Summer of 1993
Chapter 15--Crazy Monday Nights
2: Avalanche Peak
Do you believe in magic?
The Lovin' Spoonful asked us that question years before I was born, and
the question still has relevance. Without John Sebastian, I saw the
band play a couple years ago at a pizza festival in a parking lot about
a mile from where I was living in Toledo, Ohio. They asked again
whether I believed in magic. It can be hard to believe in magic,
I know. In the age of science, that belief seems even harder.
Magic isn't anything more than illusion, right? It's reducible to
the laws of physics, right?
I have always believed in the possibility of
magic, but until I spent significant time in Yellowstone, I did not have
any experience that I would call magical.
However, all this begs the question of what I
mean by magic. Is it the impossible? No, I don't think that's
what I mean. Is it the scientifically unexplainable? No, not
exactly because what is magical about such events is not inconsistent with
science. Is it simply some wondrous feeling? No, it's more
than that. Is it the altogether unusual and unexpected? No,
in some places like Yellowstone, magic is neither unusual nor unexpected.
What then is magic? I think magic involves something where we suspect
a causal connection where there should seemingly be no causal connection.
What I mean is that when you see an elk, there should be nothing in the
mere seeing of an elk that causes you to feel like you have been touched
by God. There should be nothing in that event in and of itself that
causes a flooding of senses over and above the normal aesthetic pleasure
we get from seeing elk. When the effect does not seem to be contained
in the cause, that's magic, and that's why it is so difficult to explain.
The explanation must go to something over and beyond physics. This
is not to say that there is no reason for what has happened or that the
cause is somehow "irrational", merely that there is more out there than
"what meets the eye." That is, to say, magic makes sense to me and
is not simply the wishful thinking or banality of a Disney movie.
Yet, from the standpoint of the senses, which we typically rely on to figure
out cause and effect, something is hopelessly out of whack sometimes, and
we cannot but say of some experiences that they are magical. Rocks
and elk and snow and geysers and canyons do not seem to be able to embrace
you or take you in or arouse new visions in you, but somehow that's just
what these rocks and elk and geysers and canyons did. There was no
need to find a wardrobe that took you to the magic of Narnia. If
C. S. Lewis had been intimate with Yellowstone, he could have set his tales
on this very earth.
So, I believe in magic, although in many respects,
conveying it to you is hopeless. In many respects, all I can hope
to do is convey to you the possibility of magic and hope that you find
it there like many others have. And, yet, as I have said many times
in this autobiography, there is a great joy in trying to convey it all
the same. There is always the prayer that there is magic in the ink
on the page and that somehow it touches you in the depths not only of your
soul but of your body as well. These things aren't simply beatific
visions that make one more aware of God; they move the body down to its
bones, they find a way of warming you in the chill of the night, they arouse
flutters in the heart and a lightness in the eyes. But, yes, they
also get you thinking, and that's just as profound a wonder to me.
After the previous Monday experience at the Boiling
River, I wanted so much to make as much as I could of my last month in
Yellowstone, especially the last two weeks that Price was left in the Park.
Without Price, I sensed that the chances for wonder would be limited at
best. He had brought out such confidence in me, and I felt like I
could test new ideas around him with the hopes that he would be receptive.
Without Price and without many of the others who would soon be leaving
for college, I knew that it would not be the same. So, I had great
hopes that we would try something new and exciting and slightly dangerous.
The very next Monday, I was not disappointed.
As you may recall from a previous chapter, I
had climbed up Avalanche Peak a couple weeks before with Matt Perkins,
and so the mountain was fresh in my mind. That summer, it seemed
like Avalanche Peak was on everyone's "to do" list. Earlier in the
year, some of our co-workers had failed to make it up the mountain because
the snow was still too great. Later, when they made it, they raved
about being able to sled on the peak of the mountain. Climbing Avalanche
Peak was something that people liked to do because it was fairly short;
the hike was only two miles up and two miles down though fairly steep,
did not involve any technical climbing, and had a great view of Yellowstone
Lake. When we were trying to think of something slightly nuts to
do on this upcoming Monday night, Avalanche Peak seemed to be a good idea
because it was something we could do in a single night that would still
Yet, it was also a scary prospect to climb Avalanche
at night. Grizzly sightings were common in the area, the weather
could be extremely cold, especially on top of a 10,500 foot mountain, and
it would be very dark trying to find our way on a wooded trail. If
we had decided to climb Mt. Washburn instead, we would have found the prospects
to be much easier and much safer because that hike is along the edge of
a mountain climbing to a peak where a ranger actually lives. Climbing
Avalanche Peak by night was somewhat different, and telling our co-workers
that that is what we planned to do had many of them shaking their heads.
