Stay!

stay

verb

1. remain in the same place.

“you stay here and I’ll be back soon”

2. remain in a specified state or position.

“her ability to stay calm”

synonyms: remain (behind), stay behind, stay put;

Stay…a concept I am unfamiliar with, something my dog does better than I do.  “Stay!  Stay there buddy!  You’re alright, I’ll be right back!”  That’s what I told Prince as I made my way to the summit of Wilson Peak.  He had made it all the way to the false summit, where the hiking becomes Class 3.  I thought he would be able to do it, and maybe if I had pushed him and pulled him and carried him a little farther…he could’ve done it.  But he was shaking and scared and I figured “I’m almost there, I can just scramble up there to the summit really quick, and I’ll be back to help him get down in no time!”  So, that’s what I did.  Every few steps I’d look back and yell, “Stay!”  I didn’t spend more than five minutes at the top of Wilson Peak; I took a few pictures, did my best to soak it in, and then headed back to Prince!

He remained cliffside, cold and scared… but his loyalty, his intelligence, and his bravery all made me feel so proud!  “What a good boyyyy!  I love you SO much buddy!”  I was happy to be back next to him, happy I was able to protect and support him as returned to the Rock of Ages Saddle.  I had to pick him up and help him in a few spots. His body was awkward, shakey, and stiff…he was trying so hard to be brave…but he was still frozen with fear.  Once we made it back to the easy hiking and Prince had some time to get his sea legs back under him, he reverted back to his old happy-spry self.  Our timing for the hike that day was perfect.  We had just enough light to get the difficult climbing done safely, and then once we were back at the saddle the sun began to set.  Oh, and was it ever a beautiful sunset!  I thought, “I didn’t die today, and yet, I still got to go to Heaven!”  It literally felt like I was in Heaven, or what I imagine it must be like.  The peaks and clouds that surrounded me caught every angle of light, shadows, and saturated rainbow hues.  My world was a funhouse of colors and shapes: pinks, blues, oranges, yellows, triangles, circles, ovals, spikes.  It sure was something!  Something I almost felt unworthy of witnessing.  Who was I to deserve so much beauty!?  Maybe I didn’t deserve it, maybe it was all for Prince!  He certainly deserved a reward for everything he has brought into my life.  I love him so much!  He’s my best pal in the world!

Once the sun finally set, we made our descent down the mountain.  I called my sister when I was a few miles from my car; I hadn’t talked to her, in what felt like forever.  She asked me how things were going in Lake City and if I was happy.  We talked about nonsensical things and important things alike, it didn’t matter what we talked about…I was just happy we were talking…keeping in touch!  We talked about me staying in Lake City, and if I was going to STAY long term.

Stay, stay, stay, stay?  Can I stay?  Will I stay?  I feel so excited and happy and lucky to be here.  I have such a great deal, the people are some of the best I’ve ever met, and that’s the truth!  No embellishment!  It all comes down to me!  It comes down to me facing the flaws in my character, the unsettled feeling I get in my stomach when I get too close to people, the urge I get to run and flee.  I have to face it!  I want to face it!  I want to stay!

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On the way up to Wilson Peak

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Not the best picture…but this is where Prince made it to…and then got scared

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Can you spot Prince?

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Poor Prince…he tried so hard!

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Sunset

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Who better to enjoy a beautiful sunset with than my BEST FRIEND!?

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Prince’s Dreamland

What I’m listening to:

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A Collection of Magic Moments

*****I’d like to share a link to a website that belongs to a man who is a master of creating magic moments!  Wylie “Crazy Horse” Jones is currently touring in CO with his solo loop project and collaborating with many other talented artists to offer special performances.  Wylie has been the lead vocalist/guitarist for Antero Reggae Band for the last 9 years. And he has also been the keyboardist/ background vocalist for Mighty Joshua and the Zion #5 the last 2 years.​  He woke up a small town and brought it to life the other night when he played a benefit gig for a local Lake City boy.  I met Crazy Horse a couple weeks ago and was mesmerized by his talent!  He flows from one instrument to the other and sings flawlessly, he makes an epic performance look effortless!  He was kind enough to let me take pictures of him when I saw him perform for the second time…I’m almost certain I blinded him with my flashing camera, but he was very nice about it.  He is worth checking out, and his CD is great!  Buttttt…seeing him live is a must!  I even danced to his music…and I never dance…he’s that good!  Check him out!  http://crazyhorsemusic.com/

(The video is not mine, but the pics below (toward the middle of the pack) are my shots of him playing a benefit gig for Jacob Lester who is recovering from a motor vehicle accident.  Jacob has a “go fund me” page https://www.gofundme.com/9s7qb3vmh4 and all donations go toward his medical bills)).

