Backlit Chaos: Tumalo Mountain


Twenty-six degrees and sun rising in bright white claws that get longer as they come at us over the peak of the mountain. You forgot your goggles and so did I. You forgot your windproof outer layer and so did I. You forgot to bring the miniature thermos of tea and so did I.

At least we have the beer.

We’re doubled down in goose and wool and squinting into sideways shards. The wind is technically from the north. I think.

It doesn’t matter because, the way it seems, the wind is mostly from everywhere. Talking is yelling and so we don’t do it very much. Your big arm motion means come over here so I take a photo and then follow it.

At the top it feels like dying: the light is so bright and the wind in big, convincing gusts that make you wonder, for a moment, what might happened if you just lit up and let yourself get carried away. The world is thick with snow and haze and sunrise.

The backlit chaos of the storm is soft and welcoming. Which reminds you of life. Which reminds us to take a picture and walk back down the side of the mountain.

We drink the beer at the bottom in the parking lot.

Later in town you have the corned beef hash and I eat chicken fried steak because it just seems like that kind of day.

-Morning on Tumalo Mountain near Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon

Portfolio site: heidiswiftphotography.com

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2 Responses to “Backlit Chaos: Tumalo Mountain”

  1. Wendi says:

    This is stunning, little.