Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ah, the Methow.

This photo was taken on Highway 20, approaching the hairpin beneath the Liberty Bell group. The North Cascades highway links the west to the east side - and travels through the "American Alps." It is breathtaking and in the warmer summer months a kick ass road ride. With about 3,000 feet of elevation gain from my cabin to the top of Washington pass, I've probably ridden it a dozen times. Alas with no shoulder this weekend, a summit attempt was not in the cards. Instead, Jocelyn and I rode from Winthrop to Loop Loop pass. 8 miles of 6% grade: aligning with my motto - go big or go home.

Allow me to introduce for those who haven't met her yet: Makiah Blue, my trusty companion in life. She is an amazing dog. She's super mellow, especially as she ages. But she's wise and smart - and in this photo reminds me always to look up.

We hiked to the base of Goat Wall and took a few moments to remember Ryan. Makiah's aging - leaping from from boulder to boulder in the scree field took its toll and she was exhausted by the time we reached the base of Prime Rib. We soaked in the view, loved on one another and the best word I could use to describe the feeling: honor.

The spot overlooks upper Methow Valley. The spring greens are showcased below and Lost River winds its way down to join other tributaries on their journey to the mighty Columbia, which empties into the Pacific Ocean. I counted three waterfalls across the valley and Goat Creek raged next to me. It's hard to imagine any where more beautiful.

I felt strength, love, sadness, happiness, calm, and how being there felt so right. Wow. It was nice to take a moment out of life's whirling pace and acknowledge how touched I was by another person, one I was lucky enough to marry.

The rest of the weekend was filled with fat tire single track action on Buck Mountain, Sun Mountain and road riding up to Loop Loop pass with Jocelyn. And connecting with my sister Marcy and Sam cooking smores, hanging out around the camp fire and laughing. Wally the wild dog did his best to scale the trees on my lot - making it about 9 feet off the ground. Makiah and I both passed out each night, bellies full and new memories created.

Mazama holds a very dear place in my heart. And I'm pretty sure Makiah likes it too.

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