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Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Near and Far, and Highs and Lows, of "Love"

Bobbie tightens her shoelaces in preparation for the "toe jam" descent back to Lovely Ouray

It's as peculiar and subtle as "love," how a quad curdling, anaerobic, toe jamming hike goes from "I'll never do that again" to "a favorite." Twin Peaks looms two thousand vertiginous feet above Lovely Ouray, and watches over our little Swiss Village like a primordial goddess. This seductive Siamese sentinel belched forth from molten goo some ten miles underfoot... a mere thirty million years ago.     

Like any good seductress, Twin Peaks is a contradiction. She blurs the line between beauty and beast, pain and pleasure... good and evil. No free and easy pushover, Twin Peaks exacts her toll in blisters and blood. If the obligatory "sacrifice" pleases Her godlessness, you may consummate her climb. 

A rather lengthy and tempestuous courtship preceded my falling in love with Twin Peaks; she could be downright abusive and I didn't particularly care for the "toll" she took on my body. But I kept coming back for more. I've had similar relationships, where the "quest" kept me interested as much as the "destination." Men and their "challenges;" is there anything more bewildering than our wretched compulsion to conquer, and subsequent yearn to move on? Sigh. 

If ever there was a wanderlusted soul, it is I; "re-dos" generally excite me about as much as a dental appointment. But Twin Peaks was somehow different. I came to know her gradually, memorizing every inch like the back of my hand. To my astonishment, the familiarity of courtship did not breed the usual contempt. Must be love; it's about time. 

It goes without saying; I've been seeing "other mountains." But Twin Peaks and I remain best of friends. I sit for hours on her Eagles nest summit, watching clouds muscle up with moisture and listening to the rumble of thunder's distant drums. I see the "other mountains," Courthouse, White House, and Hayden's apostles four... Uncompaghre, Potosi, and Abrams, rising from the Amphitheater's floor. Northward, a parched sea-valley fades into midday haze on my curve-of-the-earth horizon. Magically, Grand Mesa seems to float above it all... one hundred miles distant. 

Spent; sated; my 360 degree circle of love complete, I notice ant-like cars off my boot tips... darting to and fro in search of Main Street parking... way, way, down in Lovely Ouray. I am completely and utterly immersed in Grandeur... near and far, high and low. Today, there is a God.

Lovely Ouray, nestled in the bosom of her Mountain Mama. The Million Dollar Highway serpentines toward Red Mountain Pass... Silverton, and Durango. 

White House Mountain... above and below.

Looking north... Grand Mesa's flat top mountain floats on the horizon like a pin on water.

The ever-colorful Blowout, and distant Courthouse Mountain

Sister Peak... but she's "adopted."

Hikers coming... and Grand Mesa, way down valley

On this day, Bobbie and friend Lenard join in


Mount Abrams... a classic pyramid. Maybe our next climb...

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  1. Sort of like hiking rim-to-rim. I say I'll never do it again, but then the canyon calls my name.

    I loved driving that Million $ Hwy.

    Awesome views!

  2. gaelyn,
    Rim to Rim has long been on our "list." Lately, due to some chronic pleasure limiting injuries, I feel like it's slipping away.

    One of my biggest concerns is that the North Rim doesn't open until mid May... by then it's well over a hundred degrees at the river crossing. It seems daunting in that kind of heat to make the climb down and out in one day. We have hiked the south rim loop... down one trail and back up bright angel, but that was 15 years ago. We couldn't walk for two days after that...

    What are our chances, in your opinion?

  3. A grand report on a hike I would love to do but most likely will never make and so your blog today may be the closest I ever get. At least I could enjoy some of it by looking at the excellent photos you provided. Thanks.

    Keep on trucking', Mark!

  4. I was "jazzed" as usual!!

    I clicked and liked!

  5. Gumo,
    Vicarious travel is the next best thing to being there... it's why god made the internet :))
    Thanks for taking us to Texas pretties.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Somewhere, someday, a cube-dweller or two will thanks you
    Now I will do my best to "convert" them into outdoor lubbers. Ha!

  6. God created internet?--- thought Al Gore took credit for internet- God developed twitter?? Enjoy the day-no doubt in my mind you will just do that-- I arrived in Minnesota yesterday - fun with grandkids and heading out for run through hills of Minn- I think I get same feeling as your hikes in lovely Ouray.
    (minus injuries and scrapes!)- is that possible??

  7. Twin Peaks, how sweet she is. Climbing her took my breath away (literally). Seeing the pictures I understand your attraction of her just being next door. She'll keep you in shape if you visit her often. Enjoy!

  8. Walden Steve,
    Enjoy your G. kids and Minn.. Hope the skeeters aren't too bad on your hikes there. Lovely Ouray does not have skeeters... nor poisonous snakes :)) You need to re visit someday.

    John Q,
    Yes, last year that was our first hike together last year and I was the one who bonked. We have hikes lined out the door this year, come ready to roll.
    thanks, mark

  9. hey there mark love your blog.an you take great videos, hell did you robbed the cradie with bobbie.no gray!!.anyhoo just a shout out. travel in happness an go in peace. gary green

  10. Gary,
    Like a fine wine, Bobbie ages well :))
    Thanks for your comment!


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