Each day is a series of moments.  It is true that some days are dominated by nasty things like: pain, embarrassment, fear, or anger…but the days that I want to recall, the moments that I want to savor are the ones that are filled with magic and beauty.  Today is one of those days where I can’t really think, all I can do is feel.  The only way I know how to express how I feel when I can’t think is by sharing snapshots of things that captivated my mind; things that made me breathe deeper, things that made me stop and pay attention.  And because eloquent words have escaped me almost entirely, I’ll share the brilliant words of others.

“My mind then wandered. I thought of this: I thought of how every day each of us experiences a few little moments that have just a bit more resonance than other moments—we hear a word that sticks in our mind—or maybe we have a small experience that pulls us out of ourselves, if only briefly—we share a hotel elevator with a bride in her veils, say, or a stranger gives us a piece of bread to feed to the mallard ducks in the lagoon; a small child starts a conversation with us in a Dairy Queen—or we have an episode like the one I had with the M&M cars back at the Husky station.

And if we were to collect these small moments in a notebook and save them over a period of months we would see certain trends emerge from our collection—certain voices would emerge that have been trying to speak through us. We would realize that we have been having another life altogether; one we didn’t even know was going on inside us. And maybe this other life is more important than the one we think of as being real—this clunky day-to-day world of furniture and noise and metal. So just maybe it is these small silent moments which are the true story-making events of our lives.”

-Douglas Coupland

“I like the posture, but not the yoga.
I like the inebriated morning, but not the opium. I like the flower but not the garden, the moment but not the dream. Quiet, my love. Be still. I am sleeping.”

-Roman Payne

“She smiled and said with an ecstatic air: “It shines like a little diamond”,
“What does?”
“This moment. It is round, it hangs in empty space like a little diamond; I am eternal.”

-Jean-Paul Sartre

My Photo Collection of Magic Moments:

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Mad Dog’s Dog 🙂 before we climbed Chimney Rock

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Mad Dog before our climb on Satruday

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Near Big Blue Trailhead

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Hanna Playing Guitar at Jacob’s benefit…rocking sweet kicks!

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Crazy Horse-Music Master!

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Crazy Horse on the keys!

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Crazy horse on the Guitar!

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Crazy Horse on the Keys!

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A series of small miracles occurred at the benefit…I drank, I danced, I did a rap, I played guitar and sang horrendously, I even did the worm! 😉

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Crazy Horse

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Crazy Horse

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Crazy Horse and Lucky…two of the BEST

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Jess! One of the nicest people I’ve ever met!  We climbed Chimney Rock together!

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Mad Dog!  Just being cool…as usual!

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Mad Dog!

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Near the base of our Chimney Rock route

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Magic lighting, Uncompahgre Nat. Forrest

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Sunlight caught a mushroom, Uncompahgre Nat Forest

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Prince’s paw print

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Near Big Blue TH

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Poor little thing could barely fly anymore, but we had a moment

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The road to Lake City! Who knew it would lead me to so many adventures and new friendships!?

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Princey!

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Near Big Blue TH

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Slow moving fella let me take lots of up close pics

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Sunlight caught this little guy perfectly for a few moments while I snapped a photo. Uncompahgre Nat. Forest

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The Golden Blonde Salamander

A letter from home:

