Thursday, July 12, 2007

Strange Moment of Time

Oft heyrist um ófreska menn að sál þeirra fari úr líkamanum. Það kemur ekki fyrir jökulinn. En næst þegar manni verður litið til, þá hefur líkaminn farið úr jöklinum og ekkert eftir nema sálin iklædd lofti. -Halldor Laxness

After our morning absolutions we consulted the local ranger as to hiking conditions in the area. She recommended "Heliotrope Ridge" a hike of about two hours, which would take us above the tree-line and into an alpine meadow, with Mount Baker looming above us and excellent views of the glacier. We drove up to the trail-head, and began our journey on a rickety bridge over a rushing stream, one of many we would cross, but this was the only one that could afford us a dry passage:

The day was quite warm (in the mid-eighties) and we were ascending at a rapid pace, when suddenly relief, in the form of a small waterfall, welcomed us in its cooling embrace:

Then it was back to work; onward and upward, fording several wild streams, clambering over rocks and, finally, breaking through to the alpine meadow, with an unobstructed view of Mount Baker and its attendant glacier:

The scene was terrific, the air clear (although still quite warm!) as we took our midday repast amidst the glorious wildflowers:

We spent the rest of the day exploring and cavorting in this rarefied atmosphere until we were all quite spent; then, after a fine dinner on the patio of Milano's restaurant in Glacier, we arrived back at our the cabin after dark, where an inviting hot tub awaited:

After a half an hour soak and a glass of wine later, I had become thoroughly cooked; feeling somewhat light-headed I stepped out and began to towel off. I was in a delightful reverie, thinking about a warm shower I once shared in the Hotel Borg in Reykjavík; every muscle in my body was absolutely relaxed.

"ARE YOU ALL RIGHT?"

It was the Weaver. I was lying flat on my back on the pine-needle covered ground.

"Did I fall?" I must have, as I was standing only a few seconds ago. I had evidently fainted (not passed out, for I was at least semi-conscious) and, as I sat up, still light headed. That sensation soon left as the cool night air revived me completely and, with the exception of my bruised ego, I was none the worse for the experience.

By Professor Batty



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