Nursing Blisters

Small piece of the petrified wood found while hiking—leaning up against the Native American vase in the shrine above

Yellowstone National Park
Sept. `79

We had band-aids, but her blisters were too large. She spent the
first day soaking her feet in the cool waters of the stream. On the second
day, with the help of a stick, she was able to hobble around camp.
I also had a couple of blisters, but they were small enough to
protect with band-aids. On the second day, I managed to hike up to
where we were supposed to camp and found the campground full of trout
fishermen. When I returned, Carin was in a better mood. She was
sunning herself by the stream. Fortunately, the weather was
accommodating– warm and sunny.

The next day she was healing fast, but still wasn’t ready to hike.
She encouraged me to explore the area. I hiked up to Bliss Pass. The
trail was 8 kilometers long and steep. At the low point in the
mountain peaks, I still had daylight in front of me, so I decided to
keep climbing. I was trying to gauge how far I could go and still get
back by dark. When I reached a large rock outcropping with a gorgeous
view of the valley, I gave myself a half hour to enjoy the solitude.

On the way down I followed a dry steam bed. It ended abruptly at a
ridge—a waterfall ridge. When I headed in a different direction, I
came upon what looked like a large log, but it was not a wooden log,
it was stone. I dug away at the large petrified log and found it to be
completely in tact. I took a couple of small cracked pieces, and then
started down the mountain once again. This time I actually tripped
over another piece of petrified wood. It was a tree stump. It was a
very exciting find. When I examined the stump, a large chunk fell off
the main part. I lifted the beautiful piece of petrified wood–10 to
15 pounds– up to the light. I decided to take it with me (I did not know
back then that it was illegal to remove pieces of Mother Nature from the park).

When I made it back to the campsite, just before dark, I found Carin
sitting at the fire. She had already eaten dinner, and had left some
macaroni and cheese in the pan for me. She was not excited about my
rock. When I told her I wanted to keep it, she even got mad.
Apparently, she thought I was going to carry her pack when it came
time to hike out. When I told her I would carry her pack and the stone
too, she relaxed a bit. We spent the next day hanging around the
campfire. When we did leave, I got most of her stuff in my backpack.
Our food was pretty much gone, so that freed up space. I carried my
piece of petrified wood in my arms. For me, it was a long 11.2
kilometers back to the car.

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About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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5 Responses to Nursing Blisters

  1. Always enjoy your posts – they inspire me towards greater creativity in my own writing. I’ve nominated you for a Versatile Blogging Award http://wonderingpilgrim.com/2011/10/23/versatile-blogging-award/

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      Thanks for the versatile blog award nomination and for the words you used to acknowledge my blog. Oh, and by the way, after clicking on and reading your versatile-blogging-award post above, I want you to know that I have always shared a heart felt affinity with all those who identify with radical (grass-roots) Christian ideas! Thanks again for the nomination. Take care.

  2. Sigh, blistering interfering, but hope Carin is not turned off the campling. So happy my kids are back packers and campers. Probably the grandkids will migrate back to city lights, my eldest will not leave the NYcity area, but does live in the Catskills. He claims he has the best of both worlds. He even gets to the ocean regularly which I do miss.

    May I harvest some of you pictures for Be with Beauty and I would love a close up of the petrified tree. Rock on. So glad we met.

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      I miss the ocean as well, but then again I have the river close to my house and a large park where deer roam free. I saw a red fox the other day. For an old man I consider myself very lucky. I don’t know anyone who keeps pictures a secret, they’re meant to be shared. When I start posting (soon) about Tarthang Tulku, Rinpoche I’ll post a picture of the petrified rock referred to above. Thanks for the comments. Take care.

  3. ElizOF says:

    What an event… hope you both fully recovered from this one. Love the photos. ;-)

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