🔥 Rocky Mountain Miracles - Wyoming Wilderness Adventure Photography for Steemit Vision Quest #20

in #svq3 years ago

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We visited Tomahawk Lake, in the Wind River Mountain Range of the Wyoming wilderness. Daniel, age 9, caught boatloads of brook trout. And then we all got caught off-guard by a major storm.


The Vision

Our sunny summer day turned snowy, all of a sudden, and we turned our attention to the Spirit.

The date was August 5, 2018, the day before my dad's passing 22 years prior, when he fell into a river whirlpool, in Wyoming. My brother and I honored this occasion by bringing our sons back to the wilderness, to catch fish and connect with their Grandpa Terry.

🌞 🌜 🌟


The Story

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Brooks, age 9, fishing and grinning.

The trek started at a trailhead, found around an hour's drive from the nearest town: Lander, Wyoming (my old hometown). Our first epic adventure was rugged 3-mile hike uphill, with 70-80 lb. trail packs on our shoulders. The kids took turns carrying the lighter bags. Daniel was so exhausted, I had to carry him part of the way. This granted me the award for mightiest man on the mountain. ;)

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Kyle and Sylvia led the way to Tomahawk Lake.

In this area, vibrant greens painted the environment. We saw fluorescent greens, yellows, and oranges in the lichens, found on the boulders. The wild grasses were emerald green, alongside the forest green pine trees.

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Daniel, too tired to smile.

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Quincy, chipper like a chipmunk.

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Brooks, preparing for a marshmallow roast.

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Like fathers like sons.

Brooks and his dad, Jordan, sported matching cowboy outfits. Somewhere out there with us, Grandpa Terry probably had a similar hat and plaid, albeit invisible. Seriously, though, we could sense the man's presence. We spoke of him in our conversations, remembering him, and wondering.

The first night was cold, approaching the freezing temperature, and I tossed and turned in my sleeping bag, unable to sleep. I spent much of this time thinking of my dad, and my grandpa, pondering the "Grandfather" spirit. At sunrise, I made it my "dad duty" to gather a big pile of firewood for the second night. Meanwhile, Kyle and Sylvia made pancakes for breakfast, and we all ate like the kings of the mountain.

That's when an interesting thing happened. Daniel and Brooks found some big sheets of bark, to contribute to the firewood stash. They asked me to help gather it. I turned them down at first, telling them we had enough firewood already. Another adult suggested they leave the bark where it is, explaining that the bark is purposeful in keeping the moisture inside the tree trunks.

Even after two adults told them "no" essentially, they continued collecting the bark. I noticed this, and eventually helped them out by carrying a huge load of it and placing it on top of our firewood. I recognized that I was being a bit stubborn, and so I surrendered to the Flow, following the children's lead.

This simple step of surrender proved to be miraculous to me, because these bark sheets sheltered the firewood from the rain. And there was no sign of rain on this sunny morning, but the Spirit somehow compelled me to listen to my natural instincts. Without the bark sheets, every single piece of wood would've been soaked, but the bark safeguarded the firewood underneath.

After breakfast, we hiked to Tomahawk Lake. It started out as an ordinary day of extraordinary fishing. The sun was shining. The vibe was high. The conversations were brilliant and beautiful. The kids caught over 30 fish, mostly brook trout and rainbow trout, along with some cutthroat trout.

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Fishing began bright and early in the morning.

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That's me.

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That's Jaime.

Jaime joined the polar bear club by swimming in the lake, as she always seems to do when we see her. She is our beloved sister, who lives in Lander.

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Tomahawk Lake is shaped like a tomahawk, of course.

The water was gorgeous. Tomahawk Lake is one of many high-mountain lakes found in the Shoshone National Forest, there in the Wind River Mountain Range.

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The innocent raindrops you see here quickly turned to hail.

