This is one of my favorite places on planet Earth.
I told Alden that, today, as we poked along.
He said, “What about Iceland?”
I said, “Well, I have never been there. Iceland seems like a very special amazing place, but I’ve never been there. It can’t be your favorite if you’ve never been there. And I’ve been here….
But, I realized, I have not been here since before Alden was born.
Until then, I had come several times a year, for 13 years, ever since the first summer I moved to Montana.
In fact, that first summer, 1994, (or maybe the next? Funny, now, not to know…) I hiked the 12.6 miles from the trailhead to the lake and back… 25 miles….in a day.
Mostly, my hikes in Blodgett have had one of two stopping points.
Sometimes, the “falls” a series of wide rocky ledges and flat spaces where people sometimes camp, about 5 – 6 miles up the trail.
But usually, the “pack bridge”, a wooden bridge about 3.5 miles up the canyon, making a 7 mile round trip, and an awesome day. The Wilderness Boundary is right by there, and that’s always kind of a cool thing, too.
Here I am at the pack bridge, circa 1998?
This was a hike with my brother Tom. I was so happy to share this spot with him, a NYC-dweller at the time, and for many years thereafter.
I hope he and I head up that way together again someday.
Blodgett is about an hour from home, and so I haven’t taken Alden there. (Until today.)
But he’s old enough and a good enough hiker that I knew it’d be worth the drive. I pretended I didn’t care if we made it to the bridge. I mean, 7 miles round trip would be a BIG day for the dude.
We took our time.
Built fairy houses.
Climbed good-lookin’ rocks.
Ate snacks, etc.
Alden took some pictures too. (He has his own camera now, a V-tech kid digital camera. He really likes it and I gotta say, the pictures are pretty cool. Why it has to have freaking games on it., I dunno, but, he likes it.)
I felt so nostalgic and multilayered today as we went along.
My heart sang every time Alden said, Whoa… looking at the enormous rock faces across the canyon. Because THAT is how I feel every time.
And when we stopped, about a half mile below the pack bridge, Alden eating an oats-and-honey granola bar and sniffling, teary, that he wished there was a shortcut and we didn’t have to walk. back. the. whole. way. we. just. came……… I knew we were done.
And, it was a pretty damn nice place to stop, really.
Oh, my dear, amazing Blodgett.
It will NOT be another five years before I visit.