Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center is closed for the season. This is the first season that’s seen me not working up there since I’ve lived in the Sierra. I’m grateful to still have occasion to go up for work to help open and close the building. And, of course, to go up to recreate on a good number of my weekends. It’s still a bittersweet experience to be in the Meadows and not of them. But so things progress. And so things change.
And so I was in Tuolumne today. Processing physical inventory (learning a lot), stowing supplies, packing boxes (and repacking boxes), shutting down the register, cleaning (and making a mess), generally winterizing, working side-by-side with all my dearly loved friends and previous co-workers, sharing a final meal of the season. The cold weather hurried us on. Snow began to flurry down as we packed the last boxes in vehicles for the long drive back down to our office and warehouse.
Here’s hoping for a long, cold, and heavily snow-packed winter in the high country. Until then, I’ve still got a few more Tuolumne-bound weekends in me this year, I think.
Another season come and gone. Changing seasons of Earth and life. It all comes down to change. Sitting outside in El Portal after saying so many good-byes today and feeling the chill bite in the air this evening, I’m feeling a little bit reflective and just a little bit sad that time moves so quickly and inevitably. The beauty of it and the richness of the experience make it all worth it though. It’s good to acknowledge that and life can never be appreciated too much. It’s a good night for a quiet bit of solitude and a hot cup of tea.
Happy Winter, Tuolumne.