travel


This Tuesday afternoon, Red and I will head west on US Highway 50, bound for Olympia, Washington, for a family gathering over Labor Day weekend. It's a 1,450-mile-drive on the route I'm taking, and I don't like to drive more than 6 hours in a day, so it'll take me a few days. 


There's a Buddhist story about a frustrated student who asks the retreat leader how many times she has to learn a lesson before she can move on. The teacher pauses, thinks, and says, "As many times as you need."

Yesterday I drove halfway across the state of Colorado, or so it seemed, from Fort Collins on the northern Front Range south to Golden, and then up through the foothills and into the high country, across the wide and windy bowl of South Park, and then down into the Upper Arkansas Valley and home.

Today was road trip day: I drove to Colorado Springs to do city errands, including buying cartridges for my computer printer necessary to finishing my memoir. I've been putting this trip off for weeks; I didn't want to spend a day and the energy required to make the four-hour, 230-mile round-trip drive.

Cottonwoods showing autumn's final colors along the Rio Chama. Cottonwoods showing bronzey-gold fire along the Rio Chama.
A selfie while driving--the road was straight, there was no other traffic, and right then there was no snow on the road.... A selfie while driving--the road was straight, there was no other traffic, and there was no snow on the road....
Red and I head up Poncha Creek on our way to Marshall Pass Red and I head up Poncha Creek on our way to Marshall Pass. (I was not driving when I shot this photo!)
Blazingstar flowers (Mentzelia sp.) open in early afternoon and attract night-flying moths and other pollinators. Blazingstar flowers (Mentzelia sp.) open in early afternoon to attract night-flying moths.
Molly, Richard and me in Boulder (we had an old Volvo station wagon then) Molly, Richard and me in Boulder (we had an old Volvo station wagon then)
The wide-open San Luis Valley with the Sangre de Cristo Range on the left, on the road to Durango. The wide-open San Luis Valley with the Sangre de Cristo Range on the left.

I've been on the road teaching and speaking so much this spring that I sometimes forget what is next.

Highway 285 across South Park in blowing snow. Highway 285 across South Park in blowing snow.
Words that arrowed straight to my heart.... Just a few words... of such great power.

On the bookshelf to the right of my desk sits a simple hand-lettered card bearing birthday wishes  and this quote:

Happiness is a form of courage. --George Holbrook Jackson

Foothills of the San Juan Mountains along US 50 east of Montrose, Colorado Foothills of the San Juan Mountains along US 50 east of Montrose, Colorado
Dad with Colin and his little brother Liam Dad with Colin and his little brother Liam last summer
Evening-primrose "snow" on a flat above the Arkansas River, Colorado Pallid evening-primrose "snow" on a flat along the Arkansas River, Bighorn Sheep Canyon, Colorado
Installing the top row of the blue styrofoam footer forms on a windy afternoon. Installing the blue styrofoam footer forms on a windy afternoon. (We're still "below ground." The tops mark the floor level of the new house.)
The courtyard between the lodge and the hot springs at Joyful Journey as winter sunset colors the Sangre de Cristo Range in the background.

"Begin as you intend to continue," my Scots grandmother used to say. Which to me means,

Biscayne Bay and the Venetian Causeway from my hotel room balcony (that's Miami Beach in the distance).
US Highway 285 across South Park
Cottonwoods along Ojo Caliente Wash, New Mexico.

It's been a traveling week: I've been to New Mexico, and then driven the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma to northwest Arkansas. Tomorrow I hit the road for home, a two-day, 800-mile drive across the Southern Plains.