My job occasionally brings me surprises.
I carry paying guests wherever it is they want to go by passenger van or 4WD SUV. Sometimes the guests are famous, politically important, or behind-the-scenes-billionaires. Most often they are regular folk on vacation to a nice resort or local people headed in or out of town via distant airport.
The best surprises are the ones like I got today. I took a couple of guides and their customers way up into the Elk Mountain Range so they could go climb a 14′er, which is a mountain summit that is at least 14,000 feet above sea level. Just so you know, their climb was actually about 3,100 feet. (We live at about 7,000 feet and drove up to about 11,000 feet.) Still, a tough climb no doubt.
(As for little ol’ me, I take the Mark Twain philosophy toward such extreme exercise. When I feel the urge to exercise, I lie down until it passes.)
We reached the designated parking spot, high on the rocky, rutted dirt road, and I was presented with the wonderful surprise of the view you see above. For me, this is way more interesting and impressive than toting a famous person around.
I waited about seven hours for the hikers to return. During that time, after snoozing off the urge to exercise, I took the opportunity to give a good hard look at this waterfall while I sat on a stump. I wondered how many gallons I had watched pass by, how many drops. I wondered how long it had been in existence among these very old mountains. I wondered how long it would be before any particular molecule of that water would find its way back to the top of this mountain as snow, and melt again for another journey. I wondered if those hikers were still breathing at this altitude as I sat comfortably on my stump wondering…nary a heaving breath taken.
Eventually, I sketched it of course. I wonder stuff and I sketch stuff. Go figure.
I’m glad we humans can sketch and draw stuff. Sitting alone up there, with nothing to do but wonder, having begun sliding down a slippery slope of wondering as I had, I’d have gone barking mad no doubt if not for sketching the scene. Not a pretty thing for the hikers to see upon their return, a barking mad driver. So sketching, painting, writing, reading…these things all serve a valuable purpose you see. They help us maintain our sanity.