My daughter Laura and I ride together on my XR 650L up Rocky Canyon Road, across the Boise Ridge for a small loop around the top of Trail 4, above Hulls Gulch, then return the same way as the sun sets. Along the way we encounter our old friend, the ostentatious Mormon Cricket.
Kayla had a few friends over for a party which, with the concomitant screeching of prepubescent girls (a Hannah Montana concert still rings in my ears), my older daughter Laura and I agreed to enjoy from the distance of the Boise Ridge.
We set out for our familiar local loop up Rocky Canyon to the Boise Ridge and back again. It was a glorious day to be in the open air.
In my mind it was just yesterday when Laura declined to get off this same motorcycle on this same road because of Mormon Crickets.¹ They are a nasty business, inclined to cannibalism² (repeated real estate and investment scams against their own) and proselytizing. But that “yesterday” is years ago² and Laura is well on her way to being a woman, fearless and confident.
We wouldn’t follow it all the way down but with sunlight filtering through the trees, setting the forest floor aglow, we couldn’t pass up Trail 4 down from the ridge.
I had this image matted and on display with others when I sold prints at Boise’s Capital Market.¹ Although technically imperfect, I liked the sense of it. I was surprised one Saturday morning when a grizzled and somewhat disheveled man came to me with this print in hand, almost in tears, and asked if it was a faraway place he named.
Of course it wasn’t but he was still desperate to have it, to cherish whatever memories it evoked. He didn’t have the twenty bucks or so but being able to give something that impactful to a person was more rewarding than any amount of money.
Smoke and smog hung across the Treasure Valley, not so obvious until you could step back to see across the plain. The hills are here adorned with odd stripes, scars of erosion prevention measures taken after the Eighth Street fire of 1996¹ just months before I moved here.
Many trees remain standing from the 1996 fire like epitaphs to themselves. Clearing Trail 4 of those that fall to their final rest is an inevitable part of spring trail maintenance and likely will be for many years to come.
I feel very lucky both to have a midriff “Office”¹ shirt and the opportunity to enjoy a bit of the wild places with my eldest daughter.
Dramatic sunsets are perhaps the only benefit of pollution, a benefit Laura and I were happy to enjoy.
I had about fifty different images I sold as prints weekend after weekend at the Capital City Market but I remember just two transactions vividly. One I mentioned above, the grizzled man moved by the scene of the trail through the trees. The other, coincidentally, is this silhouette of burned trees from the same evening with my daughter.
In this case it was printed large, framed and priced accordingly. A woman perhaps my own age walked into my little canopy and explained her sister had died fighting a fire. The picture made her think of her sister.
I was trying to do something with a neutral density gradient filter (camera sunglasses) but I didn’t get the exposure right. Some scenes are meant for the mind, not the camera.
Dusk was upon us as Laura and I rode home — a day ends, the future begins.