Monday, December 12, 2011

and the moun-tains in reply

After a few weeks of watching the weather—increasingly weird, but still no snow—we decided we'd try Half Dome after all.

2:19 PM Alean: The Rituals of Old were completed to schedule, as indicated by the two days of fog. Then the winds picked up as our air rushed through the now open Gates of Hell. When equilibrium was reached, Hell in turn started to gradually heat up our own atmosphere. When the air is dry and crackling and Hell's heat becomes unbearable, the lunar eclipse will bring the End.
2:21 PM me: this does seem increasingly probable
2:23 PM Alean: So when we hear a song that sounds like a choir of bones dragged across crushed glass, we'll at least be in yosemite
  where it's pretty1.

Alean has been a good friend to the list, loaning me a skateboard, parrying my feeble left hook, and taking some dubious falls in the three attempts it took me to pass my lead test. We have similar interests in general, but in him they come reinforced with a knack for the technical aspects that I find miserably boring. This is why I cultivate a social circle of engineers: Their willingness to deal with details2 allows me to try things (and drink homebrew) far beyond my own competence. They are my engin-ablers.

The ranger I called on Friday was eating something and typing something else. "Oh, come on in, honey," he said between mouthfuls. "Everything's wide open. All yours." Mine!3 I thought, O-ho! —and it was true enough. We encountered one other hiker on Nevada Falls and not a soul between there and the top of Half Dome, which in its stunning, sweeping emptiness might as well have been the moon. It's self-centered, I know, to thrill to this thudding, glorious delusion that the world is mine. But who can help but prefer this to this?

Everything the light touches is yours, Simba.

I saw a bear; I saw where trees had swallowed lightening. I saw water come frothing and roaring down dark-streaked walls of somber granite. It froze to dusted sugar on the rocks, pooled and hardened into shifting sheets of pale and crystalline green. In my temperate experience I had never been close to a frozen river. I saw the tiny rivulets still pressing on inside the ice!
1. "There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods ... ." — my boy Teddy. And we have him to thank.
2.  Here "details" include such minutiae as how to avoid falling 1,000 feet to our deaths, or whatever.
3. My first word, supposedly.


arielle said...

jealous. jealous. soooo jealous.

alex said...


katie said...

now i've pinpointed why i get mad at you when i don't see you. jealousy.