Moving Forward in the Rear-View Mirror

My children and I took great strides forward this past weekend by going back.  We put some miles on the car and went back to the land we’ve loved.

The conversations often started with “Remember when…” The winning question was probably, “Remember when I thought the pellets to feed the trout were actually a snack?”

Yep!  I remember that!  Didn’t taste very good, did they?”

We drove over the roads we’ve been on so many times before.  We went to The Rise and fed the trout again.  We stopped at The Sinks where the river disappears into a cave and marveled again at the wonder of it all.  We went further on up the windy road to the small campground – the one that’s always accessible – the one that we would frequent early and late in the season and sometimes in the winter.  We parked in the lot with the same big pot-holes.  We walked on the same bridge with wood slats over the dashing river, swollen with snow run-off.  And we found “our spot”.  The fire pit is still there.  The picnic table is still there. But some things have changed. A couple of trees have been cut down.  There are some other trees that have suffered from the beetles and need to be cut down also.  It looks a little barren. And my daughter was sure something else had changed.

“Is that the rock I’m laying on in that picture I have?” she asked, pointing to a boulder.


“It can’t be.  Someone must have changed it.  That rock is small.”

“It’s the same rock.  You, my dear, are big.”   Her perspective was different due to about 10 inches of growth since she’d last visited.

The Shrinking Rock

We gathered dry pine needles and small branches, built a fire and made lunch.  After putting the fire out, we headed off to find more familiar sites.  I drove the loop road so the kids could see the switchbacks of the trail to Shoshone Lake.  We didn’t go on the trail.  I didn’t have the right clearance.  It’s public access, so I didn’t need permission from the land owner.  I wasn’t missing that kind of clearance.   There isn’t enough height between the bottom of my car and the top of the rocks.  That’s the clearance I needed.  I didn’t have it.  My car probably couldn’t have even made it up the road to the area where most people park their SUV’s and get out and walk.  We never parked there when we went in years past.  No, we used to continue driving the trail.

The first time we drove the trail our son was an infant.  I held him tightly, wrapped in a large pillow rather than put him in his car seat, trying to avoid shaken-baby syndrome from the jolting as the Cruiser worked its way over the rocks.  We didn’t have power steering yet.  I was sure Jeff was going to break a finger as the wheel spun around wildly after descending off of each rock.  He hadn’t done much with the suspension.  The vehicle was struggling to make it up the rock chute where the “trail” went.  There were various and sundry car parts, mostly consisting of axle pieces, strewn to the side of the trail.  That’s never a good sign.  I got out several times to “take pictures”.  That was code for “I’m scared to death and am going to walk over this part.  You go right ahead and kill yourself to prove you’re a man, if you really must.”  Not  many pictures were actually taken since my arms were full with an infant and toddler.

We didn’t get all the way to the top the first time we tried.  There was an unidentified fluid dripping from the Cruiser when we got about 3/4 of the way up the trail.  I volunteered to stay with the wounded comrade – along with my children, sister-in-law and infant niece – while the men-folk continued on their quest in the other vehicle.

The next time we took that trail the kids were older and the Cruiser had power steering, a lift kit and bigger tires.  When we got to the top of the mountain I asked Jeff where the section of the trail had gone that was so scary the first time around.  His smile couldn’t have gotten bigger.  “See!  I told you putting that stuff on here would make a world of difference!  Huh?  Yeah?!  I know what I’m talkin’ about!”  It was an I’m-the-man! kind of moment for him.

Looking at Jeff’s old ’67 FJ45 from the driver’s seat of the new owner’s ’53 Willy’s

As the mountains grew fainter in my rear-view mirror this trip, I was confident I’d see them again.  I’m sure of it.  There will be more mountains in my life.  If not literal ones, there will be figurative ones.  I am a human living on planet earth.  Mountains are certain to be ahead.  As I climb the trail, I pray that the growth of my past will change my perspective and cause the mountains to look smaller.  And I pray that I will be better equipped so the way is less frightening and the trail easier to complete.

“We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.” —E. G. White, Life Sketches, p. 196.

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  1. Daniel

     /  January 1, 2012

    What ever happened to your iH8mud thread Sylvia? The guys are foaming at the mouth for an update..

    ..even if you sold Sir.


    • Dan,
      I guess I got busy with life. 🙂 Sir is sitting in the garage, waiting for a snowy day when the clearance is needed. I haven’t done anything with Sir except fill the brake fluid. Thanks for asking. Happy New Year!

  2. again, thank you for sharing your memories.

    Eron Norris – twoyotas on ‘Mud

    • Eron, Thank you. I just read your blog and am fighting the tears. They are winning at the moment. Thank you.

  3. God lends his strength to us when we need it most. We need only to open our hearts and listen, and He speaks to each of us through others.

  1. IH8Mud « Cover With His Life

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