John Swincinski

The Final Reward
42 x 29 in
From the Lost Creek Storm Series, Number 5 of 5 The sky was clear now and the sun was getting lower. In this single trip to the Lost Creek Wilderness area in Colorado, I had experienced a wide gamut of weather and emotions. I was blessed with the wilderness solitude I sought. I went from catching seventy or eighty brook trout in a drizzle, to surviving the worst thunderstorm and lightning event I had ever been caught out in, to witnessing a once in a lifetime rainbow. Now, with only a few miles of hiking to get me back to my truck, I was experiencing an atmospheric effect like no other. The huge thunderstorm had saturated the Earth, and as the steadily setting sun radiated heat upon the meadow, steam began to billow up from the narrow valley’s grasses and brush. And the sky turned gold. A pale, transparent gold. Gold you could not touch but knew was there. The golden light reflected off everything. It was as though I was hiking through a valley that had been the theme of some myth or legend. I was warm, my soul was warm. It was an emotionally exhaustive day. The kind of day I yearn for over-and-over again.