Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Caution to the wind? Sneaking up on the high mountain passes.

Sunset - camping in a local resident's yard.

Have I been overly cautious where there is a threat of unstable weather up on the high passes? It does feel frustratingly so as I sit here in the town of Minturn  (having detoured to find a reasonably priced room and wait a day - now two days - for better weather prospects.) The thing of it is - t-showers are in the forecast for the entire week! And they don't always materialize on schedule or at all, though I have been rained upon on various occasions... The combination of altitude and thunderstorm is a daunting idea, though, from this 8000' perspective.

It has been interesting to explore the area a little; lots of history in this former mining and rail town, which has also been described as a poor relation to neighboring Vail up on Rt 70. One piece of visible recent history can be seen up on the defunct railroad tracks across the Eagle River from the highway. This is where two huge  (school bus size) rocks broke away from a formation called Lion's Head Rock on the top of the nearest peak. One sits on the tracks and the other is just a few feet from a drop into the river where, had it landed there, it could have created a dam that diverted the river through town.  The story is fresh in local memory as it happened just about a year and a half ago.

Let me now attempt to address a frequently asked question, with as much honesty as I can muster up in this moment. That is - what am I thinking about/feeling as I am walking along? First of all, I no longer believe that a person on foot (at least this person) has any greater chance of being 'present' than a person traveling at speed. That becomes clear in the frequency with which I must recall myself from attentions concerning my immediate future, to appreciate the surrounding beauty, or whatever the moment may bring. I am doing a lot of chanting as I walk, sometimes hearing internal music. Perhaps I am in a more sober state of mind than I was earlier on; not playing music as I was before  (on a harmonica I was given), or listening to recordings. Emotions are certainly close to the surface these days, I notice. Whether it is about beauty and love, or grief for myself, or the planet and all its critters (including us humans), they seem to pool up at about the heart chakra so that I feel as if a little acupuncture would be beneficial! Through it all, there is gratitude for many kindnesses (most recent thanks to road angels in Eagle and Edwards) and new appreciation for the struggles of people along the way. Always a new opportunity pay respect, right?

Fallen rocks!

Lion's Head Rock


  1. Looking at the weather in the next few days (today is Wed morning) i can see why you would hold up somewhere dry and out of the wind ... lotsa thunderstorms in the forecast and best seen thru a window rather then from under a tree.

  2. Watching the weather on Hwy 6. Hope u made it to Loveland! Today is beautiful! Sending happy thoughts to you!