Simple Gifts

I believe I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world; the Snoqualmie Valley. I get to see amazing things everyday. It's time to celebrate that. (You can view pictures in larger format by clicking on them)

Monday, November 20, 2006

It was more then a week ago I went to see how my favorite part of the Snoqualmie Trail; the Meadowbrook area survived the flood. I was foolish and passed by the closed sign, to take a closer look. The photos and words have stayed in my memory but I've been unwilling to set them down. Today, needing comfort, I headed to another favorite spot. As I automatically pointed my car in the direction of Twin Falls. I reminded myself that it must be closed. I went to the trail head anyway in the hopes that my assumption was wrong, but of course it wasn't. Twin Falls trail was eroding before the flood. Now a sign says "Trail Closed".

I feel slightly foolish. I feel as if good friends of mine are lying crippled and out of reach. Logic says that there are many trails around. Hopefully funds will be found and the trails will be repaired and re-opened. This is all a part of nature. All of that is true, but my heart isn't reacting to logic. The word that comes to mind is intimacy. Without a doubt it's a strange word in this context, but isn't that what I wrote about not so long ago? Writing about Meadowbrook I said "I know the wonder of the familiar". Isn't that intimacy? It seems sometimes we often believe that intimacy is something that should be hidden behind closed doors. How many of us, seeing someone deeply passionate about something have felt embarrassed? I wonder why we shy away from these emotions. I certainly do. So I've been trying to pretend a scientific interest in the floods. A slight annoyance at the inconvenience, when what I've felt like doing is weeping. But I also feel honored, because I have let these areas touch my heart. I can say with sincerity that I have an intimate relationship with the natural world. That I feel passionate about the area I live. I shouldn't feel foolish for those emotions, only for trying to deny my fortunes.

This log washed onto the trail.
The force of the water must have been amazing.
Coal is a fairly large dog, he gives the log scale

Along much of the trail, the grass laid flat showing how the water flowed

OK, I shouldn't have been walking on the trail. It was badly eroded.
There were several big holes.
If you peered inside, you could see framework of the raised railroad bed

All along the trail, debris was piled up.
In this area it blackberry brambles got caught on an old log

Near the trestle you could see the bank slumping into the river

I'm not sure what this is seeping into the river.
It wasn't near any buildings.

I always loved this Snag. I took many pictures of it.
It was sad to see it crumbled.

This is a trail through the Marshy area.
It was covered in mud (which I ended up rolling in), debris and water

It was hard to tell where the trail was

The elk heard was active as I left the trail.
There were over a 100 elk at first,
but then some silly person (not me) wanted to get close.
It was a good reminder of the beauty and resiliancy of nature


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