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Friday, July 5, 2013

Light, Shadow, and Revelations on a Solo Trek to the Summit of Mount Abrams

Six o'clock am Monday past: Good morning July! A bearish, bed-headed oaf shuffles for coffee, already wondering how best to occupy the first of three precious days off from work. Morning stiffness spams the brain with muscle alarms: "Body does not yet favor the upright position." He slumps into his overstuffed Lazy Boy, which, upon the bottomed-out rebound, spills coffee on a favorite Port Aransas tank top. Disgusted, he swivels 180 degrees, away from the mindless big screen black hole that only last night wasted a few more precious grains of hourglass sand, and peers out an Imax window that overlooks Lovely Ouray and its sentinel peak, Mount Abrams. It occurs to the oaf to spend a few grains of sand climbing that mountain, as soon as coffee and aspirin kicks in.

Portender or Pretender
Teasing puffs of clouds portend the approach of monsoon season; it is July, after all. Good riddance to another insufferable, long, hot, dry, and windswept June. May July fulfill her promise of sweet merciful rain...let it fall in buckets, or cats and dogs, or like it did after the last species boarded Noah's Ark, and quench the thirst of our parched forest and tundra, and right the mood of a foul, ungrateful pen.

Mountain gardens are my "church," and they wilt, as does my composure, with dry Junes' of late...enough to keep me around town on familiar dust. The photographer in me—dare I say it—loathes cloudless days; they are as unpalatable as unbuttered toast. This gives pause to many, including your's truly, as if I'm at serious risk of becoming a snob. You already know of my intolerance for long winters, cold, and "vanilla" landscapes; well now you can add drought and blue sky as well. It's a thin line, I'm walking, but hear me out. 

Work clocks run s-l-o-w-e-r than play clocks
It's easy to lose perspective when in a "forest of trees;" you can't measure progress without landmarks. Not that lame excuses countervail the inexcusable, but, in defense of the defendant, he would like to see how you'd fare if grilled under ten thousand watts of gallery lights—in high altitude heat, three percent humidity, sitting on a brick of a barstool—day-in day-out—then off to crunch through desiccated tundra, breathing smoke from God only knows how many wildfires. I've taken to fantasizing about the Oregon coast lately, all lush and green and moist (Moist; even the word melts in your mouth), in search of solace/salvation/redemption (take your pick). 
It's even too damn hot to go to the Hot Springs. 

But Abrams called, so I went to church; dry toast isn't so bad when you're hungry enough. Besides, I couldn't bear the thought of working around the house anymore (Projects completed in June: Trench and install sprinkler, drip system, and computerized control module for lawn, planters, and deck flowers. Find and fix leak in shower. Build storage shelves around entire garage ceiling perimeter, a work bench, and put moving boxes and "stuff" on said shelves so as to be able to use the garage as it was intended instead of as a storage unit...all while hiking with friends, and working, and so on).  

Yep, time to get high...at the risk of brown, flowerless tundra and disappointment. Who knows, maybe I'll come home with a renewed spirit, a little "redemption," to go along with an increased chance of wrinkles and skin cancer (glass still half empty).

Dad alway said...
My daddy use to say, "Sometimes a person finds what they are looking to find." In other words, if you go looking for trouble, that's what you'll get. And if you go looking for redemption, well, it's there next to "trouble." The moral of that proverb is to be careful what you look for, lest you set the outcome. 

Needless to say, we are not all equally endowed with the gracious aptitude/ability to throw back covers and break into song-and-dance at the crack of dawn, shouting, "It's gonna be a great day!" I really do count my blessings, really, but I tend to do that in private; it sounds like bragging, otherwise. Everything will be alright as soon as it starts raining. Till then, everything will be alright, so said the Mountain.

  Stay tuned for the photo conclusion of Mount Abrams...who know's, maybe it will rain by then and I will be healed. Also coming up are photos of the big fire hose water fights on Main Street Ouray...a Forth of July tradition that never disappoints. 


  1. Enjoyed getting "high" with you, almost made it into the clouds. Thanks.

  2. Interesting that you count your blessings in private so it doesn't sound like bragging. I try hard not to brag too much about how lucky I am and how good I usually have it, but I also tend to not want to get whiny about the things that aren't going so well. Thin line sometimes to not whine or brag. Having a bad week around here...writing my blog and reading others' blogs helps keep me grounded and looking forward to sunnier things.

  3. Like Gaelyn said...

    Gorgeous views and photos, and so glad the clouds showed up for you!

  4. The clouds do make for interesting shadows....awesome pictures!

    Great place for church!

  5. Mark, I don't know what to say about your postcards today. Your mood took your photos above and beyond. The clarity of that first photo of the house/barn has brought me back again and again to just stare at it. It is so clear. Many of the others have a terrific 3-D effect. Wow! I can't get enough tonight. Amazing work!

    I do hope you get the much needed rain. I really hope the wildfires stay at bay.

  6. Lovely as always...and I'm with you on those clouds. Give me a "moody" day any day, especially when I've got the camera with me!

  7. I loved the photos of your communion in the "outdoor church." I need to make a visit soon.

    Thanks for sharing the wisdom of your father - certainly food for thought...

  8. What amazing scenery and views, puts the ones I post to shame.

  9. More awesome pictures and great scenery, thanks for sharing.

  10. Dennis,
    Thanks, I'll get you into the clouds before summers over. Hang in.


    Thanks Lisa. Looks like you are doing B.V. up right...and getting some good steady rains. Envy you.

    Gay and Joe,
    Thanks for coming along...Salvation!

    John and Pam,
    You are missing the west, I can tell :))
    It really is different up that high. I'll prove it next time you are in the area.

    Wheeling Nina,
    Yes, and I am so enjoying you romp on Oregon's coastline. Water... I miss water. Just can't rain here this year. thanks, as always.

    Desert Diva,
    Stop by, I'll introduce you to the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost :)) thanks

    It really is hard to take a bad photograph when you are on top of the world... thank you, tho. :)

    Thanks George,
    I always stop by your site when I get hungry :) You guys do eat pretty. :)


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