I hand picked all the songs for our Lucky Duck walk through Glacier.
90 miles. Clueless. Well, not totally, but pretty close.
All the logistics and plans I thought I had understood somewhat dissolved in front of me. These trips have a mind of their own. I work too much leading up to the trip, and sleep in a little too long the day of. Our agenda is put off track and there's a boat ride to compensate.
24 hours into the journey I realize... this is unlike nearly everything I thought I knew. The stories, songs, sayings, tasty mental tidbits to push a heart through hardships in the backcountry... they belong in a different landscape.
This landscape is new... it has its own songs. New songs. And I wrestle with keeping an open heart and the strength to let the past live sweetly in memory without forcing it into this present. I'm somewhere between a thru hiker and an employed full timer on work vacation. My hiking partner is new, and wrestles in her own way.
I tell her about the songs. She understands. And after a long climb to the first high country alpine saddle, there we are. On the Continental Divide of the Rockies, the Backbone of the World. Speachless. Wind. Sun. Cloud shadows on jagged peaks. We look at each other, jaws dropped, lock eyes, and grin.
From our new perch we can see alpine lakes, more mountains than we can count, and more glaciation than we understand. Waterfalls. Rock. Wildflowers.
Each day is more. More. More. Each day is new. High alpine lush meadows, high alpine burns, dust, thimbleberry jungles, ice caves, megafauna, miles to hurt, miles to wonder, but more than anything - that wordless, eye-locked grin.
Sometimes, I open the songs, and handpick that moment. Eventually, I let fate do it. And this new adventure, a wordless grinning journey, finds its own soundtrack.