Friends on Mount Isolation

“Friends on Mount Isolation” (20″x16″, 2018) captures a memory from my “peakbagging” hike of Mount Isolation in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. In the valley, the day was cloudy and dreary, but as I climbed to the summit I ascended first into the clouds and then above them, and I was able to enjoy a spectacularly undercast day near the beloved Presidential Range. In comparison to those behemoths, 4003-foot-tall Mount Isolation is small and markedly quiet. In fact, I spent an hour or so among the wind-blown krumholtz on the summit alone–save for a few friendly gray jays hoping for trail mix.

This piece is a reflection on the companionship with nature we feel in wild spaces. In the foreground, the sun casts shadows below the rocks that comprise a rugged stone cairn, atop which two gray jays perch. In the middle ground are twisted branches of steadfast spruces and the brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows of distant trees in New England’s valleys. Mid-day clouds are overhead, and the Presidential Range is visible in the distance.

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