Watching the clouds come, the sky dimmed and darkened. Daniel and I were the last to leave the lake, and he led the way to the campsite. This was another chance for me to follow his lead, surrendering to the Flow. It opened my heart, allowing him to be a leader for us, and I'm sure it opened his heart too. Meanwhile, I thought of my dad, and the many times he brought us into the Wyoming wilderness, allowing us to lead, learning about our Nature.

When it came time to light the fire, for survival, we repeated the process of shielding our fire pit with the bark sheets. The kids helped. It was a valuable grandfatherly lesson for all of us. It was an invitation to be strong and brave in the face of stormy weather. This is deeply meaningful to me. Lighting the fire was a real challenge, of course, and I asked the kids to pray with me, asking our Grandfather to grand us access to the fire.

Sleet and snow piled on top of our tent, until it looked like an igloo. The kids took shelter inside while I stayed by the fire pit, kneeling, praying for the fire to light. I watched it smoke up, and I fanned it with my breath, and of course the bonfire roared. I told my son I'd keep the fire lit as long as he was cold, and then I had the honor of keeping my promise by leaving it lit all through the night, and Daniel joined me, sleeping beside the fire.

This experience helped me to see the sacredness in fire. In studying the four elements, I've often seen the essential nature of water, wind, and earth, but often downplayed or misunderstood the importance of fire. Fire keeps us alive, just as the other elements do. It gives us warmth, and energy, as well as releasing what no longer serves, and even creating a path for new life to emerge. The sun is sacred, and so is the campfire.

Many of the wildfires we see in forest lands seem devastating, at first, as mountain cabins go up in flames, for example, and the air rains down ashes, and this affects people and animals alike, as well as the trees. I remember when Yellowstone National Park went up in flames, in the late 90's and wow that was sad. But then again, new life begins with fire, as we know from the symbol of the fiery Phoenix.

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Thankfully, we managed to get a fire lit. This was just the Rocky Mountain adventure we were looking for!

🌞 🌜 🌟


The Process

In this week's Vision Quest, I considered the meaning of "From the mud the lotus blooms." It's such a rich mantra, with many facets of interpretation, all suggesting that the deep inner work we do, a.k.a. "shadow work," is nourishing to the root of us, and this is the very act that allows us to grow and flourish.

Naturally, I first thought of the waterlily, who blossoms in the lily pad. I love the flower symbolism, as you know, and I often integrate flower symbolism in my music and art, as I do my Spirit work. This time, however, I interpreted the mantra in a new way, focusing on the element of surrender. Just as the lotus seed surrenders to the dark, silty, muck at the bed of a pond, I surrendered to the unknowns and the fears of following the children's example. This is a really big breakthrough for me, being the rad daddy I am.

My creative process for this story here is a matter of entering the Flow, documenting the beauty as I see it, and telling the story in a way that resonates with me. For the photos, I relied on a Canon 7D Mark II, with a 50mm lens. I edited them in Adobe Photoshop, and pieced together a simple video with Adobe Premier, with a quirky hip-hop soundtrack created by another Lander friend, John Hoit.


The Quest

This is my entry to Steemit Vision Quest - Week 20: From The Mud The Lotus Blooms. Thanks to @rensoul17, who is a steady force of encouragement for all of us willing to bring our collective Visions together for the Vision Quest. Love you, sister.

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Thanks to Sylvia and Kyle for hosting us.

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Thanks to Grandpa Terry for guiding and guarding your grandkids.

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Thanks to Jordan for envisioning the adventure.

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Thanks to Daniel for being a bright and shiny light in my life.


This post contains 100% original content by @cabelindsay.

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This post was shared in the Curation Collective Discord community for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.

Nice of you to share, thank you!

this was wonderful.

Cool, thank you. I'm grateful for your encouraging words.

im going to sleep now, but im interested to see your films or videos some more, where can i see them... ill poke around some more once ill wake up. cheers. have a good night.

Hey, thanks for asking! You can see examples of my videography work on my studio's website: ARISE Video Studio. And our family-focused documentary feature film is shown here: Wild Family.

will check out now.

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