They did not understand why we wanted to climb a mountain by night when
we would not be able to see anything in the middle of grizzly country.
However, we knew that simply the thrill of the climb would be energy enough
for us, and I knew that there was something very different about Yellowstone
at night that I was really beginning to understand. There were hidden
beauties to be seen and discovered at night. The cold air was a constant
reminder of how you were bound to this environment.
As we planned to go on this hike, we tried to
figure out who was going. Without a doubt, Patrick, Price, and I
were going. However, this time, Lynn wanted to come along, too.
And, then, much to our chagrin, so did Reuben. I do not know quite
remember, but it seems to me that we tried to keep this a secret from Reuben,
who had this great knack of wanting to be involved with everything.
Most of the people did not especially care for Reuben because he was so
obnoxious and smelled so bad. Once, we were having lunch, and we
had these really disgusting potatoes that had red spots all over them.
I don't remember who said this (I think a woman who worked with us named
Paula), but someone likened them to Reuben's pimples, and that was pretty
much the end of lunch. People were so genuinely mean to Reuben.
I remember that his roommate (who I think was Brandon) caught Reuben simply
pacing in the bathroom with his clothes on while the shower ran so Brandon
might think he was taking a shower. It seems like we may have been
way too hard on him, but as I explained elsewhere, Reuben was very revolting
in so many ways. I thought I had sympathy for people who were picked
on because that was how I grew up, but Reuben seemed to take his obnoxiousness
and smells to a whole new level. One of the real reasons we didn't
want to go with Reuben, however, was that he had never been on a hike before
and was so out of shape. Can you imagine your first hike being a
grueling climb up a mountain in the middle of the night? We didn't
want Reuben to screw up our experience because he was unable to make it.
If he couldn't make it, it meant that at least one person couldn't make
it either because that person would have to go with him. That would
probably mean that none of us would make it because we would feel bad for
whoever couldn't make it.
Somehow, Reuben found out, and inevitably he
asked if he could come along. We were frank with him and told him
that we didn't think he could make it. We also told him what the
consequences of him not making it would be. However, he still wanted
to come, and at that point, Price and I decided that it would be wrong
not to include him. So, Reuben seemed bound to coming along, and
that sort of put a cloud on things, a worry that this would not work out.
You all reading this I'm sure feel sorry for poor Reuben, and in telling
this I do, too. As I told you in another chapter, I think Reuben
might have been an angel who mysteriously appeared out of heaven.
It sure looks like we were being selfish, and there is a sense that that
is true. We were being selfish. We wanted to recapture what
we had found at The Boiling River. Reuben coming along seemed to
be bad, though, on two levels. It not only seemed to be a hindrance
to our goal, but also it didn't seem like it was going to be good for Reuben.
And, that was on our minds. We didn't want the poor guy to die while
he was with us. Still, I realize now that there is no experience
worth having that is pure that comes at the expense of someone else.
In my heart, I think that feeling gnawed on me, and that's why I felt compelled
to tell Reuben that he could come along with us so long as I made sure
he understood what he was getting himself into.
When I got off work at 10 o'clock, I thought
for a moment that Reuben wasn't coming along after all. When I found
him at the dorms, he said he had changed his mind and that he would be
going to the pub instead. That was a great relief to me and the four
of us. As we got ready for our hike, making sure that we were dressed
warmly enough and had flashlights and stuff of that nature, we thought
that we had clear sailing. There was a full moon out that night,
and there was no hint that the weather would change. I realize that
there is no guarantee in Yellowstone of weather, but we were about as confident
as we could be under the circumstances. Soon, we were ready to go.
Unlike last time, I did not have to be at work until noon the next day,
and so there was not a big rush.
As we got near Price's car, we saw Reuben running
toward us. "Hey guys! Can I come along? I just got kicked
out of the pub."
I asked, "Why did you get kicked out of the pub?"
Reuben said, "They caught me drinking a rum and
coke, and they revoked my privileges."
"So, you're not allowed back in the pub again?"
"Nope. Can I come along?"
"Are you sure you can make it?"
Well, there was nothing that could be done at
that point. We let him come in the car, and we were off. It
wasn't until we were hiking that we noticed that he didn't have on more
than his usual black jacket, and that that was hardly enough to make it
up Avalanche Peak without risking freezing to death. When Reuben
got to Yellowstone, he didn't even own a useable pair of shoes. Elaine
Thorman actually had to give him some money to buy some shoes for work.
