Friday, March 6, 2009

A lone tree in Utah.

That little green spot in the middle of the picture above is where this Utah tree is located. The waypoint marked on the photo is one of the ADT waypoints on a jeep road. We went off-path a little ways to set up camp by the tree - there's a sort of comfort camping near a tree, especially when it's the only one as far as the eye can see. This picture is approximately 1 mile across. You can easily see how barren it is -- except for that tree. You can't tell me that there's not something special about that spot.

I can't stop thinking about a tree in Utah. It's not far across the Colorado border. There's a boat landing on the Colorado River where rafters take out before a rapids -- you can duck into the goofy riverside trees and take a short nap as ants crawl in and out of your wet clothes from rinsing days of hiking grime off in the salty, thick brown Colorado River water. Then you can walk onto a jeep road into some barren land where you can see as far as the next bare, rocky hill. Then you'll come to a spot where there's a tree -- all of a sudden. As you look around, you could swear it was the only normal, leafy tree in Utah! It's a spot NOBODY would ever go to visit. Except for the farmer that dug the trench to collect rainwater for his free-roaming cattle. It's not that it isn't a great spot, it's just a random patch of earth in the middle of nowhere. My mom and I set our tent up there one night. We fell asleep listening to the coyotes yipping all around us. Then we woke up the next morning, packed up the tent and our gear and kept walking. At the time it was just another spot to sleep for the night. But there was something really special about that spot, and I can't stop thinking about it. I want to share it with Adam. He might think I'm crazy to haul him to a weird patch of sandy ground in the middle of nowhere -- no pretty mountaintops, no lush forests, not much for wildlife -- just a spot that I remember with great comfort and peace. I wish I could put him there for just a single moment. He knows this strange, random feeling of pure joy; he's explained it to me once before. Maybe he'd feel it with me if we stood in that spot together. There are so many of these places, but this one... there's something about it. I miss it. I just miss it all so much.

A few lyrics from "Long Trip Alone" by Dierks Bentley
It's a long trip alone over sand and stone
That lie along the road that we all must travel down
So maybe you could walk with me a while
And maybe I could rest beneath your smile
Everybody stumbles sometimes and needs a hand to hold
'Cause it's a long trip alone
It's a short piece of time but just enough to find
A little peace of mind under the sun somewhere
So maybe you could walk with me a while
And maybe I could rest beneath your smile
You know we can't afford to let one moment pass us by
'Cause it's a short piece of time
And I don't know where I'd be without you here
'Cause I'm not really me without you

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