We finally hiked to the top of the Salmon River Trail today! It was 8 miles when all was said and done. My legs and feet hurt.
I did something completely different and carried along my digital camera. I had some interesting insights in which I came to the conclusion that film is far superior to digital. I think this, really, came about because I am not used to all of the choices involved in digital photography. I like to go completely manual when I shoot (for the most control over the shot) but there is so much to remember. So many buttons to push. It is irritating, frankly. It is too technical. I like that, with film, you only have to think about exposure (you don’t even have to worry about iso!). The rest of your brain can be used for composing the shot. And you aren’t distracted by the image because you have to wait to see the image.
I do like that I can shoot video with my digital camera, though. Here is a video that I took at the top of the hike, the turnaround point. There are fantastic views of the Salmon River Gorge which is virtually impossible to get to (a few kayakers have braved it). The wind was blowing too hard and I was afraid to get too close to the edge. You can hear me blathering on about something in the background but it is too windy to hear.
Not long ago I became fascinated with Urban Sketching. I am not sure how it happened or what drew me in, but I found myself surfing around in this online world of journal sketches from all over the world. There is even a book written about it! And a manifesto! I decided that I wanted in on this world. This hobby. Now, I can’t draw to save my life (as you can see from the above example) but, still. I love the idea of capturing what is in front of me via the slow process of drawing (as opposed to the quicker process of photography). It seems like an interesting mindfulness practice. So I thought I would jump in and try it, lack of drawing skills be damned! The image above is my third sketch ever. I am going to do this everyday. Just draw something in front of me, no matter how mundane it is. In the meantime I will (hopefully) learn to draw. I will post my sketches on Flickr and on my blog occasionally. Maybe it will be fun to watch how my drawings progress?
The wonderful thing about this new hobby is that my husband IS an artist so the supplies are already at the ready. AND we can go out and sketch together. Which is exactly what we did yesterday. We went up the Mountain to Trillium Lake and found ourselves a seat in the outdoor amphitheater. We sat and sketched for a while and can i just say? It was amazing. It was fun and relaxing. I just focused on my surroundings and it was so beautiful. Normally we just walk around the lake and chit-chat, which I like to do, but it was amazing to just sit down, be quiet, and pay attention to what was right in front of me. At one point I looked up from my drawing and noticed that the sun made an appearance; evaporating the water on the lake which created a fog. It was breathtaking.
Being a photographer at heart I had to drop the sketching and grab the only camera I had (my iPhone. doh!) and shoot a photo. Or three. I realized that if I hadn’t been sitting there sketching I would have completely missed out on this scene.
As we walked back to the car the clouds completely cleared and Mt. Hood graced us with her presence, just in time for Magic Hour.
Note: I found my old Moleskine journal. I have had it since 2004! And it still isn’t filled up. Here is an entry from February 4, 2010. It is interesting to read retrospectively.
I am sitting in my office and I am watching cars drive hurriedly past my window, swooshing through the puddles the rain is creating. The rain comes down heavily and the sky is gray and dark. I feel like I haven’t seen blue sky in weeks. I haven’t seen Mt. Hood in weeks, even though I live in its shadow. The people driving by are driving home to Portland having spent the day on the mountain but I can’t see it because it is covered in clouds.
I think about how my heart skips a beat when I drive to Welches on a clear day and the massive peak appears from behind the trees in all her wondrous glory. I smile at her beauty. I feel honored and blessed to be living here and to be able to see this on my way to work.
I think about last summer when Raf and I stayed at Timberline Lodge. I think about the evening I walked alone up the path to the Pacific Crest Trail and basked in the beauty of the fields of alpine Lupines. I stood there, looking at them in awe, and it was so quiet that I could hear the buzzing of hundreds of bumble bees. I stood still and enjoyed that moment and I felt totally and completely happy.
I miss that feeling . I am missing Mt. Hood. I’m tired of the rain and clouds and gray. I want to witness her magnificence again.