So, here you had this goofy looking guy who was hard to look at, smelled
worse than anyone I have ever known, who had a cheap pair of shoes on,
and a light black jacket, who had never been on a single hike, who was
now going up Avalanche Peak in the middle of the night with us. If
what we were doing wasn't crazy enough in itself, having this character
around made it dangerous for us all. And, yet, still, there the five
of us went in Price's brown monster.
I don't remember much about the drive to Avalanche
Peak, which is about 40 or 50 miles away from Grant Village. It was
a beautiful night drive, and we were all excited about our hike.
I think a lot of the drive was reserved for Reuben telling us about his
misadventures at the pub. I can't imagine that too many people are
kicked out of the pub for underage drinking. I suspect that people
who were annoyed by Reuben tipped the people who worked there who subsequently
kicked him out for good. Only Reuben could manage to have his privileges
revoked this way, and only Reuben could be so naive as not to understand
how stuff like this continued to happen to him. It wasn't that he
lacked charisma of a kind, but people simply could not stand much of him
after awhile. He found ways to get into trouble, and so he was an
It did not necessarily feel like magic was meant
to be this night.
When we got to the trailhead, the mood started
to change. There was the woods and above us the sky and around us
the Absaroka Mountains. Once we went in, we knew that we were in
for some fun and adventure. The grizzlies might eat us alive, but
we were definitely going to go out with a bang.
As we started to climb, we made a lot of noise.
We were so wary of seeing a grizzly that we simply began shouting as loud
as we could. You think of these night experiences as quiet times,
but this was not a quiet time, at least not at this point. This was
a rush of excitement, like climbing a rollercoaster only that much better.
The climb was steep, but the thrill of the climb was simply amazing.
Instead of the impending doom of the drop down the mountain, we had the
doom of every sound in the woods. Every time we heard a noise that
was not our own, we stopped and looked around. We could hear the
sound of owls every so often, and though I still have never seen an owl
in the wild, I could hear them clearly. We were relieved that we
did not hear a bear. Every sound, though, scared us worse than most
people get scared at haunted houses. We talked endlessly of what
it would be like to be eaten by a grizzly. Though no one has died
of a bear attack in Yellowstone in ages, if it were going to happen, it
was probably going to be because some young people were out foolishly hiking
in the middle of bear country in the middle of the night.
We also found out soon after that we did not
need our flashlights. Can you believe it? We were in one of
the darkest places in the whole country in the middle of a fairly dense
lodgepole pine forest, and we did not need our flashlights. Lodgepole
pines are very skinny trees and, in sunny days, offer virtually no protection
from the sun. This night, the moon was so bright, so dominating,
that we found we had little problem seeing our trail and that a flashlight
added virtually nothing. I remember the great feeling I got knowing
that I was climbing up this mountain in what should have been extreme darkness
without needing anything more than the light of the sky. The atmosphere
was so clear and the night lights so much brighter than anywhere I have
Reuben was a trooper, but he often fell behind,
and so we were obliged to wait for him. However, as long as he kept
going, we were happy. He said at every stopping point that he was
doing okay and was ready to keep going. He was struggling, but he
was doing far better than any of us expected. It seemed like he had
a point to prove, and none of us objected to him at this point trying to
prove it. Still, because he was so occupied with his body and his
climb, he was in some ways in the background the rest of the climb.
As we continued to climb, we began to sing more.
Then, Lynn began singing. She sang several verses of "Amazing Grace."
I was in awe how beautiful and how passionate a voice she had. I
had no idea she could sing and was surprised that she sang this famous
religious hymn. The rest of us were quiet as she sang so beautifully.
This was definitely a side of her I had never seen. After singing,
I told her how beautiful that was. Indeed, it was beautiful to have
the mountains serenaded by that voice. In the context of an agnostic
woman who also seemed often to be distant, this was an amazing response.
It touched a spark of magic. What was it that evoked this?
Why here and why now in the moonlit trails of a steep mountain? Lynn
explained that she always loved that song, that when she was a Pentecostal
that that song always meant something to her. She also tried to explain
that she never completely lost her way in religion, that there was something
still there in her. My gosh, was it ever?! This was so soulful.
It felt like Lynn was giving back, or perhaps just was evoking what felt
natural in the embrace of our great mountain.
