Jumbo (2001-2014)

Jumbo (2001-2014)

With Jumbo by my side, we walked across the Escalante desert at night, sleeping in a cave, drinking water from a mud puddle. Together we climbed in to and out of Dark Canyon, both of us nearly unable to walk the next day. We wandered for a week through the Pasayten wilderness in to Canada. We crossed the Alvord desert, explored the Owyhee canyons, camped on Steens mountain. We climbed Mt. Townsend, Marmot pass and the Ridge of Gargoyles. We went up and down the Dungeness, and back again.

We ate together, slept together and looked out for each other. When I couldn’t bring Jumbo, he stayed home to protect and accompany my wife.

Now he is gone.

Holy hell, losing Jumbo ain’t been easy. Took me a month and a half to post a picture and write something. Now I have to pick myself up and try to get back to the mountains without him.

I don’t much buy in to the theory that humans are superior to animals. In fact, I find it kind of offensive. Especially knowing that Jumbo could hear and smell better than I. He sensed things I couldn’t see. He could run twice as fast, jump higher and swim circles around me. He had way more patience. He could endure more pain and suffering. He simply had me beat in almost every department.

When I hear someone say “It’s just a dog.” I mumble a few cuss words under my breath. That dog Jumbo was a spiritual being. A living manifestation of the universal life force. A Buddha. My Buddha. My teacher.

Despite the pain of loss, I wouldn’t have missed a minute of my life with Jumbo. He died with dignity, and his last teaching was on the ephemeral nature of our individual lives.

Hidden landscapes

puget sound

These landscapes are hidden, in the sense that they were buried away in my photo archives. I spent some face time with my computer during these short winter days to spelunk through my photos and see what I may have missed. The photo above was taken in Hansville last March. I captured this scene with the Canon 24mm TS-E II.

The image below is from a walk down the refuge road on the Malheur wildlife reservation in Oregon. The photo was taken with the Zeiss 35mm f/1.4. The color and rendering from this lens make it my favorite landscape lens.

malheur wildlife refuge

The image below is from a climb to the top of Boulder ridge in the Buckhorn wilderness. We had the pleasure of sleeping out under the stars and watching the world go by from an amazing vantage point. The left peak in the background is Mt. Mystery. A closer view of that area can be viewed in my Deception basin trip report.

eyes across the valley

I captured the scene below while loitering around Paradise, and trying to adjust to higher elevation before my Rainier climb.

paradise and tatoosh range

Lastly, I pulled this image of the Easton glacier out of my Mt. Baker folder. It is a good look at the “skeleton” of the glacier in late season. The image above and below were taken with my Canon 40mm pancake lens and Rebel T4i. This was my lightweight adventure kit for alpine climbs in 2013 (until it was stolen, but that’s another story).

raw ice

Happy New Year!

In the words of my home boy Thoreau. “We should go forth on the shortest walk, perchance, in the spirit of undying adventure, never to return; prepared to send back our embalmed hearts only, as relics to our desolate kingdoms.”

Fall selections

My favorite close ups from fall of 2013.

maple drop

Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 ZE, f/2.0, 1/100, ISO400

fade outs

Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/50 ZE, f/4.0, 1/40, ISO320

cedar

Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 ZE, f/2.0, 1/100, ISO500

remains of the day

Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 ZE, f/2.0, 1/100, ISO400