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"Deep they delved us, fair they wrought us, high they builded us, but they are gone."

Aunt Dora Baggins

Aug 3 2008, 5:44am

Post #1 of 4 (136 views)
"Deep they delved us, fair they wrought us, high they builded us, but they are gone." Can't Post

Uncle Baggins and I met our summer hiking goal yesterday by dragging our aged, overweight and out-of-shape selves up Flattop Mountain. When I was young, this was an easy mountain (I first climbed it at age 10), but somehow it gets harder every year. Anyway, this time I was on the lookout for some old Ute artifacts. There are apparently old game blinds and game drives all over the place up there, but the rangers won't tell you where. I finally got a book that spills the beans, but they're still hard to find, because they blend in with the thousands of other rocks up there, and other people have built stuff in more recent years. Apparently some of the Ute stuff dates back to the thirteenth century. Here's one blind I found, a little way off the trail:

photo 1

This rock wall I'm not sure about. It may be more modern:

photo 2

And these mysterious cairns have intrigued me for years. The book I bought finally told me their story: they were built by the park service in 1916, after a hiker was misled by hundreds of cairns on the summit in a blizzard and walked off the edge of the cliff:

photo 3

It's a long way down if you miss the trail:

photo 4

We saw some elk on the way back:

photo 5

On the way up we saw a mama ptarmigan

photo 6

and her babies

photo 7

Because Uncle Baggins works nights, we didn't get on the trail until 1:20. We're pretty slow hikers: the trail is 10 miles round trip (and 3000 feet vertical change each way), and we didn't get back until ten hours later.

I had been pretty blue about the week's news stories, but the hike was a piece of heaven. Here I am wearing my Aunt Dora hat (and my t-shirt that says "Foothills Unitarian Church: 100 years of liberal religion"):

photo 8

"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com

(This post was edited by Aunt Dora Baggins on Aug 3 2008, 5:48am)


Aug 3 2008, 7:44am

Post #2 of 4 (58 views)
Again, it is wonderful [In reply to] Can't Post

to see your part of the country. I got in one hike this past week, and am doing one this week with the tweens. Wonderful experience and I love the cairns and the blinds are just fascinating. Thanks for sharing!

" . . . (we are ) too engrossed in thinking of everything as a preparation or training or making one fit -- for what? At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."

J.R.R. Tolkien in his 6 October 1940 letter to his son Michael Tolkien.

Come over to the LOTR Movie Thread and discuss the 1981 BBC Adaptation of the LOTR.

Forum Admin / Moderator

Aug 3 2008, 11:46am

Post #3 of 4 (69 views)
Centuries ago! [In reply to] Can't Post

Isn't it fascinating, how long those stone structures will stand? Do you ever have the "sense" of someone watching you from behind a blind?

I can understand why the Park Service found it necessary to place standardized cairns along that route!

Fluffy baby ptarmigans - awww! (I was in local traffic yesterday that came to a dead halt to allow a turkey family to cross the road. Not quite so cute!)

You two do well to keep on hiking. Besides, at slower speeds, you see more! Smile

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915


Aug 4 2008, 5:04pm

Post #4 of 4 (42 views)
No, no and no [In reply to] Can't Post

as to -'our aged, overweight and out-of-shape selves'. Hey you guys are not exactly racing, you're in the reflective gambit mode:).
The beauty is DOING it. I don't know how many times i've cheered on those last triathlon participants coming across the finish line. Talking to many of them a number had said how slow and how far behind they were. People of all ages they were. I said to them 'hey man, you are in it! And you finished! You joined the flight with everyone else and you are as much a part of this celebration (of life) as anyone!

This applies to climbing mountains too, and al sorts of physical/mental/spiritual aspirations *trying to stand like Tolkien (good example he was/is) up in front of his class with resounding spirit*.

And you get to share it all with people who careSmile. And you dispell other's blues-iness in the bargain i'll warrant:).

I am fascinated with the life of mountains and those human souls who passed by or dwelled there...for how many 1000's of years i wonder? Those cairns are a fascination to explore i bet. How many lives did they save with those sudden storms that happen in the high country? I like to read Louis L'Amour because he resources heavily on local histories and then gets into the remote high country all through the west for inspiration to write his dramas of survival.

My son and i love to explore all the niches and crannies along our ridge too to try and find signs of habitation.

Ooo elk! And fluffy ptarmigans.

Hey, nice hat ladyWink!

"Tolkien, like Lewis, believed that, through story, the real world would become a more magical place, full of meaning. We see its patterns and colors in a fresh way. The recovery of a true view of the world applies both to individual things, like hills and stones, and to the cosmic - the depths of space and time itself. For in sub-creation, in Tolkien's view, there is a "survey" of space and time. Reality is captured on a miniature scale. Through stories like The Lord of the Rings, a renewed view of things is given, illuminating the homely, the spiritial, the physical, and the moral dimensions of the world."

Tolkien and C.S. Lewis- The Gift of Friendship -Duriez

May the grace of ManwŰ let us soar with eagle's wings!

In the air, among the clouds in the sky
Here is where the birds of Manwe fly
Looking at the land, and the water that flows
The true beauty of earth shows
With the stars of Varda lighting my way
In all the realms this is where I stay
In the realm of ManwŰ S˙limo
By El~Cugu

From the website: 'The Realm of Manwe'


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