I began to feel a special respect for Avalanche
Peak. I did not feel like I was conquering a mountain. Much
like I felt the first time I climbed the peak, I felt like I was in a kind
of symbiosis with it. Only respecting its steep grade and feeling
the power of the place made me feel like I was drawn into it. Yet,
somehow, I felt like the mountain was served by having us there, having
our ability to put perspective on things, to see it as beautiful.
It didn't just sit there for all posterity. It wasn't just by itself
left alone. That might seem like a pleasant thought, but I think
it rather cold in a way. What I bring to nature is my ability to
see things as beautiful. Does the beauty still exist if I'm not there
to see it as existing? Perhaps, in the mind of God, but then still
somewhere. And, why not somewhere else, too? Why not in me?
Why is it not possible for the mountain to exist with my ability to embrace
it, to see it for what it is, to cherish it for what it is? That
thought would dominate me more the following week, but it was there also
that night. As I ached and began to feel the pain of the climb, I
loved the cause of that feeling. I loved how the mountain defied
gravity to kiss the sky in this place, allowing a view on even more wonders.
It did not seem too long before we reached the
peak, although we were noticeably slowed at the end by Reuben. Yet,
in the end, Reuben made it to the top. He had not yet frozen to death
because the climb itself kept him warm. He was tired and ached and
was somewhat despondent, but he made it. We were all so happy for
him (and for ourselves).
The peak was somewhat bizarre. This entirely
clear night had turned into a kind of surreal fog at the peak. At
the bottom of the final ridge before the very top, it was still clear enough
to look out over the vastness of Yellowstone Lake. The water was
black, simply visible as a black sheen surrounded by terrain. Out
in the distance, we could see the lights of the villages along the lake.
There was Fishing Bridge and Lake, and far off we could clearly see the
lights of our home, Grant Village. Our hearts and eyes turned there,
and we were stunned by the brilliance of the lights from that distance.
They were so small on this giant landscape. Yet, there they were;
it was strange to see home 50 miles away. It was amazing to be able
to trace the route we had taken to get here. What a sight!
The peak, as I said, had this amazing fog. On the top, all we could
see was fog and the moon above us. There was a rainbow surrounding
the moon, and that was it. We could see the edge of the peak ridge,
and it looked just like one might imagine the surface of the moon.
Yet, there the moon was looking down on us.
At the peak, Price and Lynn cuddled together
on one edge of the peak looking north, while Patrick, Reuben and I, hid
from the wind on one side of a rock on the peak looking south. The
weather was very cold. It was probably not more than 10 or 15 degrees
outside, and so you can imagine how cold Reuben must have been, but he
mostly stayed quiet as he tried to stay as warm as possible. Patrick
would look longingly at Lynn and Price on the other side of us. He
told me, "That's what it's about. I really wish I had something like
that." I get tears in my eyes right now thinking about Patrick's
dream. For him, the experience at the peak where the three of us
were still left him envious for what Price and Lynn were sharing.
The moon and the company was still incomplete for him, as spectacular as
it was. I felt some of that, too. I was desperate in my life
to be loved, and I knew what Patrick was talking about. This was
too profound a moment and a place not to have a chance to share it in the
most romantic way possible. And yet, and yet, I was not feeling quite
like Patrick. For once in my life, I felt okay with where I was,
felt like I was being hugged and held all the same. For once, I felt
that maybe I could be happy in my life not with someone else. I felt
this great conflict inside, though. I still wanted it, still thought
about it, but something was overpowering me. And, that was part of
the magic that night. If you knew me, knew what a romantic I am,
it would seem impossible that this happen to me. Why did this experience
of the senses change that? Where is the cause in the moon, the fog,
the peak of the mountain, the cold air, the lunar landscape at the peak?
I'll tell you why. I was touched by something magical, something
I was beginning to get cold. We probably
sat up there no more than fifteen minutes because it was frighteningly
cold and windy. The moon doesn't have wind like this, and gravity
isn't so overwhelming on the moon, but it still somehow felt like the moon
because it looked so much like it. I did not know why it was so cloudy
at the peak while it was so clear everywhere else, but it was. The
hard part about figuring out when to leave was that I did not want to interrupt
Price and Lynn. I think we waited for them to come to us before we
decided to leave. I'm sharing my experiences, but I suspect Lynn's
may have been the most profound of all, and I wish she could tell her story.
And, I think we all sensed it, and that's one reason why letting Price
and Lynn decide what to do seemed only right.
We descended by way of the glaciers on the peak,
and we were running around and being a little silly at this point.
