Sometimes circumstance can be a funny old thing. Everyone celebrates something that has nothing to do with any national or religious holiday; and most of us will celebrate events unique to ourselves – such as the completion of the first full month of a new photo project series (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).
Got treated today to a glimpse of someone else’s.
Today was Jerry’s checkup day – near to two full weeks after surgery, and the doctors want to have a look-see and make sure that the incision is healing well, that the mesh holding together the tear in the peritoneum is still in place, that we haven’t missed any signs of possible infection (or even rejection – I’ve heard of that happening too). So he came along this morning – although he definitely wasn’t going to be attempting the climb! Maybe later in the year I can interest him in the walk, when he won’t have to contend with snow or ice or mud.
On the way to the parking area we passed saw Bobbie and she caught a lift with us for the last little bit. Gearing up, we both noticed a young couple doing the same, only they had hiking poles. It’s fairly rare to meet up with anyone on the Bluff before sunrise; after sunrise it kind of depends on the season. Not many folks out there in the middle of winter!
Bobbie and I took the long trail; to the west after the Kiwanis stairs, meeting up with the Prairie Trail near the flagpole and then hooking back east. It’s a gentler climb, and not as treacherous once the snow starts thawing, freezing, thawing, freezing – January thaw-type stuff that creates a layer of ice under the inevitable foot or so of new snow that’ll come between now and the end of March. When we reached the place where the trails meet, we saw the couple on the trail ahead of us.
The sunrise wasn’t going to be much of one – thick clouds had rolled in, and we were anticipating a foot or so of snow. Area schools had been closed, the plows and salt-n-sand trucks were patrolling the roads just waiting.
We met up with the other folks at the eastern overlook. Now, in these days of caution and occasional calamity, it’s considered normal not to talk to people you don’t know. I’ve never been much good at following that unspoken rule. How can you possibly collect stories that enrich your own life’s experience, if you never talk to anyone when you’re out?
Turns out that a year ago today these two were watching the sunrise from the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. And so they’d made the hike up Barn Bluff to celebrate, commemorate, and remember; made even more special to them because they used to climb the Bluff as a way to train for the mountain. They even had some pictures of the climb still on their camera – which they were willing to show!
How cool is that?