We arrived here on Monday and began the nine and one half mile hike through rugged country in the middle of the day--during the hottest week of the year.
Part of the view from the first summit. The smoke from the nearby fires wasn't too bad that first day.
I haven't succeeded yet in downloading the remaining pictures. The story of the death march and the successful plotting of a new book will wait until I can get the other photos--the much better ones-- included.
I did get back in time to attend a daughter's wedding. There are days that shine like the brightest stars in the firmament. Yesterday was one of those days. To see one's children gathered in an important place, doing the right things for the right reasons is a premium parental pay-day. I couldn't help but look upon them and say, "I guess we didn't totally mess up. We may have even done a thing or two correctly." Of course, the self-congratulations may be hollow. Probably, the material we had to work with had an innate resilience; the other influences, especially that of my wife, overcame most of my mistakes in the life lessons and personal responsibility department.
The wedding was a wonderful and simple affair followed by an excellent luncheon put together by the groom's family. Fantastic souls turned out to setup for the reception at our home in the evening.
The canvas of this daughter's life is painted in laughter. I'm sure that pattern will continue. Tears and sweat mark the canvas in vivid colors as well, but the dominant theme has been that of fun and good-spirits. She has matured much in the last two years. As she pushes away from the secure shores of youth to set out upon the windswept waters of adult responsibility, there is an air of expectation, an aspiration for life on a higher plane united with another heart. The waves will roll, the storms may rage, but their quiet confidence in each other and in the principles that have brought them together will guide them through the difficulties of life. Of course, it may not be the rolling thunder, banks of fog, or tumultuous waves that present the greatest difficulties. The doldrums of life where supports seem absent and progress stalls often try the soul as severely as any storm. Tenacious perseverance and steadfast determination in the face of the seemingly empty void, like the long, slow trudge across the desert expanse, may build more character and unity than does the fierce melee against the contrary elements. May they live long and prosper in love, laughter, and learning of each other and the many subtle secrets of success.