The colors are so vibrant with your new camera.  The leaves are beautiful, intense, radiant.  Prince looks pretty handsome too.  Is he being under control?  Do you have a leash, rope, or bailing twine?  I logged into your blog just to see if you had a new entry up yet before I emailed you.  Imagine my surprise when I found that it was about me, ALL about me and our relationship.  Oh how I love you!  Last night I dreamed about letting a fat (meaning well fed and healthy) little salamander go. She was a pretty golden blonde color. I released her in Mom’s back yard along the fence line.  There was a little ditch full of water, and I let her go.  She happily swam down to the bottom and looked up at me.  Then she got cold, so I took her out and tried to warm her in the sun and put her next to a cat for body heat.  Next she jumped down and started digging in the dirt.  A big fat “tomato worm” type worm appeared and lay wriggling in the dirt.  She started snapping at it and I knew her belly would soon be full of nutritious and delicious worm.  It was then that I sadly left her, knowing she was set free, on her own, make it or break it time.  I was sad.  I knew I might catch a glimpse of her from time to time if I was lucky.  But she was truly on her own now, no looking back, no good byes, no regrets, she was on her own path now, on to her own adventures in her own life, sink or swim, do or die.  I woke up sad and realized that the little golden salamander girl was how I feel about you.  With that golden happy-sad fall in the air feel, that feeling when trusted pony hooves crunch underneath as they skim over the browning leaves and the last vestiges of summer grasses.  Fall is upon us and winter around the corner – like it or not. There is no stopping time, no turning back to the days of pony rides under hot blue skies, and fabulous lessons as Molly skims over the rails never touching a single one, and trailer rides, and sleepy girls in trucks with dust and manure caked on the soles of their boots.  I’m letting you go, my little golden salamander girl.  I hope I still catch glimpses of you from time to time, like seeing my skunkey boy sneaking dog food from the pan out back on the porch at 2 in the morning.  It somehow feels like this is the real turning point for you, your “off into the world” adventure unfolding beneath your feet.  And I stand here…. and I stand here…watching you get smaller and smaller in the distance…while at the same time you grow bigger and bigger in my heart and in your own brand of folklore spread out upon the pages of your magnificent blog that I read over and over every day – savoring your adventures, savoring your words, savoring your true and independent talent.  I will miss you my little one.  I write this with enormous lumps in my throat and tears streaming down my face.  Be sure to wear your coat of many colors for warmth and comfort…and remember, Mama loves you and I am always here.

And now…and explosion of pictures…both old and new… 🙂  Thanks again for the camera MA!

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basement art project when my brother and sister-in-law were kind enough to give me a home

Breaking wild things!

Wild Horses, Wild Adventures, and Wild Hair (when I decided to dye my hair cherry red)

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Unsinkable Molly-a great day, a great show, best pony in the UNIVERSE

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Wild Cowgirl Adventures…Photo Credit: Charlie Brooks

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The day I taught Luna to jump

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Cinco de Mayo…Photo Credit: Linda Seeds

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Mustang Adventures…Photo Credit: Roughstock Photography

Nikon Camera Adventures and Experiments:

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Prince living it up in Lake City

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Independence Gulch excursion

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Mwah

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Happy sunshine

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Jesse James watch Ma got me!

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Sewing Every Piece with Love

Dear Ma!

I love you!  Thank you so much for everything you have done, and continue to do, for me!  You always say, “I know I’m not a perfect mom, I wish I could’ve done things differently sometimes.”  All I can tell you is that I am so happy and grateful for: every hiccup in the road, every unconventional pet, every riding lesson, every sport you encouraged me to play, every hug I pretended not to want, every time you ditched school with me, every restaurant adventure, every midnight to sunrise conversation, every letter and email exchanged, each time you made me laugh, each time you helped me stop crying, for teaching me how to drive a stick shift, for the best truck in the world…and for letting me paint it bright blue, for Molly (the most magic pony in the universe), for not judging me when I did unbelievably stupid things, for supporting each and every passion I ever had.  Maybe you’re not the perfect mom by conventional standards…but you’re my perfect mom…by my standards!!!!!!!!!!

Things that make me think of you:

Cookie dough ice cream, tomato soup colored shirts, restaurant coffee warm-ups late at night, Apricot Brandi, The Loop, Mark Twain, dreamhorse.com, auto traders, 90’s Dodge trucks, paddock boots, fan rakes, corn nuts, flat sodas, Cat Stevens, Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors, dry oatmeal, burned pork chops, sugar cookies with no sugar (because of Al), bikes with flat tires, skunks, baby bunnies, ladybugs, funny colored jeans, trident gum, bright-eyed ponies, electric fences, wire cutters, hairdryers, foxes, dangly earrings, the smell of a freshly opened can of house paint…and so many-many more things that I am too braindead to type out right now.  But Ma, just know that I am so happy that you’re the one I got!

Here are the very first pictures I took with the camera you got me!  (I’m still figuring things out…mostly I just took pictures of leaves and Prince…but it’s a start)  LOVE YOU!

