- October 11, 2011
- Posted by Jane Munsey
I’d say one of the best ways to mess up a worthwhile 9 day hitch would be to have something unexpected and unfortunate happen on the 8th day. For example, a freezing, windy thunderstorm that refuses to let up throughout the morning. However, life is what you make of it, and even on the most unpleasant of mornings, in those nasty clouds can be found a silver lining…such was our case Monday morning on Moose Peak.
With our beloved fellow member Nate stuck at home with a sprained ankle and our equally beloved crew leader Zach gone on vacation, the remaining 5 of us awoke Monday morning prepared for our last full day of work when the sky opened up and lightning lit the dark campsite during our stretch circle. We huddled under the kitchen tarp waiting for the weather to ease a little and all I could think to myself was, “Seriously? On the last day?”. The rain continued as we marched up to our work spot, and continued as we dug into the ground. I’d say that this late in the season we are definitely used to rain, but with the added gale force winds that pounded on us, it felt like cold needles hitting my back. We all fought to keep the morale of the crew from dwindling but eventually I just had to wrap myself up in my own thoughts to keep from saying something out loud that I’d later regret. Our morning break wasn’t much of a break, as we had to continue standing and moving to keep from getting too cold. Little did we know salvation was close!
When lunch time arrived Emily announced that we were going to make the short walk back to camp. I needed to warm up water for a hot drink and other people wanted to switch out dry clothes. As soon as we arrived at camp the sun broke out of the clouds for the first time all day, the rain stopped, and even the wind seemed to dissipate off behind the mountains. Our campsite was in quite the ideal spot, with panoramic views and a hilltop clearing where we all stood together basking. Soaking wet articles of clothing hung on branches and twigs, and I almost cried with joy, holding my warm mug, when feeling started returning to my tingling fingers. I don’t even know if anyone ate lunch at all, we were all too busy celebrating the dramatic change in weather. At one point Chris and I walked over to a spot that overlooked the mountains and hills surrounding us and we both watched in silence as giant plumes of steam rose out of the trees. It looked like fires had broken out across the range as the steam rose up in cyclonic funnels, only it was the bright sun lighting the way instead of flames. Chris and I agreed right then that this view, in that exact moment in time, and the warming feeling of our clothes drying as we stood there looking out, had made that entire morning worth it. If it took rain and wind and thunder and cold to produce a sight like this visible only to our lucky eyes out in the middle of the Kootenai National Forest, I’d happily endure it without a moment’s hesitation.
The rest of the day was a piece of cake, and we even found ourselves stripping layers off under the warming sun by afternoon, and we welcomed the stunning blood red sunset that evening. Monday morning’s silver lining was a reminder to myself of what my Mom always tells me: “This too shall pass”, another of the many lessons learned in the crew life! And that was a silver lining I won’t forget.
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