See attached correspondence [in a Word doc, of course]. My email address is [email protected] [because it’s impossible to ascertain my email address from this very email]. I never check my email, so if you email me something, I insist that you call me to tell me that you emailed me something so I know to check my email for your transmittal.
So, even though you can’t be bothered to check your email, which is like saying you can’t be bothered to unlock your doors during advertised business hours, you’re emailing me to tell me that if I must email something to you, because I’m all bleeding-edge technological, you demand that I then call you to personally invite you to check your email. You win: any correspondence henceforth shall be by facsimile transmission.
It’s not all pretty flowers and beautiful trees. It’s lots of big and loud and heavy machines, diesel and clouds of dirty exhaust, hydraulic fluid, thick and sticky grease, sweat, ugly plastic pots, mud, plastic tubing, beavers, gophers, moles, coyotes, deer, rabbits, and cast-off machines and broken parts relegated to the back forty. And the creative artistry necessary to force all those ugly parts into a coherent, beautiful whole.
Table Mountain is in the North Cascades in the Mt. Baker area. The photo above is taken after we’d been hiking for awhile. We ended up on top of that flat-topped peak on the left. These photos are from August 13, 2016. I’m not sure how long it should take to drive up to the parking areas, but it took us about 14 or 60 hours to the lowest parking lot because of all the bike riders on the road up who apparently forgot about the “share” part of “share the road.”
This is a hike that almost anyone can do, as long as one can walk uphill, and then downhill, for hours, because it’s not technical. And, you’ve properly accomplished something when you get to the top. It’s steep in places, but people were on the trail in Tevas and tennis shoes. One woman proved it could be done in a flowy skirt and barefoot shoes. When I stepped aside so she could pass me, she said, “No worries, no hurry. Do any of us really have anyplace better to be?” She was right.
Near the top an older man – who surely would be welcome outside the fence, next to the cooler with Hank Hill and his pals – was coming down and lost his footing briefly. Another older guy on his way up, clearly a veteran climber (no mere hiker) said, “Would you like to know a trick to coming down?” The guy now sitting down after having just arrested his slide, rocks raining down on people lower on the trail, said, “Not be from Texas and never have done this before?” When I admired his shirt with a picture of Reagan and the caption that said, “I smell hippies,” he said, “Ain’t it fun?” in that Texas way where each word sounds two or three words long. People are awesome.
In the interest of capturing this hike, I voluntarily stayed behind the rest of our party of four so that I could take pictures of them up ahead. One of whom, when asked if he could ride the billion miles up the steep, windy mountain road with the rest of the bike riders said, simply, “Yeah.” If that were true of me, it would be tattooed on my forehead. Documenting the hike: that’s the only reason I stayed in the back and begged them to not wait for me.