Can we all agree, for the sake of argument, that if everyone was in agreement about everything there would be little reason for discourse, and even less reason to get out of bed? As soon as you completely agree with me or I with you, one or both of us is going to nod off. So please, let's just disagree to agree. Can I get an amen?
Yesterday morning broke calm and cloudy and far too warm for the last day of September. Certainly Ms Autumn is in no rush this year, which is fine with me because I love her fall attire.
We decided to check out the foliage up Dexter Creek Trail, a hike that Bobbie and I couldn't agree as to what year we were there last nor about just how far we went. I know better than to challenge her hundred terabyte RAM, so I kept my opinion on the hush hush. We got a late start, but Dexter is only a convenient 5 minute drive from home.
|A boiler gives way to rust just a half mile up Dexter Creek. We could see that it was once housed in a small brick building not much bigger that the boiler. Imagine how hot it would be in there…|
To be honest, nothing up Dexter looked familiar… not even the unforgettable mining ruins. So I began to think that the last time I hiked Dexter must have been way back, like when we lived in Montrose in the 80's or early 90's.
|Two doors for coal feed|
It seemed strange that we hadn't hiked Dexter Creek Trail since moving to Ouray, particularly during fall, as it winds through a mostly aspen forest.
|More mining ruins further up the trail|
It was a quiet hike. Bobbie and I often put some distance between ourselves so as to better experience the solitude and woods… me, pausing to photograph, her, to identify flowers or plants. We try to rendezvous every hour or so to see how we're doing and make sure everything is ok.
After a little over three miles, aspens began to give way to dark timbered spruce and fir. Pitter pats of rain began to fall so we took shelter under pine bows next to a creek… listening… feeling our bodies' sensual relaxation response to the sound, sight, smell, and touch of Nature and solitude. An elk bugled out long and hard, staking his territory and harem.
We were but a mile from a ridge line that our map said offered prime views of Courthouse, Precipice, Dunsinane, and Sneffels mountains. But on the heels of a long bike ride the day before, my legs were not "feeling it." Sometimes less is more.
Edward Abbey said it take two weeks of camping away from civilization before one can start to unwind from societal anxieties enough to begin to connect with Nature. Imagine the psychological, emotional, physical—spiritual?—benefits of extending one's immersion into wilderness and solitude, not having a deadline to meet, a job to rush back to, a house to tend, an appointment to keep, an argument to be won.
Is that kind of life even possible anymore? Abbey certainly longed for it later in life. The more well known he became, the more he wanted to disappear into the wild… hunt his own food, write in his journal, and ponder the reason for existence. He tired of the rejection and revision and reviews involved in writing for money, his chosen avocation because, "What else can a Philosophy major do?"
|"Miner's Cardolite." We assumed this old bucket contained some chemical that burned and provided light from the front of miner's hats.|
|Another mine site further up Dexter Creek|
|The "outhouse" was still standing|