A Carpet of Wildflowers

There were so many beautiful wildflowers on Beartooth Pass. Don't you just love wildflowers?

I walked down to the edge of the lake by myself. It was so quiet I could hear my breathing. And then, as if summoned by a thaumaturgist, the fog rolled in like a curtain, closing around this serene scene.

I noticed a floating boat dock, I stepped on it, and it wiggled back and forth, making sloshing sounds as it dipped into the cold water. I sat on the wood-planked surface. I watched as the fog slowly covered the mountain.

My heartbeat was the only noise keeping time from standing still. And then I heard what sounded like refined grains of sand landing into a leaded crystal goblet.

I gazed at the trees and saw the light glinting like glitter floating to the ground. The trees were shedding ice crystals, tinkling, and making the ground below sparkle. But I wasn't cold.

The fog completely covered the mountain and trees. It looked like a blank canvas, waiting for the sun to repaint the setting in warm and vivid colors.

I came upon this beautiful old tree on my way back down the mountain. It seems to be pointing the way. Who am I to argue?

We finally made it! Now just a short climb, and then sliding down, down, down into the blue/green pool below. A very COLD pool! But it's so fun you only notice it's cold the first time. That means you have to swim out, climb back up, and do it again and you'll feel warmer. Honest!

Thanks so much for coming along with me on this hike over the last few days.

If you're in the Lander area, I highly recommend this hike in Sink's Canyon. If you intend to slide and swim, summer and early Fall is the best time. See you on the slide!

We've made it to the lower part of the falls. Is there anything as refreshing as the sound of rolling, churning water? How can you not smile while looking at a waterfall?

So why are we so attracted to waterfalls? I have a theory. The human mind is very good at picking out patterns, and we use them to make decisions. We see and unconsciously use patterns all day long and connect them to other patterns, and so on.

At first glance, we might think we see patterns in a waterfall or even in the waves of the ocean, and soon our brains are trying to find and use these patterns to make connections. If you look at a waterfall, you soon realize it is impossible to predict which way the water will flow next, but your brain keeps trying to find patterns anyway, but it never will. This probably puts your mind at ease and into a meditative, free-flowing state. This makes us feel happy.

Oh heck, forget all that. Waterfalls are just pretty to look at!

As we got closer to the waterfalls, we decided to stop here for a while to take in that amazing sky and the scent of wildflowers. Okay, and maybe to rest a bit too. The sounds of birds filled the air, some gathering and getting ready to fly south for the winter, others busily preparing for the colder temperatures to come.

On this day, though, you'd never know it was Autumn but for the yellowing leaves on the trees. The sun was warm, which was good because we planned on sliding down the waterfall into the clear, green/blue pool below.

Hat tugged down, rope pulled tight,
through brook and creek, clouded eyesight.
Trice of light, screams like a mourner,
the squall corrals, and gives no quarter.

Trees dance, leaves out, arching east,
grass flat like carpet, blades are creased.
Weeds twist off, then dance like devils,
Mistral gusts pelt hard, then levels.

Boots sink in, a muddy plash,
drizzled mist begins to thrash.
Wet leather wafts into the air,
rolling down his face, not rain, a tear.

Fall on the ground, fingers dig in,
the soil covers broken skin.
Pounding the ground like a drum,
his pain is less when his arms are numb.

Clouds open up and start to pour,
the breaking heart he can't endure.
The droplets mix in with the pain,
his eyes look up, "I am the rain."

A Secret Message Tree

I was still making progress along the trail to the waterfall, but I had to stop to look at this tree full of secret messages. Oh, the stories this tree could tell. It can't speak, though, so you have to read it instead!

If you use a screenreader to access the internet, there's a guide to Mastodon written specifically for you at:

changeling.mx/MastoGuide

It's written by @changeling and you can support their work by donating to
changeling.mx/donation

(For those who don't know, screenreaders are used mainly by blind and partially-sighted people to read aloud what is on the screen. It's important for websites to be accessible so they can be navigated by screenreaders.)

Across a Wooden Bridge

Check out this cool wooden bridge. It reminds me of a tropical rainforest. It's so lush and green here, and it's almost impossible to see through the foliage. I wonder what could be on the other side? Could we be nearing the end of our little trip up the mountain?

It's a narrow bridge, but a sturdy one. It's a pleasure to walk on, and I like the sound my hiking boots make as I take each step. I can hear people laughing somewhere ahead, and the waterfalls bathe the atmosphere with ions and a soundtrack of soothing sounds.

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