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Sunday, November 29, 2015

From Red, to White, to There Ain't No Cure for the Wintertime Blues…

“… free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water. Time… isn’t something to fight against." (Roman Payne)

From Lovely Ouray, Colorado: Oh to be like "her." Indeed, it's about time I befriend "Time." It is far less enemy than my attitude. What difference is made by fools who rage against wind… Winter... or Time? 

Time is s-l-o-w like a tortoise in Winter, I track it on iCal while home in Lovely Ouray… crossing off days and shoveling White Plague from deck and drive. Yes, I climb aboard the tortoise' back, to "slow ride," to smell "roses," only to watch summer grass and old friends wither and die underfoot. Roses don't grow in Wintertime, fool, and Father Time doesn't wait on fools to be enlightened. 

Nietzsche's take on Winter:
"Winter, a wicked guest, sitting at home with me; my hands are blue from the handshake of his friendship. I honor the wicked guest, but I like to let him sit alone. I like to run away from him; and if one runs well, one escapes him.  With warm feet and warm thoughts I run where the wind stands still, to the sunny nook of my mount of olives. There I laugh at my severe guest and am still well disposed toward him for catching the flies at home and for silencing much small noise. 

Whom ever I love, I love better in Winter than in summer; I mock my enemies better and more heartily since Winter dwells in my home… and if I ever lie, I lie out of love."   

This post is surrendered from my comfortable, hearth-warmed Lazy Boy in Lovely Ouray, Colorado. Another fairytale-come-true fall tour in the land of Zion has passed from the NOW to fond memory. Goldie rests in storage near Virgin, all winterized and ready to go again come January something-or-other. It sounds so far off in the future, then again, so did Orwell's 1984 once upon a time.  

Holidays are passable, what with snowshoeing, entertaining family and guests, and making preparations for Santa's imminent arrival. Football and Food and Bailey's Irish Cream sustains us through Winter's shortest days and longest nights. I wear the White Plague with pride, as a Badge of Courage, but do so with a bit of a grimace. 

I take some pleasure in looking forward to Holidays, you know, guiltlessly putting on the usual five (ten, actually) pounds from all the highly sweetened, partially hydrogenated lard… embracing assorted carcinogenic charcoaled meats…  as well as eschewing sobriety, exercise, and wellness in general :).  

I have a couple more posts from the Crimson and Clover of Zion, then, with all the "shock and awe" of modern warfare, will abruptly transition to the harsh but beautiful realities of winter that lies just beyond Imax Windows in the great outdoors. 

Below is yet another hike in some nameless, trail-less canyon, and we had it all to ourselves. It's good to know that one can still have solitude in Zion National Park these days…  if they think just a little out-of-the-box.


  1. Such beautiful country. Thank you for showing us! Amazing places you visit.

  2. Both places are incredibly beautiful...you are fortunate to be able to experience both!

  3. Welcome home! I found out the other day that you have a webcam up on one of the mountains overlooking Ouray. Now I'm addicted to THAT. Looks a little snowy.

    So, in January, any chance your gonna be in the Quartzite, Congress, McDowell areas. Any chance for a meet up? I have a feeling you generally go south and east of these areas. Assuming your coming this way at all this year.

    Love the Nietzsche quote, and the snow shorts photo. I can hear Jim Nabors now..."Back home again...in Lovely Ouray".

    1. Quartzsite is not our cup of "tea." But we will be making the rounds in southern Aridzona… but with no specific itinerary, just according to weather and whim. I'm sure well cross paths.

  4. Oh how I love that red rock country…..we're spending the winter in Florida to be with aging and beloved parents. So it's kayaking and walking and biking sandy beaches and trails through piney woods until we can return to the West in the spring. Gorgeous photos!

    1. Not much red rock nor mountains in Florida, but I bet the water is nice!

  5. I find this shift to winter very difficult as my body aches with cold and longs to bask under a warming sun.

  6. I adore that picture of Bobbie and me trying to stand up straight on that slope. It makes me laugh every time I look at it. Though the slope does not look near as steep as it felt! What a wondrous place for wanderers and wandresses!

  7. Never tire of seeing your Zion pictures each year! There probably aren't many who have seen as much of it as you and Bobbie. Hope your transition back to snowy white landscapes was not too harsh.

  8. Hi Mark & Bobbie, your adventures since leaving Ouray in October have been some great reading and the photography just refreshes our memory of trips taken over the last 25 years throughout the West. We totally agree with your live for today philosophy, when our time is up we will handle that with more of the same gratitude that we have experienced each & every day we have been alive. As you know Al & I are very fond of France and it has been very sad to see what is happening in all of Europe just since we have returned home from Ouray. How different things would be if Al Gore had been elected President, no Iraq War, no 9-11, no ISIS and we would be 25 years into Climate Change Recovery!
    If the American people would get reacquainted with Nature and spend more time caring about their neighborhoods and communities instead of just being Consumers the country would not be facing all these horrific acts of violence that we see on the news everyday.
    We are glad to see Ouray is getting some snow early this winter and we will look forward to your adventures around those gorgeous mountains. Sure hope that Ridgeway Reservoir fills up this winter.
    Sonoma County guys
    Al & Doug

  9. Always good to know I'm not the only one "eschewing wellness" at this time of year. I'm trying, but biology wants extra calories when it feels the nip of winter.


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