On a spring day eighteen years ago, good friends had taken my son, my wife and I out exploring north from High Level; it was the spring of our first year in High Level and they had taken us to Hutch Lake for a Sunday afternoon picnic. We had done some hiking. Then, being at the base of Watt Mountain we decided to see if we could ascend the mountain’s mucky, dirt road through the twelve kilometre climb in our four-door, red Nissan Sentra. Higher and higher we climbed, the nimble, front wheel drive Nissan never losing traction.
First, we got to a lookout vista partway up Watt Mountain; we stopped, there, to view the world we had just travelled through. At that point, we opted to make the rest of climb to the crest of Watt Mountain where the local Alberta Fire Service fire tower is located. There, we met the wildfire lookout observer. We asked and received permission to climb the tower and to survey the world from there – my wife, my friend’s wife and my son stayed below.
What an experience making the climb! And what a view, something giving us a sense for the terrain comprising the Mackenzie Municipal District. The climb is one that I’ve made only that once – a never-done experience, one in which the opportunity of the moment was seized and paid dividends. That day, a photo was taken of my son, my wife and I along one of the Hutch Lake hiking trails. It has remained on our piano since that time. Besides the reminiscence of family and friends, that photo is a story holder of all that comprised that day.
Here, within this image, the same Watt Mountain fire tower is dormant, residing in winter’s weather.
Listening to – Haydn Symphony #76 in E Flat, H 1/76 – 2 Adagio, Ma Non Troppo.
Quote to Consider – “Strictly speaking, one never understands anything from a photograph … [only] that which narrates can make us understand.” – Susan Sontag, ‘On Photography’
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