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Bench at the hostel 🙂

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Magic in the Air

Lush saturated greens fade to a neon yellow, with splashes of turquoise and surprise blotches of ebony.  The air, even at lower elevations, begins to whisper a chilling secret.  The sun sleeps in and seems to be much more at ease than he was just a few months ago.  He is calm and gentle now; a true pleasure to be around, so much so that on the days when he doesn’t come out he is greatly missed.  Children laugh more genuinely and smile brighter during the afternoons, once they are free from the confines of school houses.  Weekends are more memorable and steaming morning cups of coffee taste rich with honesty.  Sparkling-glowing-rainbow magic cascades throughout the air as the final days of summer transition into fall.

Magic!  There was magic in every breath I took yesterday as I climbed Pikes Peak for the second time, this time from the Crags…and this time with Minnesota.  We slept in, but it didn’t matter because the whole day was bright and sunny and clear.  Minnesota and I were both in splendid moods, a certain tranquility blanketed our minds.  Every inch of the 14 miles we hiked was light and compassionate and fair.  The sun kissed our cheeks with the sweetest and purest of intentions, the wind gave us friendly hugs from time to time, and the rocks clanked and crunched under our feet to provide a unique symphony of subtle natural sounds.  It wasn’t a day or a hike to be recounted with drab dry statistical information regarding: elevation gain, miles traveled per hour, ounces of water consumed, etc.  It was simply a day of pure happy-joyful-magic!

And now, something new lies ahead of me, in the same way fall lies ahead of these final days of summer.  A new adventure!  But, perhaps, elaboration should wait…as I have much to do, and very little time to waste.

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Minnesota-walking on sunshine 🙂

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Magic little girl I found along the trail.

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Boots at the summit

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Sparky at the summit of Pikes Peak

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Packing…kind of…for the next adventure!

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Fear and Loathing in the Sangres

My new video style:

Under the influence of Thompson:

(Full credit to Hunter S. Thompson for 99% of this post…I just changed a few things to make it fit my altitude binge rather than a drug binge…I haven’t slept more than a few hours over the past couple days, so this post is probably fully delusional and nonsensical, it’s kind of a rough draft of something…possibly… but maybe the chaos will work for today’s concept–Fear and Loathing style).

 Between the two of us we had: our two packs, two-dozen pellets of iodine, one roll of toilet paper, four Nalgene bottles, one Camelbak, Ibuprofen, Excedrin, a whole galaxy of multi-colored water flavorings-grape, lemon, cherry…and also power bars, beef jerky, mixed nuts, fruit roll ups, rain shells, two sleeping bags, one tent, warm puffy jackets, route descriptions, headlamps, extra socks, a spot check, and a GPS.

Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious fourteener summit collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. The only thing that really worried me was the altitude. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a hiker in the depths of an altitude binge, and I knew we’d get into that rotten stuff pretty soon.

Ah, devil altitude. It makes you behave like the village drunkard in some early Irish novel. Total loss of all basic motor skills. Blurred vision, no balance, numb tongue. The mind recoils in horror, unable to communicate with the spinal column. Which is interesting because you can actually watch yourself behaving in this terrible way, but you can’t control it.

 What was I doing here?  What was the meaning of this trip?  Was I just roaming around in a hike frenzy of some kind?  Or had I really come out to the Sangres to work on a story?  Who were these other hikers, these faces on the trail?  Where did they come from?  They looked like caricatures of used car dealers from Dallas, and sweet Jesus, there were a hell of a lot of them at 4:30 on a Tuesday Morning, still humping the American dream, that vision of the big winner somehow emerging from the last minute pre-dawn chaos of a thin-aired fourteener summit.

 But our trip was different. It was a classic affirmation of everything right and true and decent in the national character. It was a gross, physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country-but only for those with true grit. And we were chock full of that.

Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run, but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant.

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Current musical guilty pleasure:

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House of Firsts

First Birthdays

First smiles

First laughs

First Christmases

First rides on ponies named Teddy and Apple

First riding boots

First horse shows

First pet kitten

First crush

First words

First cuss words

First teeth

First dress

First broken bone

First haircut

First penny swallowed

First, first, so many firsts

But that Place is so different now, and so am I.  When we met up the other day, we were like two old friends who drifted apart.  We hardly recognized each other.  We were cordial, we attempted to reminisce, but mostly…we made small talk.  When we parted ways we both felt a small pit in our stomachs. Our eyes became slightly misty, but not enough to form even one single tear between the two of us.  We would miss each other…but we knew we wouldn’t keep in touch.  I said my last goodbye to the house of Firsts.

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