And I need to be there when the world gets too heavy and the shadows cross my mind.
Like brave mountaineers, we were never bothered much by time.
[The author, left (in blue) and climbing partner, Greg Stella on the trail of Big Slide Mountain. circa 1972.]
Once upon a time, two young men set out from Johns Brook Lodge in the heart of the High Peaks region of the Adirondack Mountains. Their goal was to climb Big Slide. These two men were vigorous and healthy. The fire of youth burned in their veins. They climbed together for many years…in the rain, the sleet, the fog and the snow. In the summer they sweated and in the winter they huddled beside a log-fed blaze and sipped hot chocolate, hot enough to scald their tongues.
On this particular day, nearly half-way to the summit of Big Slide, they shook off their packs and sat on a rock for a cool drink and a rest. A few moments passed and another climbing party came panting up the trail.
“Excuse me,” said one of the resting men. “Would you mind taking our picture?”
The stranger obliged and handed the camera back to the man who wore a blue parka.
The small group moved on. The two young men rested for a few minutes and continued their climb.
Forty-seven years later, these two men and their wives were enjoying a few days together at a lakeside cottage owned by the blue-jacketed man and his wife.
“Hey,” he said. “I have a website and if I remember correctly, there is a picture of you and I when we were climbing Big Slide. It’s in one of my slide-shows. Would you like a copy?”
Soon it was all over. The slide-show was seen and the picture was saved. Much to the amusement of those present, an attempt was made to reproduce the postures of the two young men resting on a rock.
The two men stared at the original photo…and remembered.
[The author, left (in white socks) and one-time climbing partner, Greg Stella. November 5, 2019.]
[Note: The sound track to the slide-show was Bob Dylan’s Forever Young.]
Both photos are mine.
My website: http://www.patrickjegan.com