I slept at 8500 feet the other day. Not at a base camp or on the side of a mountain, but in a nice 2500 square foot cabin. Considering that I live next to the Puget Sound my body did not accept this well. My first night sleep was miserable and walking up a steep hill made me sound like I was dying.
After my first rough night sleep me and my brother’s families took a hike along what I would describe as the “The Trail of Death”. The reason for the ominous description is because of all of the signs of predators that we ran into. I will not describe the “scat” to you (for the uninitiated that is animal poop), but there is a definite difference between animals that eat plants and animals that eat other animals. The reality of the trail however was the exact opposite, the only reason that I was seeing so many signs of predators is because there was so much life in the area. Deer, moose, elk, rabbits; there were signs everywhere around these highland lakes. Death in this case was a sign of abundant life.
Then I saw the tree that is pictured above, obviously dead but seemingly no one told the root system to let go. Living in the lowlands of the northwest I am not used to seeing a tree hold on so long. Trees in the dry mountains however can grow roots into cracks in the granite below and what is above ground can be preserved amazingly well in such dry climates. This tree could have been dead for 10 years or so and still be standing. The only sign that it had life is that it is standing, but looks can be deceiving. the environment in which it lives has allowed it to maintain its dignity. How often have I, have we, held onto something by deceiving ourselves so that we don’t have to let go?