Monday, May 24, 2010
May 13, 2010 - Talkeetna Alaska, 1:30 pm
And then, like a gunshot projectile, I find the plans I've so carefully laid no longer sitting before me, but instead now hurling me deep into a colossal void of unknown with a huge smile on my face; a void in which I'm willing--and perhaps more importantly--able to meet whatever challenges await head-on, and do it with newfound knowledge, newfound skill, and a renewed energy to find yet another experiential angle from which to view the meandering path of my life. Every new vantage point I achieve, it seems, reveals in the wake of its discovery an incredible volume of overwhelming nuances, indescribable beauties, stunning realizations about the world I live in, and how I exist within it.
The world, for me, is an endless source of learning, a bottomless well of knowlegde I try to drink deeply from, a place packed full of penetrating white highs and deep black lows of such emotional, spiritual, and even physical contrast that it makes it more pssible to pay more attention to even the so-called "lesser" stuff in between: the mundane details that make up large portions of our lives. All of them are important, but without the punctuation marks of contrast as roadsigns along the way, I'm not sure I'd be able to decipher the sentences and structure of my life, to read the grammar of living.
But even as I write this, the group ahead of us, also waiting for the weather to clear, appears to be boarding a plane. I think the wait may be over. Fingers crossed...
There really aren't words to express the grandeur, the colossality, the magnitude of our destination as the enormous peaks and endless jagged snow-capped teeth of the Alaska Range rolled into sight ahead, brightly lit by dramatic swaths of sunlight streaking back and forth across it's more dominant peaks, leaving the lesser ones in icy shadow. Our pilot guided us up and into a black stormcloud for what I thought was gonna be a crazy ride, even.
Deeper and deeper into the Range we flew--and Denali finally rolled into view, towering above everything else at 20,000+ feet--and then just like that, our plane planted its skis on the Kahiltna glacier, and we were down. Then it was hurry hurry hurry again.
Denali, the Radio Control Tower, Foraker and Hunter as our backdrop.
We pitched camp, the guides excavated a beautiful kitchen, we all ate, and we then set about laying plans for tomorrow in a bitterly cold, mindbendingly beautiful setting. More to come...