The cold in these mountains is ferocious,
has been every year since the beginning.
Crowded peaks locked in perennial snows,
recluse-dark forests breathing out mists,
grasses never sprout before the solstice
and leaves start falling in early August.
This confusion includes a lost guest now,
searching, searching—no sky to be seen.
– Han Shan
translated by David Hinton in Mountain Home
Vast Tracks of Land
Sunrise on the Boone Creek was achingly lovely; the sky pockmarked with clouds, mystical light filtering through trees. The crazy calls of the loons and the creek providing its endless theme and variations–the true music. The way however remains as rough and rocky as it was when I stopped the night before. All paths worth following have their challenges. I had to climb over the far northern arm of the Teton range, a rough route but not too much climbing and then I was in National Park Land.
I was right on the edge of Yellowstone National Park, passing trails that take you right into West Yellowstone. It was up here that a moose just walked across my path, calm as can be. I rode down to Grassy Lake Reservoir where the choppiness of the water revealed the winds I was riding with. But once I climbed out I was riding on the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway. A ten mile stretch of forest along a valley floor with only eight well separated camping sites., the eastern end still ravaged by the Yellowstone Complex fires of 1988. Once again I saw those two large heron like birds. When I was through that I was at the headwaters of the Snake River and on the highway to Grand Trenton National Park.
There was a climb along the highway, which had recently been chip sealed and featured a shear gravel edge. You’d think I’d be used to gravel now. But once I climbed into the valley and began to descend Jackson Lake came into view and the other side of the Teton Range than I’d been seeing. Magnificent. I came to Colter Bay and get into the National Park campground. Colter Bay Village had much needed supplies and facilities to refresh body and gear. In the evening I did the short Lakeshore Hike which offered impressive views of the mountains, all enshrouded in clouds over the lake, with a dim sun shining behind.
out here there is just
but even a grain of
and you start to forget
standing on the lake
under towering, indifferent peaks
reflections birth the mountains