Standing at the top of Rossett Pike in a strong wind, the temperature is lurking around freezing point and frozen hailstones lie on the ground. Times like this, they tell you, they scream at you, they grab your coat and pull and tug and bellow into your icy ears “you, you, you are alive”
gusts came like buses
three in quick succession
then roaring like a thousand jet engines
tearing the valley sides approaching
ripping moss from stone
inverting waterfalls to sky spraying mists
thumping into my sides like an angry bargain hunter
dead thud immovable struggle for balance
whooping hollering caterwauling
NO ONE CAN HEAR ME?
I can’t even hear me
how alive is it possible to be
can I ever get enough of this?
Photography isn’t the ideal medium for capturing wind, but here you can see how Tess’s lead is being blown by the wind one way, while her tail seems to be blowing in the opposite direction. We decided against standing on the top, we’ve done it before, and when you’re uncertain about your footing it’s not the cleverest thing to stand on a summit looking at a drop of hundreds of foot. The most dangerous aspect was that the wind kept dropping, so we nearly fell over, then it would come again,we’d brace ourselves against it, and then with no warning it would stop again.
One quote I love about the wind, that gives a good feel of what it felt like on Rosset Pike comes from “All the Pretty Horses”, Cormac McCarthy describes the relentless wind that pours across the American Mid-West, and I’m paraphrasing here… “all the sheep had grown up used to the prevailing wind, they leaned into the wind constantly. One day, the wind stopped. All the sheep fell over.”