We knew it was going to be easy sailing (except for bears) at this point,
and so all the drain of climbing the mountain would be rewarded by the
climb down. The glacier, however, made us stop.
I cannot tell you what we saw on the glacier
in any detail that will allow you to understand what I mean. It was
simply mesmerizing, and every one of us saw it and stopped to reflect about
what it meant right then and there. You know something is special
when that happens. Too often we don't have a full awareness of a
moment to stop and wonder at it. This was one of those moments, however,
and I will never forget what it looked like and how we reacted to it.
All around the white snow, there was more than just white snow. On
the white snow, prismatic lines, in the full color of rainbows, flowed
very fast throughout the snow moving all around us. It looked, as
I generally describe it, like a river of glitter. However, that's
not the right description. It was this intense movement of color,
just flowing erratically in all sorts of ways around us. It danced
and continued to dance. You almost expected an angelic chorus to
arise, although it didn't. I have not begun to explain this amazing
sight, this crazy lighting effect on the snow, this wonder to behold.
We stopped, knowing that this was one of those magic moments, knowing that
this was not something we could even explain to those who had been touched
by Yellowstone's magic. Either Price or Patrick said, "You know what?
We will never be able to explain this to anyone, to any of the people at
Grant, to anyone at all." We knew he was right. We said he
was right. We were simply dumbfounded by this vision before us, not
in a dream, but really and truly just below the summit of Avalanche Peak.
It made us slightly sad to think that this was not something we could share
with the world. Yet, the excitement of this, the sense of euphoria that
overcame us, the WOW of it all made me feel like the luckiest person in
the world. I think of all the people who simply dream of a candlelight
dinner, a walk along the beach, and making love by a warm fire, and I honestly
find myself pitying them because they have not been exposed to the truly
romantic power and imagery that I have been exposed to. On this night,
I could not share it like Price and Lynn shared it, but it gave me inspiration,
ideas, and then later in my life, a different kind of magic (the one that
Patrick longed for).
The hike down the mountain was joyous.
We raced down switchbacks at the top, sliding down very loose and jagged
rocks. This caused erosion to be sure, and it's one of those things
that I will not do again, but I remember with fondness the thrill of the
slide. I don't remember it with as much fondness, though, as I do
those things that were truly pure in my experience. Still, I'd be
lying if I told you that I didn't enjoy sliding down switchbacks.
Of course, we'd have to wait for Reuben to make his way down much more
slowly. Yet, who cared? As we marched down, Price and I started
to chant very loudly in a kind of nonsense language we were making up.
That being the case, I can't repeat any of it because I don't remember
it. However, the closest I can come to giving you a sense is that
it was a mix between the "Yo he ho, Yo ho" chants of the flying monkeys
in the Wizard of Oz, and the similar nonsense of Cab Calloway.
There were a lot more syllables involved, though. I would give a
nonsensical chant very loudly, and then Price would respond. We did
this back and forth most of the way down the mountain. The others
stayed silent, although I think they enjoyed that we were having fun.
They didn't give off any vibes that they were horribly annoyed by our wild
banter. I was having so much fun, if only because I just loved being
mindless and silly sometimes, just loved it that I found a partner to blabber
with. There was a kind of chaotic melody to what we were chanting,
and it felt so free. I think, over time, we even developed a kind
of chorus that kept repeating, although again there was nothing coherent
about what we were yelling out.
The night wasn't over.
At the bottom of the mountain, I thought we were
just going to pack it up and go home. We had made good time, and
it seemed like I might get a fairly decent amount of sleep before work.
Reuben by now was the walking dead and headed straight for the car.
He went in it and fell asleep. I waited outside of it for awhile,
but the others did not come. I walked over and found them lying down
on their backs in the middle of the road going out to the East Entrance.
They were simply looking quietly up at the stars. This was one of
many moments that summer where I felt like I was still too young, still
not getting it, still not understanding the power of a quiet moment.
They were just looking up at the stars and were in no hurry to leave.
