But when I got into the car to go down to the Post Office for mail yesterday the sight of the valley took my breath away. I suddenly understood the Hyampom Valley as 'she'. And after all these years living here it registered in my brain just how many moods she has. She is not an at-a-glance kind of gal. Yesterday the long line of the longest continuous ridge in North America wore the soft scarves of mingled gray and white ribbons of cloud all along her various elevations. The fog hung in the multitudes of draws revealing her complex geography. The entire valley had dusting of snow and she was regal, a queen in her royal gown. The South Fork River wove through, sinuous, strong.
And there are times when she hides. When her lines are not so obvious, when the mountain appears flat, even drab. She is not Yosemite, obvious in her elegance all the time. No, she is a valley of subtle grace, enchanting beauty, modesty her usual dress. I stay here because her moods are many, her treasures endless, her gifts abundant. Her serenity...healing. I am glad she is not Yosemite or we would have tour buses roaring around. Instead I rejoice in those days when Hyampom Valley pulls out all the stops and reminds me that she is every bit as awesome as her sister valley to the southeast, the Cinderella yet to be taken to the ball. Thank goodness!