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HUPC Rendezvous 2001: A Salve for the Wild Spirit

We cranked up the Coleman stoves, boiled the coffee, laid out the fruit and bagels and absorbed the quiet of a High Uintas morning at Mirror Lake. And we waited. Would anyone but our intrepid board of directors come to the mountains this weekend, given the numbing images of the second week in September?

But they did come, ambling along the trail of pine needles through the trees, the hardy friends who for years of rendezvous have joined together for a half day of laughter, sobering talk of plans facing the Uintas, and a welcome chance to calm our lives. It was a reunion much anticipated, but it was the spirit of the Uintas that drew us to the mountains, in this case, perhaps, because of the times.

Gentians by Margaret Pettis Gentians by Margaret Pettis
Gentians by Margaret Pettis Gentians by Margaret Pettis

The power of the peaks and vast forests of the Uinta Mountains emanates. The running ridgeline of the high country is a timeless connection to what was here before the terrorist attack and will remain long after. And what matters to those of us who defend the integrity of this mountain range is that wild places persist, that we not lose the quiet of these places some consider holy in their ancient tie with what the earth is and always will be. Man's anger and destruction of other human beings could not have been more poignant that day. But the Wild could not have been more beckoning in its soothing of souls, harboring of bear and goshawk, gentian and lily, spruce and salamander.

Our wolf howl from the ledge overlooking the headwaters of the Duchesne River was full and rich. This year it carried a call for peace in this most wild place for all creatures. May it live on in our winter hearts.

Margaret Pettis


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