So, I joined them, and I got another lesson in
beauty. Up above us were the stars. They weren't as overwhelming
as other nights because the full moon blocked them out. Yet, they
were still more beautiful than anything I had ever seen, even when I lived
in the rural parts of Ohio. Most people have no sense of what air
pollution has done to their lives, especially in the eastern half of the
United States. You do not understand how much of the sky you are
missing. Even though this was a full moon night and I could not see
not even 1/4 as much as I could on a night without the moon, the sky was
this unbelievable maze of stars. You could not make out major constellations
very easily because all the stars looked so bright, and there were just
so many of them. They were so beautiful. Then, I saw my first
I was 19 years old, and I had never seen a shooting
star. Can you believe that? I had never seen one even though
I spent countless nights back home looking for one. I'd ask, "How
will I know when I see a shooting star?" My dad told me that it was
obvious. I sometimes wondered if certain flickers I had seen were
shooting stars, but they weren't. I know they weren't because my
dad was right. A shooting star is obvious. I was just amazed
by seeing it. The light streaks by your eyes so fast. Most
of you, if not all of you, know what I mean. Yet, I was fairly old
to be seeing my first one. I was just so joyful laying there looking
up, feeling silly as we just lay in the middle of a road that would be
very busy during the day. The only vehicle that disturbed us that
night was an ambulance. That was ironic. I kept laughing at
the thought of us being run over in the middle of the night by an ambulance.
It made us all laugh.
We stayed there for at least half an hour.
It was a very special time on a very special night. We had made it
up the mountain, seen wonders, felt wonders, heard wonders, and now it
was time to go home and spend the next hour smelling the wonder that was
And, there was Reuben when we got to the car
completely passed out snoring the night away. The smell was so bad
that we went the whole cold ride home with the windows open. I think
we were too much at peace with the world to do anything but laugh and think
it only fitting that this was the result of things. We were so happy
for Reuben that he had made it, even if he seemed to be largely in the
background. Patrick put a tape of Fleetwood Mac's greatest hits into
the car stereo, but it didn't wake up Reuben.
The theme of the night to me of the previous
Monday may have been the angst of the Violent Femmes, but this night will
always have Fleetwood Mac associated with it. In fact, my whole Yellowstone
experience is brought to mind every time I hear Fleetwood Mac. The
funny thing is that I wasn't at all a fan of the group when I came to Yellowstone
and was listening to the music in the car. Yet, as nostalgia grew,
as the songs played in the night, as I sensed that the evening would soon
be a memory, the music seemed to fit more and more. As time would
pass, the lines, "'Cause when the loving starts and the lights go down
and there's not another living soul around, you can woo me until the sun
comes up and you say that you love me" had more meaning. Tonight
was an introduction to that mood. There was more magic possible than
even the artists realized. I knew it and felt it. The sound
As we approached Fishing Bridge, there was a
big bull bison in the middle of the road. He was a dark silhouette
in the night. He was simply standing there, not moving, not looking
like he wanted to move. He was an awesome spectacle. I remember
how his eyes had this amazing deep blue glow from the light of the car.
All our friend was was a big black statue with deep blue eyes. Our
night should have been over, and yet things like this kept happening.
There was the stars, and then the music, and now this enchanting and mysterious
animal. Before getting to West Thumb, a black bear crossed the road
right in front of us. It was the first bear I had ever seen in Yellowstone
or in the wild. It wasn't too big; just a flash running in front
of us. I couldn't believe it. I mean, that was something big,
my first Yellowstone bear, and yet in this night, it seemed just to be
one more thing. However, it wasn't. I remember telling Reuben
when we got back how much he had missed sleeping in the car. He was
unimpressed, but I was. I just couldn't believe what a night this
had turned out to be.
It really was an amazing night that wouldn't
have happened without a commitment to doing something slightly crazy with
our Monday nights. This night was as equally profound as the night
in the Boiling River. It was more amazing in its spectacle, if not
as amazing in its soothing and relaxing calmness. Yet, as I said,
it was equally profound. I was touched by both Lynn and Patrick in
ways I hadn't expected. I was happy for Reuben's success at making
his first hike one to remember. I felt extra camaraderie with Price
as we chanted down the mountain. I felt a new love for the mountain
itself, and I felt like it let me in on some of its beauties and mysteries,
beauties and mysteries only visible at night. The sky opened its
love to me, and the buffalo let us gaze into its eyes. I even saw
a bear. I had new theme songs to explore, new opportunities, a new
tomorrow to think about without stop. And, yet, as I've explained
to you many times, in Yellowstone, tomorrow was today. Tomorrow was
a dirty word. Dreams in Yellowstone are being lived in the present,
and tomorrow only represented an end to the dreamy reality. I didn't
want to think about tomorrow.
However, I did think about the upcoming Monday.
It was time for an old dream to live again in the home it was meant to
be lived. That Monday night was the most special of all that summer,
but it would not have been possible without these Monday nights, without
the Boiling River or Avalanche Peak. They prepared the way for something
truly special. It was the stuff of magic.
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