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My Dear Friend,

The hike on Monday filled me to overflowing.  Going to the mountains always fills me up.  Even seeing the mountains as I drive down the street, down here in the valley, fills me up.  But walking up there among the trees, the rocks, the wildflowers, seeing the streams, the clouds, the majestic views – that fills me to overflowing.

I try to capture it for you with my camera.  The photographs are beautiful but always a little disappointing, a little inadequate.  I may be able to show you bits and pieces, but I can’t give you the sunshine that kissed my cheek, the breeze that ruffled my hair, the ache in my legs from climbing ever higher, and the ache in my knees as I stumbled back down.  The dragonfly landing at the edge of the stream winked at me but was too quick for my camera.  And the butterfly dancing on the yellow flowers – her ecstasy also escaped my camera.  I wish I could share the happy greetings from hikers.  Young ones, middle-aged ones, old ones, many more experienced than I am.  An invisible bond of comradery.  How do you capture that with a quick photograph?  Sometimes you can, but not easily.  I was more a hiker than a photographer.  It’s hard to be both.

I sat on a boulder gazing across a giant, still mirror of a lake.  And far beyond to the snowy patches on the peaks.  Still.  Peaceful.  Fill-me-up feeling.  I can give you the photographs.  I wish it could be more.