- January 10, 2019
- Posted by Dace Whiteley-YCC leader
From so high up, we looked across the huge landscape. We moved around a lot, so our physical locations varied throughout the summer, but we would often come back, to “so high up.” The feather clusters of Indian paintbrush stood proudly out from the tan grasses and bright green lichens. The Ponderosa pines stood narrow and wise, looking like they belonged there, clutching the sunlight in their pine needle hands. Adjusting our eyes one layer back would reveal thousands and thousands of dark green trees on the mountain sides. Extending our gaze once more, we would look out on the vast craggy shapes of the peaks and valleys, fading more and more blue in the distance. Usually when this was going on, we would be munching on sandwiches, noticing how dirty we were, and talking. Our conversations would range from logistics about how to finish out the day, to joking about memes and movies, to future dreams and goals, to low and high points in our lives. From so high up, we had often spent the morning and would spend the afternoon, lopping brush and sawing trees to clear the trail, or installing water bars with hand drills and hammers, or moving dirt and chopping roots to form a new trail. Now, as every day, week, month, and year passes, people from many walks of life and places local and worldwide will use these trails. They will hike, run, and ride to “so high up,” and they will look out over the green to blue landscape, taken back by the impressiveness and beauty of Montana, just as we were. And the crew will be there quietly, in the form of the signatures we left. Those cut trees, those water bars, those trails. I can only hope the crew is as proud of themselves as I am of them for that.
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