless, here I am gazing upon a bond and a connection that only mothers’ truly identify... and I press the shutter release.
Fantastic picture...and a fantastic description of your moments! You make us (the readers) feel as if we were there with you.
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