Ammon finally got to try his new snowboard... my parents did a great job picking it out!
What really impacted me the most, though, was the drive home. I have made the drive up and down that canyon for 21 years now. It is beautiful, and every time I make it, regardless of the season, I see something new, or something interesting strikes me. Today is was the trees.
The lodgepole pine is the predominant tree around here. They are so prevalent in our mountains that the pine beetle infestation is a real and major concern. It could de-forest most of the state. What I noticed today is how tenacious these giant pines are. They grow out of the side of mountains, sometimes starting perpendicular to the ground and making a 90 degree turn to grow towards the sun. They grow where there is little dirt, and where their roots often become exposed due to soil erosion. The have to be able to suffer intense climate changes, the challenge of high elevation, drought, rain, snow, snowmelt, and flash-flooding... sometimes all within the same year. They have to fend off beetles even after managing to persevere through each and every other obstacle.
It astounds me what these trees manage to do. How they create a space for themselves where other trees will not go. And even though the situation with the beetles is dire, the forestry experts say that the trees will eventually come back. Once the beetles die off, and the old trees are cleared, the new ones will take root. They will not give up.
And that is a story of the tenacity of trees.