The summer is flowing by like the Columbia. Portland town of two rivers is taking little crafts into her folds. Sailboats using the wind that comes out of the gorge, big ships loading up on supplies, all which sooth your eyes as a child's welcome. Portland, she smiles big for you then quickly runs off into her world, knowing you are looking on, proud. This is my home , she knows.
She knows you are back in town for a bit. To and from places of work. Flying in and out of PDX for a climb, driving up the Cascades to teach and down 84 for fun.
I just got back from work and had one of those awesome moments driving over the Columbia river through the East side and back to the krizzeling Sellwood neighborhood. I was stoked because I love this place.
I was also stoked because we climbed up to the summit of Rainier in the afternoon, in time for a Sunset Climb. It may have been one the sweetest guiding trips in while. The light was intense if soft, reflecting off the sound defining it past the layers of moisture, against the rain forest. We all made it. Looking out, dazed in the moment, time froze and hustled us back down.
Then the climb turned to darkness. First the shadow of the immense volcanic cone rose from her base, growing eastward as the sun set. It grew into infinity and suddenly was gone. The sun now behind the horizon glowing dusk around the steep icy slopes. We continued our descent while light faded away. The giant crevasses dimming from blue to gray, and for the last portion before we reached safety, the full darkness of a new moon enveloped us.
Only beams of light from our headlamps pierced the void until our shelters appeared. Had we waited one evening, the storm would have rolled in. You never know.
So thank you all, team VA, for being on this miniature expedition, for making the dynamic excellent. And a shout to my colleagues, Stuart, Lakpa and Victor.
Thank you Colombia river, Willamette river; PDX: wha's up? How have you been?