I am a mountain man at heart….or am I? In the mountains, I can stand at the edge of the forest and dream about what lies within. Are there wild animals? Maybe bears turning over logs for grubs. Possibly a herd of elk forages at the edge of a meadow, ready to bolt for the trees when danger comes near. In that meadow, flowers may accentuate the tall grasses or line the banks of a stream. Mayflies dance at the water’s surface and are occasionally gulped up by a cutthroat trout. Relentless breeze waves through the grass and it’s gentle roar is heard in the pine trees lining the meadow…….
Where was I? Oh yes, I am standing at the edge of a vast wilderness, mindlessly dreaming about what lies within. Only its not a forest and I am not in the mountains. I am laying on the coarse sand on the shore of the Pacific Ocean trying to get a good photograph. The air tastes of salt and a distinct sweet, fishy odor fills my nostrils. The sand is an eclectic mix of rock and shells pulverized by the relentless crushing power of waves. There are strands of kelp laying across the sand. Waves are breaking and crashing against rock formations near me, creating more sand with every thump. A Sea Otter drifts between the waves, occasionally diving down and resurfacing with a meal on it’s belly. I can hear the soft clacking of a stone against crab shell as it breaks the protective housing of its meal. I begin to wonder what may be lurking just out of sight beneath the waves. Seals and Sea Lions, Whales and Dolphins, and Sharks and Jellyfish all call these waters home. The more I sit there and ponder the marvel of the ocean, the less I am sure that I am a man for the mountains. Maybe I love wilderness where ever it may be found. High in the mountains, in a hot dry desert, in a foggy stand of Coastal Redwoods, or right here, at the edge of a mysterious wilderness just yards from homes and businesses.
I am a mountain man with saltwater in my veins!