, , ,

Fabulous photographer Simon Lewis is often climbing the mountains near his home in Wales and coming across small piles of stones on the top of peaks.

Not something I find near St. Louis.

Driving across the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming is a different story though.

At 9,430 feet we came across this stunning overlook on the western side of the moutains, with a vast grass covered hill leading down towards the edge.

Here you can see Ruth and David as stick figures on the top.

The walk led to the cairn in the top photo. Behind us (returning to the car here) was this scene – and that is snow that you see there on this hot summer day.Before, and thousands of feet below us, lay the Bighorn Basin and in the far distance the Absaroka Range of the Rocky Mountains.As I walked this beautiful grassy mountain, I found myself thinking back to day when I would walk the Chantry Hills in Surrey as a child and look out over the lands stretching south from the North Downs. A very similarly shaped grassy outlay jutted out from these hills.

But that was just a few hundred feet above sea level – not the thousands that we were now walking on. And the view stretched for just a few miles, not the tens and tens of miles that lay before me on this day.

Nor were there the plunging valleys and rocky outcrops that characterize the edge of this extraordinary range of mountains.Nonetheless, the gentle roll of those hills and the near-chalky consistency of the sedimentary soil found there mitigated the scale of what I was seeing into something much more familiar. The same but not the same – the combination blended into what I can only say was one of the most beautiful and serene places I have ever been to on this planet.

More here.