A Different Season
In the United States we have a tradition of giving thanks in the fall, after the harvest.
In much of the world, especially Central Asia, the time for giving thanks is in the spring.
In Persian countries, like Iran, Tajikistan and Afghanistan, the new year and the new spring are celebrated on March 21st (and 20th). It is called Nowruz, literally, "new day."
It's the first of June here in Montana. A good mountain hike displays what the Central Asians see in Nowruz.
Last week, Wende and I went on a hike in the mountains.
Double Falls on Ford Creek, Lewis and Clark National Forest, Montana.
Snow is receding. Grass is growing. And torrents of snow water are making their way to all those people down stream, from Montana to the Gulf of Mexico.
Our hike was only three or four miles long, and we only saw a few wolf tracks, bear tracks and a couple of deer, but the newness and cleanness is something that a person can't experience in autumn.
While I guided and outfitted I was surprised when finishing a ride with guests they would say, "Why didn't you stop back there so we could take pictures of (whatever it was)." I took Montana's majesty for granted. I always apologized, but in my mind I thought, "Yeah, its great. I see it every day. Wonder what all the hubbub is all about?"
Ford Creek below Double Falls, Lewis and Clark National Forest, Montana.
The last few years I have seen what the hubbub is all about.
It's about a place that is special on this rock of a planet. Special doesn't describe it. I live here and can't describe my feelings for a place that is more important than most of the people I know. A place filled with animals that awe me daily. Views that can't be seen anywhere else.
This blog is titled, Montana Elk Hunting: The Elk Hunter's Guide. I hope that people see that Elk Hunting has been a vocation for me. Something that I am good at, but this blog is about more than elk hunting. It's my view of Montana and a life that includes harvesting elk in the most moral way possible. In my experience most people are too excited to kill and not relaxed enough to enjoy.
Meadow in Petty Creek, looking toward Smith Creek drainage, Lewis and Clark National Forest, Montana.
I hope that everyone who reads this spends a minute to enjoy what they have where ever they may be.
I am thankful for a chance to live and work along Montana's Rocky Mountain Front.
I am also thankful for a partner, Wende. The person I take hikes with, rides with and share this Big Sky.
Nowruz is a great time of year.