Winter: Whisperings Photo Essay

It’s burr cold in the midwest right now. I talked to my aunt and apparently it’s burr cold in Oregon too. Apparently the main water pipe exploded and released a river in front of her house. Sheesh.

Today is warmer, looking to top out at a balmy 18 degrees. It’s all about perspective. When running outside, frost nip and it’s uglier cousin frostbite threaten as the fleeting sunlight beckons.

What is there to do these winter days with the years shortest day fast approaching? Eat cookies. Read books. Play with children. Celebrate birthdays, holidays, a wedding. Run in the cold until my lungs feel like they are going to explode like that water main. Look at photos and videos from our CDT hike. Read and look at pictures from other peoples blogs. Admire the persistent calluses on my feet secretly while people around me look at them in disgust. I realize I like them. A lot. To a microbe, I carry what amount to very large mountains on both heels of my feet. They were shaped by the elements, like mountains. And as Jacob said it would take a Dremel Tool to whittle them down. I like that it would take a powerful force to get rid of the mountains that grew on my feet.

I don’t want to hack them off.

Back in May I mentioned that Jacob and I were submitting photos and a narrative to Whisperings Magazine of Mountain Tales Press while out on the trail. While my experience with a publisher is limited, I have to say this was an incredibly affirmative and delightful experience, if the writing process itself wasn’t always delightful. I didn’t keep a daily journal. I tried that while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and could only ever write about how tired I was, and how much my feet hurt. This was not very enjoyable to read. So I approached the CDT differently.

Instead of a daily log, on the CDT I jotted down thoughts, pieces of conversations, and reflections. Each time we were in town I tried to piece the disjointed words and sentences together into a cohesive piece of writing. Sometimes I wrote on the smartphone which required me to slow down because my fingers couldn’t keep up with my mind. I had to turn off that dreadful autocorrect. Sometimes I managed to get to a computer which was more familiar therefore faster and less deliberative writing. Jacob kept his camera at his shoulder so he could have it available at unexpected moments. It is a relatively heavy camera considering how much we work to minimize our weight. I imagine he must have felt lopsided with the extra weight pulling down on one side.

And still, he captured moments.

What we sent to Carl wasn’t edited or proofread and he was incredibly patient. This created a very forgiving space to submit the work. I don’t know if this is typical. I am grateful and this is now my standard. If you are interested in reading our photo essay you can in digital format [i.e. iPad or iPhone] or print in:

Whisperings Volume 2 Issue 2 [Summer 2013 ]Continental Divide Trek—Series 2 . . . Introduction

Whisperings Volume 2 Issue 3 [Fall 2013] Continental Divide Trek—Series 2 . . . First Leg

Whisperings Volume 2 Issue 4 [Winter 2013] Continental Divide Trek—Series 3 . . . Second Leg

Whisperings Volume 3 Issue 1 [Spring 2014] Continental Divide Trek—Series 3 . . . Third Leg – Journey’s end.

And, you. Thanks. I mean that. I’ll say it again, thank you. Because you are here reading this. That means a lot.


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