When Marley, our golden retriever, passed away this year, we all knew that his ashes ultimately were to end up in Jackson Hole. A reunification with his original Master, Fawnna Marie Egizi. They had a bond unlike any other I have seen. My promise to release him on her same hilltop had to be fulfilled.
As the Summer Solstice neared we started our journey, a journey about life and death. Jake was to see his birth mom’s memorial site for the first time. So there was larger emotional concepts at play here. My partner, Jessie, has the best foresight and patience for this sort of thing and planned a walk in a cemetery to discuss death, and a mini spreading of ashes at Marley’s favorite creekside beach near our house.
Everywhere that week, life and death was all around us. Jake was so strong.
The trip began through North Central Washington, straight up over the Cascades.
Dropping down through Montana we passed through the always odd Yellowstone.
Being a tourist is fun.
A bulk insulin syringe disposal unit in every restroom is a clear sign that the popular Yellowstone beacons the American diabetic masses out of their suburban landscapes. A frightening clue as to our national health condition.
Once in Jackson Hole, we hiked out to this little known gem of a hot spring. A meandering creek in a silent meadow under the rising Supermoon was a night to remember.
The memorial cairn had grew an elk antler since i was last here. This time, Jake felt it needed a few extra rocks too.
After a morning like that a relaxing sail on Jackson Lake was in order. My old roommate from my river guiding days was there to make the dream a reality. Thanks Thomas. It was so good to hang out again. It had been 12 years since we last cracked beers together, yet it felt like no time had past.
Our nightly National Forest car camping detours always led to some great exploring the next morning.
I love setting up a tent at night and having the feeling of awakening in a strange new world.
These weird bees hovered around me as I photographed them in the creek. They stood perfectly still as to say “Take a picture of me, no me!”
Stay tuned for Part II of our trip. In the meantime, here”s a link to Marley’s last appearance in front of a camera. For those that knew him, you will find that even though he was within 2 weeks of his passing he was in good condition.