Moonbox Notes #6: August 2022

Welcome to my Moonbox: a gathering of musings, learnings, and aspirations held (perhaps, sometimes only briefly) by the many expressions of me, Sarita.

Descending the southern ridge of Wind River Peak.

From the (Van) Desk:

The fish are eating
dipping heads or bodies
into the sky world
where insects swim
in blue thinness

There are miniature fish
the size of my thumb
and every time they kiss the air
the water rings gently

The bigger fish are loud
slapping, plopping, lurching
casting themselves whole

and the elder couple in the faded red
canoe their lines, curling tosses
into the threshold

where all the water rings
where all the mouths touch
where the insects come
oh supple mirror of clouds
beneath them all flattened now
lip-lined and rippling

The fish jump and their little tails
bend through thin air,
the couple flick their wrists
and the blueness is swept
toward and away from me

They are all over this edge of sky
as we've all come
opening our mouths


Last night, around 9:40 P.M. or so, a bunch of young kids, high-schoolers probably, pulled into an empty campsite nearby to party. Music bumped from the car they left running. The headlights pierced the darkness toward the reservoir. They stood in the beams drinking, talking, laughing. I peered out once to see. The rest of the time I was hearing it all from my bed. Tucked in, lights outs. I began to imagine what sort of ruckus kids made long, long ago, in some form of "back in the day," before electronics and cars. Would they raid a tucked away but local place as if they owned the world? Yes. It's undeniable. These kids had the modern ambiance though of heavy bass buzzing through metal doors. Some of them would cough like I used to in college after taking a hit off of a spliff or joint — but who knows what they're doing here. Giggles and blended chatter. Undecipherable, none of my business. Some of them crushed cans beneath their feet, some kept getting in and out of the music car, and each time, the music would get louder ten fold, as if the inside was the center of the ear drum. Music so deep in the brain perhaps it'd act surprisingly like a sensory deprivation chamber. I remember many times wanting to disappear into sound.

From the van, sometimes it seemed as if they'd finally hushed, maybe they got caught in a gaze across the moonlit water or toward the stand of aspens or between the pines or down into the mouths of their beers, or partners...and perhaps the near silence meant a growing elevation beyond the self — like, hey we're in a campground with trying-to-sleep campers — but then the chatter would return, a burst of laughter at some extensive, hilarious story I couldn't hear the words to. Ten P.M. came and went. 

I tried to meditate myself to sleep through the noise. And I'm sure I wasn't the only one having to listen. The camp host was actually two sites away from the kids — but no one ever got up and went out to wrangle them in. Maybe this isn't the first time they've shown up here to mingle and rebel against whatever their lives have given them. Maybe it's just not worth getting into an argument with drinking people no matter their age. Or maybe they'll quiet down soon, soon enough, in another couple minutes, surely, they're just kids, they're finally out of the house, soon enough, in another couple minutes, they just want to savor everything that's new and controllable — my assumptions, my excuses — sure enough, though, soon, they'll quiet down.

I don't know what time it was, but they hopped into the cars and drove off. And that was it. They weren't even camping. They came to party at a campground, like visiting some novel outdoor bar, but BYOB and sound system. A dadaist happening at its core. A teenage whirlwind of sponteneity, risk, and audacity. And how it spilled like a bass-filled thunder, the sudden I-remembers, the I-would-nevers, the shoulda-coulda-wouldas from all who have come to share this backcountry shore.

This morning, there was evidence. An empty box of twisted tea. I began to imagine a comedic plea to a cop, pulled over on the winding mountain road. No, officer, we've only been drinking tea, or, We're just heavy tea drinkers, then a lightheaded burst into giggling, bright-eyed caffeine masking the haze of the weed. You hope to the moon and back they had designated drivers. You hope a lot of things. A part of you wonders why you cared or why you've made it your business to write it down. So many things echo. The speculations are endless, and perhaps that is why. They did what they wanted to on a Tuesday night in the woods. And now, you can do whatever you want with them in words. But they just turn into mirrors. They become the vessels of generations that they are.

Written, with edits, while camping west of Lander, Wyoming, a few days before my Wind River Peak FKT.

[Related: Moonbox Notes #5]

Worthen Meadows Reservoir, Wyoming.

La Vida Mundial:

As a runner for ReNew Earth Running, I’ve begun fundraising for them as I train for my Run the Rut 50k race, September 4th, and I hope to raise $1500. The funds will directly support Indigenous stewardship and leadership. For more details about RER and about my fundraiser (like the incentives you can earn! Artwork! Workout videos!), click here.

Since I’ve been so focused on my training this past month, I haven’t done as much reading or interacting with worldly news. But, I know that it’s also nearly the end of summer! So, are you registered to VOTE?! November will arrive too fast and you know it. Please take the time to register or double-check that your voter information is up to date.

And please let me brag/share about the upcoming issue of Alpinist Magazine, Issue 79. A new essay of mine will be in The Climbing Life section! Ahhh!

Patrick and I hiked the Keyhole Route to the top of Longs Peak, RMNP.

HBD to all August birthdays!

Recent Top Pick Reads:

+ “Renovations,” by Laura Pritchett, Creative Nonfiction, Sunday Short Reads #192. A writer contemplates what it means to rebuild home in a world on fire.

+ “Habits of a Landscape,” by Nicholas Triolo, Trail Runner Magazine, Adventure Issue, Summer 2022. A neat musing over the different styles of routes, or route making, and how one’s perception of a landscape can be altered or influenced by the specific way you route through it.

+ “Black Is the Body,” by Emily Bernard, Creative Nonfiction Magazine, Issue 75, Spring 2021. A sobering look at the differences between skin color and cultural labels, and the hope that exists with younger generations.

Family time at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Books/Mags on the Shelf:

+Poet Warrior by Joy Harjo

+Deluge by Leila Chatti

+Creative Nonfiction Magazine, Issue 75 & 76, Spring 2021/Winter 2022

Recent Listens/Watchings:

+ “Unfenced: A Race to Keep the Red Desert Wild,” Patagonia Films, September 2020. A short documentary about a rather unknown but large area of desert in Wyoming that is under threat by the oil industry.

+ “It’s All Home Water: A Northern Light,” Patagonia Films, August 2020. A beautiful, poetic piece written by Riverhorse Nakadate about the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a region under threat by a copper mine.

A beautiful reflection while running the Buffalo Mountain loop.

Writing/Projects: (updates are highlighted)

+ “Sounds of Me, Sounds of Light,” creative nonfiction essay for Alpinist Magazine: Published. Alpinist Issue 79, Fall 2022.

+I have three general submissions in the ether. A short prose piece for CNF’s Sunday Short Reads, a short prose piece for Western Humanity Review, and a prose poem for River Teeth.

+ “When We Visit,” short creative nonfiction essay for Campfire Stories Volume II anthology: Finished stage. The book is currently due to come out Spring, 2023.

+The hybrid essay I wrote last year, “Chuckwalla,” still needs some major revision before I submit again.

+I’ve revisited my Science Fiction short story, which has been fun, so I hope I can keep up the progress and finish the manuscript this year.


+ Wish me luck as I head to Big Sky this week in preparation for my 50k race, the Run the Rut! And don’t forget to donate to my fundraiser! 😉

Looking back across the ridges I traversed from the top of Mummy Mountain, RMNP.

Thanks for tuning in to Sarita’s Moonbox.

Happy end of Summer!


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