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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Someday Country

I sometimes fumble along the written page here amongst the walls of Box Canyon. Putting into words the physical and emotional connection between a man and his geography is difficult. My tongue is often defeated by its meager vocabulary, so when the phrase I desperately seek to "turn" doesn't budge, I resort to someone who better expresses the concept. This being one of those moments, I offer David Malouf's words from "An Imaginary Life:" Here, the immensity, the emptiness, feeds the spirit, and leaves it with no hunger for anything but more space, more light—as if one had suddenly glimpsed the largeness, the emptiness of one's own soul, and come to terms with it, glorying at last in its open freedom." 

It would be suicidal to throw away the things one lives for, which, for me, is just another way of saying, I would rather be dead than live without mountains and wild country. It is true that, without mountains and wildness, I would indeed suffocate, for I, like Ellen Meloy, "cannot abandon the geography that feeds my every breath." 

Well, it seems early to me, but evidently Ms Autumn sneaked into the San Juan Mountains above Ouray this week. She brought along her brushes and palette and layered in the first coats of yellow, gold, orange, and red. It's going to be a marvelous painting when completed. I'll save that for the next post. Meanwhile, here are photos from our exploration of Silver Basin. "Silver" was "someday country," one of many places we'd yet to experience, even though it's only about 7 miles from our doorstep. One's "someday country" list should grow longer with time; it keeps the pulse of life alive and feeds your soul with anticipation. 

And in conclusion, photos from a hike to Chief Ouray Mine, a couple thousand feet above Lovely Ouray.

Have a great hump-day,
mark and bobbie


  1. Don't like that header photo, we want those leaves to be still on the trees and turning when we arrive Oct 4 and not on the ground. Now last year it came late in our favorite areas and had dropped in other places while we visited so this year it will probably be just the reverse. Dam that Climate Change.
    Just heard last week California had the hottest summer on record and the hottest August every, except for the N Coast and the Bay area, so we at least made the right move back in 1980 even if we are sitting on the edge of the San Andreas fault, we will be gone before that slips again.
    Now as far as those words of David Malouf about the emptiness of one own soul, that's doesn't sound like someone who's in charge of their earthly existence and I don't think that applies to you. We grow & expand our minds every day and that's what we came here to do.
    Keep it up & Stay thirsty my friend.
    See ya in 19 days.

    1. Yikes! Doug and Al... I guess I assumed you two would be coming earlier than that. We have a wedding party (son) over that weekend of the 1st, so we'll overlap a day or two before we are scheduled to head for Utah (Maybe get together on Wednesday?) The "leaves" are turning early... hopefully there will be some stragglers left when you arrive.
      Thanks, guys... see you soon!
      mark and Bobbie

  2. Spectacular colors:) Your summer season must only be about a week long! It seems just yesterday you had thigh high snow on the trails and now fall is upon you.

  3. I wish I had your way with words and your skill as a photographer. Your pictures almost don't need words, but your narration really transports the reader to where you are. Thanks for sharing. I'm in Ignacio CO and went p Wolf Creek Pass the other day, but I haven't seen any change in the leaves, yet. Hopefully, it will happen in the next two weeks or so.

    1. Thank you JBN...
      Sometimes it feels like a waste of time and energy, so that helps!

  4. Haven't commented in awhile. But we been lurk'n nevertheless. We're still getting used to this full-timer life. Made it to our first destination of things not seen...Glacier N.P. Now, we're settled in in the San Juan Islands of Washington for the next month. Would really like to rendezvous with you all in Utah late October/early November. Any chance? Maybe an email "chat"?

    1. We'll be there. Stay warm and dry up there in the PNW... and say Hi to the lovely Anna Cortes for me :)

  5. Oh my. Beautiful. Great prose; and so true.


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