Day 7. Travel day today. 10 miles total ride today riding to Basin Creek. Half way we came to Gooseberry cabin, literally the only man-made structure we have seen all week – we are immersed in pure, unadulterated wilderness. No manifestations of man, road or structure anywhere, and we leave it just that way. Tracy and I found a huge shade tree for our packed lunch that we packed each day in our horn bags (along with a lot of water) and we both nap lazily.
The wisest person we met along our journey was with us only a few days, Gene. Our conversations sitting on logs after dinner centered on the why of conservation and preservation of wilderness, and his life in nature in Montana and around the world. He and Tracy talked literature, and Hollins, and favorite writers, and both settled quickly on Annie Dillard, who captures much of what we feel:
"We are here to abet creation and to witness it, to notice each thing so each thing gets noticed. Together we notice not only each mountain shadow and each stone on the beach but we notice each other's beautiful face and complex nature so that creation need not play to an empty house."
We had been advised to bring the best rain gear we could buy, but so far all sun. But at around 8 pm the clouds darkened. The saddles were covered tarps and we hastily prepared for rain. Off to our tents for cover, quickly pulling all our gear inside for protection, where for the next hour in the early night we were enchanted and entertained by a huge thunderstorm with repeating flashes of lightening, heavy, recurrent rolls of thunder all around us, wind lifting our tent flies, and rain spattering against our tents. The raw power of nature dramatically speaking. Then suddenly all silent. Perfectly quiet. A sense of peace.
Gene sharing the wisdom.