You may remember a post published here in mid-September, a soul-baring account of completing my 43-year quest to return to Kintla Lake. I spent decades longing for the moment I’d stand on its shore again and, as I said many times over the years, claim my soul.
When it was done, this “glorious quest” of mine, it was done. I’d reached my horizon. I could rest.
Deb and I sat in our camp chairs yesterday near The Amphitheater. We basked in the sun and we listened to the birds. We heard the wind build across the valley and felt it wash across our faces.
In an instant there came to me an epiphany, a knowing that arrived with soft suddenness. It was the revelation that it’s not done after all. It’s not over.
I looked beyond my horizon.
All those years I chased Kintla Lake I thought that was where I was going, the place I had to be one more time. I was wrong — the high country of northwest Montana was but a stopover on my journey.
The place I was headed, as it turns out, is a place I’d never been. I didn’t even know it existed.
We call it The Mountain.
That feeling of peace yesterday was tinged with inescapable sadness. We had to leave. Deb and I pledged to each other that we’ll do whatever it takes to return as soon as we can — and stay.
We launch tomorrow morning.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.