May 27, 2016
I woke up this morning, rolled over and looked out my back bedroom window at this quiet river:
Today I tried to reach the heavens and traveled to the Tioga Pass in Yosemite National Park. I packed a picnic lunch with a sandwich and peach, cherries and tangerines. My goal was to have lunch with a friend. It is a scenic 46 mile drive from the turnoff to the pass. Higher and higher I climbed. At 8,000 feet I took a photo of snow piled up beside the roadway. At 9,000 feet I stopped to be thankful for the lake formed by the melting snow and ice. At 9,945 feet I reached the Tioga Pass and I could see the Tioga Peak at 11,526 feet. I can’t get any closer to heaven today.
I parked the Jeep and pulled out my picnic basket. I had packed a beer for lunch but I left it alone because I had to return to the campground some 55 miles away going down the path I had just taken. I did make a toast to my friend Jacque that I came here to have lunch with. I’ve known her since the 5th grade, some 53 years. Usually at New Years and birthdays we would make the call and chat for an hour or so. A couple of times I actually trekked to Lovington, NM to visit with her and her family. Jacque is one of those people that doesn’t know a stranger. She never veered far from Lovington and other than Mexico I don’t think she has ever left the country. But while CP Coker and I went off to the military and then to work Jacque stayed home. CP and I saw the world, much more than we wanted to with Vietnam and then CP had a career in the oil fields overseas and I had my military career. Jacque though raised a couple of generations of children in Lovington. There are many who call her ‘mom’ as she gave them more guidance and time than their own parents did. You could always count on a plate at the table when you went to Jacque’s house because that is just that way it is. Jacque didn’t have a problem letting you know what her opinion was either. A strong willed woman with a generous heart and a loving soul.
So I set out my picnic to share with Jacque because this is as close as I can get to having lunch with her. 9,945 feet elevation, close to heaven and Jacque. I was in Albuquerque and considered taking the side trip to Lovington but the 900+ mile round trip did not appeal to me. I tried to call her and left a voice message but I didn’t get to hear her voice.
As I sit there with Jacque though I can just hear her say in her quick way “Well Paula Coffer I finally stopped smoking so you can just shut up”. Heck for 30 years I’ve been trying to get her to quit! We chatted about Lovington and my cousin Pam. We talked about how Bob’s business was doing in the current economy and where the kids are and what they are doing. Yea, even her ex-husbands came into the conversation as we rehashed from the last conversation we had. Jacque tells me she has to go and I thank her for her time and let her know how much I appreciated her sharing lunch with me. I’ll miss my childhood friend Jacque Ludecke Dennis as she goes to harass Saint Peter and surround herself with a more divine family. Rest in Peace Jacque, you’ve had a hard life and deserve heavens bounty.
My view for lunch. Pure unspoiled snow.
The cold and wind must affect how these trees grow.
8,000 Feet Elevation
9,000 Feet Elevation.
Again the scenic vistas were just overwhelming! The beauty of nature is always in season.
Crystal clear pristine ice cold Tenaya Lake.
Check out the tree growing out of the middle of this dome.