Tag Archives: Hiking

Day of Rest

This morning, Eric and Sam and Ringo and I hiked some of the North Lone Pine Trail. Eric had been bringing home such amazing pictures of the aspen trees turning color from his recent hikes, saying the other day “they look like they are plugged in, they are so bright,” I wanted to see for myself.

On the trail itself, there wasn’t much color, at least not the gold I was hoping for. In fact I only really saw this one tree, and it wasn’t even an aspen.

But I did see a moose! This is kind of a big deal for me. Eric has seen lots as he’s hiked over the years. The road to North Lone Pine Trail, Dead Man’s Road, is where he saw a mom and two babies just last year. I have been looking for a moose for years, expect to see one every time I go to Shambhala Mountain Center, but it’s only sort of happened once. We were up near Red Feather Lakes and in the distance on the side of a hill, I saw what I thought was a huge horse and just seconds before it was out of sight, I realized it was a moose — which felt like it didn’t really count as seeing one.

As we were driving up this morning, Eric said “look for moose because this is where I saw the mom and babies, although that was in spring.” I started looking, and not even five minutes later, there it was! Eating breakfast in what was essentially the backyard of someone’s camping spot. Eric started cracking up laughing because as soon as I saw it, I yelled, “A moose! I saw a fucking moose! Right there, right there!”

The fact that all four of us went on the hike is yet another sign that Ringo is growing up. On Friday at daycare, he went his first whole day without a single timeout, (he can get a bit pushy when someone isn’t paying attention to him, grabbing other dogs’ collars or barking).

The weather today was unexpected. When we pulled into the trailhead parking lot, it was sunny and nice. Just a few minutes into our hike, I realized I’d left my sunglasses in the car, and Eric was so sure I’d need them, we went back. Almost immediately clouds started rolling in and we ended up hiking in fog that made it seem like we were back on the Oregon Coast.

The view when we first arrived.

The view when we first arrived.

The same view when we got back to our car after our hike.

The same view when we got back to our car after our hike.

One of my favorite things about hiking is the opportunity for contemplation. It’s so quiet and peaceful, spacious inside and out. At one point today I started noticing how even though the trail is wide and there are many possible paths, various ways to go, many options for where to place your feet, there’s always one that is clearly the best. As I scan the ground, I can see the line I’ll take, it stands out against all the other possibilities. I feel like this is true about my life as well, that as I walk my path the right way to go is clear.

Hiking with Eric and the dogs also allows for conversation and connection. Eric and I talked about plans for the future, a few things we were struggling with, and how happy we both are right now, how satisfied we are with our life together. Eric said at one point, “if I lived my life over 10 more times, I couldn’t find a way to be happier than I am right now.”

At another point on the trail, when I was struggling to keep going but remembering how I’d done three hours of yoga the day before, Eric mentioned how my strength was yoga and his was hiking, and said, “What you practice is what you get good at.” So right.

Along the trail, someone had built a fairy house, a tiny log cabin next to Killpecker Creek.

Someone had also built a shrine on a tree stump. Somehow we hiked right past it on the way in, but noticed it on the way out. Eric asked if I had anything to leave, but all I had was a spare battery for my camera, dog treats and poop bags.

On the way back to town, we met up with a cattle drive. I told Eric, “you know you live in Colorado when you see a moose and a cattle drive on the same morning.” The Cattle Dog mix riding on the back of the horse with his person was just about one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. Do you see how he’s smiling?



#smallstone: Pictures

samhikingloryMy favorite thing about smartphones is that they have a camera, which means Eric can text me pictures when he and Sam are hiking.

samhikinglory02I wish I could be with them, instead of at work like I usually am, but second best is to be able to see what they see, how beautiful it is, to know that they are together there, that they are thinking of me.

ericandsamhikingloryThe only thing better would be if dogs knew how to text, if they could learn English and how to spell, take a picture and attach it. Then I could send Sam a message when we are at work and he’s home alone, ask him how he’s doing, tell him I love him and we’ll be home soon. He’d text me back a selfie of himself on the couch, “Keeping an eye on things here. Everything is okay. About to take another nap. Love and miss you, Mom!” That would be awesome.


Gratitude Friday

1. Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes from our garden. There’s something meditative about picking them, and it feels so good to be able to share with people who don’t have a garden this year — although yesterday, after about 45 minutes of harvesting and almost running out of containers to put them in, I was ready to put a “free tomatoes, pick your own” sign on the plants out front.

