A Slow Creep in Thin Air

American Basin, at Cinnamon Pass

American Basin, at Cinnamon Pass

6/11/13

Someone very wise said it first:  “We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” 

Downhill, Cinnamon Pass

If we’re acquainted, you’ve heard me say on more than one occasion that I’m lucky to live where I do.  I am much more likely to run out of years than I am to run out of beautiful adventures within reach.  

Test Drive

Test Drive

It took the most of two full days to travel and photograph a scant sixty miles straight up and straight down on Colorado’s Alpine Loop.  The switchbacks and drop-offs on this route between Lake City and Ouray are notable.  The path to summit is one-lane and two-directional, requiring vigilance and foresight, plus a keen ability to back a vehicle onto the only available ledge that is broad enough to allow travel in both directions.  

The Road Less Traveled

The Road Less Traveled

I would not consider myself a thrill-seeker, but in two days of travel on the Loop, abundant thrills found me.  I saw a moose in the willows of Wager Gulch, a clan of marmots playing at the top of Engineer Pass and a developing wildflower show in American Basin.  I heard wind hissing through the remnants of a mining camp and felt the shallow press of breath in a short hike above tree line.  And I learned to lean into the jolts and bumps of the road, just as if I were on horseback.  

Spotted Meadow

Spotted Meadow

We took a detour up Schaeffer’s Gulch, alternating stops to heave boulders to fill in deep road ruts with other stops to roll away boulders blocking the path.  This side trip was halted at tree line, where snow still covered the road on a north-facing slope.  At elevation, the June sun is near and will soon transform the drift.  But for now, it caused a turnabout.

Summit #2

Summit #2

In the end, the only casualty of this high, slow creep of an adventure was a torn-up arm earned in a spill I took as I explored one of the ghost camps.  Saved the camera, but bashed the arm.  Far worth it, for the experience.

Ghost of a Honky Tonk

Ghost of a Honky Tonk

Also earned, I must say, was the great satisfaction of knowing I hadn’t allowed fear to completely distract from the pleasure of my journey :-)

Mitch the Marmot

Mitch the Marmot

I hope you enjoyed the ride.  

Tenacity
Tenacity

Love at First Sight

10/16/2012

I do not believe in love at first sight.
Except for now and then.
And last week was a now and then sort of week.
Lots of loves at first sight.
Lots of oohs and aahs and photo ops.
I took a whole lotta pictures.

These are some of my favorites.

I’ll be quiet now and hope you fall in love too.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Beacon

Silhouette

Sideways Glance

Primary Seats

Bath with a View

Mr. Hearst’s Library

Half Dome

Meadow and Granite

Cloudburst 

From Glacier Point

High on a Hill 

Mariposa Grove

 

Sunset: Pacific

 

Wandering Heart

I have won the lottery if one thinks that seeing beautiful places is worth more than all the money in the world. Opportunity and a little luck have combined with circumstance and I am wandering again.

Last week, Montana and Glacier Park. This week, Big Sur and Yosemite.

I am delirious.

My head is centered by home. But my heart, it is a wanderer.

Here are some pictures I took of Montana and Glacier, via Instagram. Which adds a bit to the dreaminess.

I am off to cash in more winnings to share with you soon.

Till then, I hope you find beauty along the road you travel.

“That’s why I have to go back

to so many places

there to find myself

and constantly examine myself

with no witness but the moon

and then whistle with joy,

ambling over rocks and clouds of earth,

with no task but to live,

with no family but the road.”

—-Pablo Neruda

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