Desert Bighorn Sheep

Desert Bighorn Sheep

Yesterday on the way home from lunch, we spotted some things that looked like rocks amid the sage, junipers, and pinon at the base of the Monument’s cliffs just off South Broadway between Fruita and Grand Junction (western Colorado). I pulled off the road, and, sure enough, the bighorns were there. It wasn’t this bunch. It was a group of bachelor rams snoozing in the early spring sun.You never know what you will see! Even a drive across town can be an adventure.

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Twists and Turns

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Yesterday, we drove up the road to the Grand Mesa again. Every day more of the aspens on the mountain are turning gold. This time, instead of driving up to Mesa Lakes, we turned left on the road to Colbran.

The two-lane highway follows Plateau Creek through a green ranching valley dotted with barns and farmhouses.

We have driven that way many times before at this time of year. Ranchers are loading bales of hay into trucks and fluorescent orange signs welcoming hunters are everywhere.

The foliage on the trees has not changed yet, but the leaves have lost the deep green of late summer. They have become almost translucent in the lower sunlight.

The air is still warm, but there is a bite in it that warns all the wild creatures to prepare for less plentiful times. 

Just as the road twists through the entrenched meanders of the stream canyon, lived experience follows paths set by the twists and turns of the seasons, the demands and privileges of age, and all of the other amazing patterns laid out by nature.

These patterns are not a curse or a prison. They allow us to understand (stand under) our fellow living beings, and maybe even water that has recycled since before the dinosaurs or layered cliffs that are not as entrenched as they seem.

Buddies

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There are several kinds of adventures.

  • solitary adventures
  • adventures shared with a stranger or a few strangers
  • adventures shared with an acquaintance or a few friends
  • adventures shared with a close friend
  • adventures shared with family members
  • adventures shared with a life partner

Each adventure is flavored by companionship, just as a soup or sauce is changed by spices added. The basic character of the journey remains the same, but different details come to the fore.

When my husband and I went up to the Grand Mesa on Friday, the trip was different than it would have been with my former walking partner, or with only my own company. My husband loves to stop and watch the birds, butterflies, bees, and, in this case, chimunks. Not everyone does.

Our conversation is different, too. Often, we don’t talk at all. We don’t have to. Like the little friends in the picture, we are out together devouring the beauty of the day, taking pictures, and hording memories.

That day, we had so many.

  • a long walk through golden woods
  • a fantastic hamburger and home fries at Mesa Lakes Lodge and Resort
  • butterflies and chipmunks
  • glittering diamonds on the lakes
  • stillness

But, most of all, just being together sharing another special experience.

Autumn on the Grand Mesa

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Yesterday was clear and bright in western Colorado.

After feasting on fresh pastry and hot coffee at Slice of Life Bakery in Palisade, Colorado http://www.yelp.com/biz/slice-o-life-bakery-palisade, my husband I drove up through the serpentine canyon that leads off of  Interstate 70 up to the top of Grand Mesa, often called the largest flat-topped mountain in the world. http://www.milebymile.com/main/highway-2730.html

We passed the little town of Mesa and the green ranches where horses and cattle graze. http://www.colorado.com/cities-and-towns/mesa

We continued up past Powderhorn, http://www.powderhorn.com/ our local ski resort, which, under new management, is developing new summer activities such as mountain biking and hiking. As the fall colors deepen, the lifts may run on weekends to take visitors through the vibrant woods.

The lower slopes were still green, so we drove on up to Mesa Lakes and parked by Jumbo Reservoir. http://www.coloradodirectory.com/grandmesaarea/

Around the lakes in this group, the aspens had just turned gold. They shimmered against a sky so blue it did not seem real.

Every year, this show is as fresh and amazing as the first time we saw it more than a dozen years ago. http://activerain.com/blogsview/1866534/color-sunday-is-next-weekend-on-grand-mesa-delta-county-colorad-

It is even more special because we know it will not last very long. As I write this, those leaves are starting to fall, leaving bare white limbs against the dark firs, spruces, and pines.

Lower down the hill, other trees are starting to change. It is magic. Wherever you are, there is magic today.

Don’t miss it.

The Adventure Begins

I live in beautiful western Colorado, but several times a year I venture out into other parts of our great country.

Some people say that American cities and towns are all the same. I don’t understand that. Sure, some of the big business are the same. I know I’m weird, but I find that kind of comforting. If I have forgotten my toothbrush or comb again, I can find it quickly.

The similarities are there, but the differences are far more interesting. They are dictated by local climate, natural resources, and history.

In this blog, I will feature other bloggers, sites from around the Internet, and, sometimes, my own extremely modest adventures.

When I was a child, my parents took me on a trip to western Canada. That was the only time I have ever left the US, but I enjoy reading about other countries and chatting with people from around the world.

Every day is an adventure and every person is an exotic destination.