SCATTER, part two: a second scattering of summer images. You’ll see fall color creeping in, and towards the end, a brief narration of a fall from grace.
Fall from grace: I’d been wanting to see Mt. Baker, one of the state’s highest peaks, for years. We drove north last Sunday and spent the night nearby to get an early start on Monday, when crowds would be thinner. We didn’t sleep well so it wasn’t a very early start…up and up we drove to a short hike along a stony trail at Artist Point in the North Cascades, where views of Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan and other peaks have been drawing visitors since the road was completed in 1931. The clear, thin air was cool, the sun strong.
Views morphed as we followed the well worn trail across rocky Kulshan Ridge. At over 5,100′ vistas spread out in all directions, across glacier-scrubbed slopes set with tarns, scree and patches of late summer snow. The gnarled old evergreens and warm-hued heather we saw are smothered under an average of 50′ of snow in winter; road crews must remove signs at the end of each season if they want to use them next year – the weather here is unforgiving.
The mid-September day was calm enough for a butterfly and a few bees to flit among the last tiny alpine flowers. I expected to enjoy the views and complete the circuit.
HOWEVER, I tripped over a rock and took a hard fall on my right arm and left knee, with a taste of gravel in the bargain. After catching my breath, with full support I made it back to the car for the three hour ride to the emergency room. By that evening I had the diagnosis: the knee was badly bruised but not broken, my face only lightly scratched. But the right shoulder – not so great. The humerus shattered where it fits into the socket, and it was well out of the socket. A skilled, patient doctor scrunched it back in and sent me home with pain killers and my arm in a sling. Several days later an orthopedist re-evaluated the shoulder, giving me the all clear to…..yup, just wait. No driving or lifting anything (not even a camera!) with the right arm for a long time. Hopefully by late next month I’ll be out of the sling and driving again. Talk about curtailing freedom…
Well, it WAS a great view up there but not that great! I will take advantage of the down time and get to projects that fell by the wayside this year as work gobbled up my time. I’ll post more, I’ll visit your blogs more, and I’ll certainly perfect the left-handed fork-to-mouth routine!
More soon! 😉