Aspen Diary, June 20
We've climbed past spruce and fir to a snowmelt meadow that sinks under our bootsteps. Just beyond is the aspen grove. See how the skin of one old white-bark tree has scabbed around a long-dead sheepherder's initials, a word or two in Basque. Notes on the weather? Or the way to better grazing? Maybe remembrance of a girl he left in other mountains. By August this green meadow will be shoulder-high in helibore and lupine, butterweed; our late- spring footprints, gone. We'll find our way by tree-bark carvings in a language we don't understand, diary of some sheepman's day.