In an old ghost town wallpaper adorns a wall in the house, except this wallpaper is made from old newspaper clippings and scraps of magazines. Used as decorations and for insulation this young lady still remains adorning the walls of this old abandoned cabin.
Went to Great Smokey Mountains National Park back in September. Was a good park to see but not one at the top of our list. First picture is a cool swimming spot we came across on hike. Last one is of the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the US located in Gatlinburg, TN.
"Golden One" [Horse Grazing in Mountain Landscape in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming]
This Palomino was part of a herd that grazed on the Elk Flats Ranch, a former cattle ranch in what is now Grand Teton National Park. The ranch was part of the land purchased by J.D. Rockefeller as part of his plan to acquire property in the area for donation to expand what would become Grand Teton National Park. It continued to be used as a cattle ranch until 1950, when it was finally turned over to the National Park Service. Today the ranch is usually frequented by bison and elk, although in the summer it is still leased out to grazing by horses from a private ranch.
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Lake Clark Alaska is one of the most scenic places I have ever been. This #NationalPark does a good job of educating its visitors on the indigenous peoples who have made the land their home. The visitors center has a small museum for just that purpose and the #NationalParksService shares in the stewardship with the first peoples to insure that they don't interrupt the Natives way of life. For some background, the first people who came to the #LakeClark region were around the end of the last ice age. The land is home to the Dena'ina, Yup'ik, and Sugpiaq #tribes . If you haven't yet, go explore, it is never to late to #findYourPark .
I'm extra missing Isle Royale today. I miss sitting next to the shore, watching moose graze for food. The various shades of brown the pine covered ground change to when dappled by the sunlight. .
Expedition Log: Night 6
Location: Harmony Borax Works Interpretive Trail, Furnace Creek
Time: 11:00 PM
Weather: 42 F / 5 C
The Timbisha Shoshone Tribe of Death Valley have their own stories of how the Milky Way was created:
The Shoshone incorporate tribal law and the mystique of the bear into their tale of the Milky Way’s origin. Shoshone law provided that, when an attacker lost a fight he had instigated, he would be banished eternally from his tribe’s territory. One day, while a black bear was feasting on ants, a grizzly approached and immediately attempted to expropriate the anthill. In the ensuing struggle, the black bear triumphed. Applying the law, the leader of all the bears forever banished the grizzly from their lands.
In despair, the exiled grizzly trudged restlessly day after day until he found himself in a snowy, dark, frigid wilderness. Surrounded by desolation, the grizzly knew he would freeze or starve to death there. However, on the horizon, he glimpsed a glow rising up into the black sky. His heart racing with hope, the bear ran so fast toward the distant glow that he rose up into the air. As he flew, he shook the snow from his coat.
The other bears far to the south watched as the grizzly mounted the sky with the ice crystals fluttering in his wake and found his way to the Eternal Hunting Grounds. The white snow shaken from the grizzly’s fur forever remained in the sky to light the way to the Land of the Souls. Thus, the Shoshone have called this trail the Bridge of Souls.
In traditional sky tales, other tribes revering the Milky Way as a path to the afterlife include the Blackfeet, who have known it as the Wolf Trail, and the Cheyenne, who have referred to the Milky Way as the Hanging Road.
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Today I am 34. When I look back I tend to remember long ago and very recent, but with a lot of blank spaces in between. Getting older, it seems to me, has been a shift away and then back to myself. I’ve experienced enough to sometimes be cynical, but to also recognize the other side. The magic of getting older. Unbridled optimism and idealism show up a little less, but empathy shows up more. So does capability. Respect for myself. Confidence in my actions.
I know more about what I don’t know now — it’s very freeing. I know that 34 is actually still very young. That I’m still quite naive. That I will come back and read this one day with a laugh and a smile. Appreciating the boldness and cringing at the cluelessness. I still have so much to learn. But the remarkable thing that has accompanied more trips around the sun is this: I’m okay with it. Okay with knowing and not knowing. Okay with the grey areas. Okay leaving room for the unknown.
All of this while standing firmly in what I do know — that in order to feel alive I must surround myself with life. In nature and in my classroom, but even when I am alone. Because just like the tallest redwood or the tiniest grain of sand, I have a story. I can feel my heart beating with theirs. We’ve been here. We’ve survived. We are alive.
I can’t wait to see what this year holds.