"The most appealing thing about you is that nobody has ever experienced the order of things exactly the way you have... You can't tone down for any audience-real or perceived. That's poison. That diminishes your calling. We simply aren't capable of creating great things with the objective of being appreciated by everyone who witnesses." "Creative Creatures," by Julliet
I'm well aware that the pages of this journal often fail to resonate with some, if not most, of its audience. Bobbie and I are fortunate to live in a mountainous environment, one that replenishes our souls and inspires outdoor activities. As I recently told my brother, Dan..."it's what we do."
But the "clock" is running—faster and faster it seems—and while "inspiration" runs fast and furious, our bodies are growing slow and furious. What can possibly replace "what one does" when they can no longer "do" it? When that day comes, be it a year or a decade or, if we are lucky, we die just before that happens, I hope to seek out other sources of inspiration to be more creative...something that now plays a back burner role to outdoor activities.
At least I know where to seek inspiration. I find it in Juliet's musing blog compositions, the nightly read at my bedside, and, for now, the challenges that lie right out my front door. Whatever it is it must be challenging, for an unchallenged existence is just that: Existence. Believe it or not—like it or not, humans flourish when challenged, be it creative art or meaningful work, be it mental or physical or, preferably, both. It has been my experience that mental and physical are complimentary in that one tends to balance the other. And "balance," after all, is something we need now more than ever.
Bobbie suggests a hike up to the lake above Bullion King Mine in hopes that most of the snow will be gone by now. Maybe so, it does has a south-facing approach and broad bowl basin.
As you can see in the above photo, snow blocks the road a few miles up. That's ok, we are here to hike. What's another couple miles?
The "partly cloudy" fails to materialize. Skies continue to darken and thunder rumbles in the distance.
Then it starts to rain. Out come jackets. Rain changes to gropple, wind kicks up, out come the gloves.
So far so good...except for thunder, which seems to be getting closer. WTF? It's like 9:30 in the morning!
The higher we go the more we encounter snow, eventually covering our cliff-hanging notch-of-a-road.
But then we come to this. What the photo doesn't show is a deadly cliff, down and to the lower left.
I venture out a few steps to test a possible traverse. Yikes. The snow is still frozen... enough that it was difficult to stomp/carve step for Bobbie to follow in.
We stood there, under-dressed and undecided. Thunder rolls, gropple falls, skies darken. We practice "self-arrest" maneuvers with hiking poles...in case footing gives way to "slope."
In the end we decide to bail. Too much risk without proper gear...and thunder. Of course halfway back to the car skies clear, birds chirp, and gropple dissipates.
Not ready to go home, we slog up to a ridge line in order to have a peek at Black Bear Pass Road.
The road is clear down low, but eventually gets snowed in up higher in the "cliffy" section. We talk about running the ridge above Black Bear, then recall from experience the sketchy steep section with huge boulders just aching to take you out. On top of that, my legs feel tired...weak as a couple wet noodles. We bag it, go home and take a nap instead. The mountain will be there tomorrow...
This panorama shot of leftover avalanche debris (below) was taken just 3 miles from Lovely Ouray on Highway 550 South. There's a deep canyon under all that snow and "lumber," but you wouldn't know it by looking at the photo.
Panorama: Scroll →
mark and bobbie