2. Red Table Cafe. *sob* I just learned yesterday that they’ll be closing mid-December because their landlord is raising their rent by 46%. This is my absolutely favorite cafe in Old Town, my favorite place to sit, have important conversations, to laugh and eat. I am going to miss it so much when it’s gone, will enjoy it as much as I can until then.

3. Deva Premal chanting “Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha, (removing of obstacles).” Every tarot card I’ve pulled this week has been about the need to calm, focus, quiet my mind. This mantra, and specifically Deva’s recording of it, is so helpful.

4. Noosa. How did I not know about this? And in the end, why did it take a California girl to tell me when it’s made only eight miles from my house with milk from the local dairy where I buy ours?!

noosa5. Meditation, yoga, writing — the calm, comforting qualities of practice, constant and known, yet fresh every time.

Bonus Joy: Hiking with my boys. Fall is the best time to hike in Colorado. This past Sunday, we hiked ten miles on the Blue Lake Trail. It was beautiful and awesome.

Day of Rest

As we hiked at Lory State Park this morning, I kept noticing spots that had burnt in recent fires but were now coming back in, green and full of wildflowers. It made me think of how grief is like that, a fire that burns everything, strips it all bare and raw, but how that doesn’t have to be the end of the story. Given time, sunshine and rain, new seed, things grow, the landscape is restored. The destruction isn’t forgotten completely (notice the singed trees in this picture), but rather it forms the foundation for the new growth. It’s a harsh process, but on the other side, there is something like beautiful.

#augustbreak2013 Day Eleven


viewfromtheballI can’t think about play without thinking of Dexter. He was the most cheerful, happy dog, always looking for an opportunity to have some fun. He is the only dog we’ve had that if we were going on a trip, we needed to make sure and pack toys, and he had favorites: his Little D, various other babies such as his kitty or his baby ram or Monkey, and any tennis ball, even better if he’d found it on a walk.

Dexter on the beach last summer, with a tennis ball he'd found

Dexter on the beach last summer, with a tennis ball he’d found

No matter how much he loved playing with other toys, Little D was always his favorite. It was a bit sad because Little D was the present we gave him for Christmas the month after Obi died, a sort of “sorry your brother is gone” gift. He loved Little D almost as much as he loved his Obi, which is really saying something. One of Dexter’s favorite games with Little D was to throw him into a pile of leaves or snow, bury him deep in the pile, dig him out, shake him around, and then start the whole thing all over again. I’m not sure how much Little D liked it, but Big D loved it.

Without Dexter, play looks a bit different. This morning, it was taking my two boys and my camera up to Lory State Park, going on a three hour hike, being surprised by not one but two mama deers with twin babies, noticing how green everything is and how many wildflowers there are, stopping to smell the vanilla sent of the pines, taking lots of pictures, remembering and missing our Dexter even as we imagined what our next dog might be like, hoping he (she?) has the same playful attitude, cheerful disposition as he did.

Gratitude Friday

1. Hiking with Eric and Sam. One of my favorite things with two of my favorite boys.

2. Connecting with friends. I know and love some really amazing women, smart and funny and courageous, and whether they are making me laugh with a Facebook post, sending me a sweet email, sitting next to me at a movie, wowing me by posting an amazing picture on Instagram, inspiring me with some brave move, sitting across a table from me sharing an ideas, or leaning in to listen to one of mine, I am so so lucky to have them.

trailsign023. Eric, the pies he makes me, hugs he gives, texts he sends with pictures of Sam, pictures he takes for me while he and Sam are out hiking, the sound of him asleep next to me. He’s my favorite.

4. It’s August, and everything here is still so green.

5. The surprise of a baby bird.

Bonus Joy: Sam, who continues to give me a place to put all my dog love.

#augustbreak2013 Day Four


Eric and Sam on our hike at Horsetooth Mountain Park this morning

I love hiking.
I love where I live.
I love my boys, man and dog.

I am trying to love having just one dog.
One dog who is grown,
can take himself out to go potty,
can be trusted to not eat the couch while I’m in the shower,
who after a long walk will chill, hang out with me while I work,
and who, as far as I know, isn’t terminally ill.

But even as I open myself to loving this moment,
this just one dog,
I also carry the weight of love
for my two boys who are gone,
live that love/loss just as presently,
experience that love without a target,
love unbound from form.