As usual with me keeping a blog, time flies by and I find myself neglecting regular posts. On a certain level I’m ok with it; it usually means I’m too busy getting out and enjoying my surroundings, social or physical. On another, I feel like I’m not challenging myself enough to be reflective and critical—of myself, how I’m going through my journey, and obviously whether or not I’m taking the time to share my experiences with my friends and family.
Another month has gone by at the ranch and I’m quickly approaching my intended departure date. My prospective plan, to work as a raft guide in Arizona starting early March, has since fallen through for lack of snowmelt to feed the rivers, leaving me to head back to the drawing board for the next leg of the journey. A potential travel companion has found himself committed to life on the Front Range for the time being, returning my plans to their original state of solo adventuring. He and others living here have suggested that I settle down in the area for a few more months, at least till summer comes along. While the prospect of finding some work on the sooner end instead of waiting till summer when the weather is (more reliably) nice, it would be a turn toward the sedentary that I hadn’t originally planned for. Regardless, the possibility reminds me that my life these days is very much the blank canvass I’d been seeking and that the possibilities seem vast, at least on a good day.
Being able to structure my life around whim and adventure is no doubt a privilege, and I’ve been faced with reason to question and value that privilege. Coming down with a mild cold shouldn’t have caused any grave alarm, but ensuing and related neck troubles kept me from enjoying any physical activity for a while and effectively grounded the fun around which I had been structuring my free time. It seemed to beg the question: is it silly to be structuring my time around playing outside? Silly it may be, but as something I feel I’ve yearned for for a while, it doesn’t feel silly to pursue something that brings happiness and a sense of freedom.
In the mean time, I’ve been happy to find that I’ve been settling into life here in Colorado. Maybe that’s to be expected after a couple of months, but less and less do I feel at a loss for what to do with my free time, with fun and adventures at my fingertips and a growing number of friends to enjoy them with. The number of young volunteers and employees here at the ranch has been growing and it doesn’t always feel like a remote site out in the hills, which it still does at times but is far from a problem. I know that if I were to stay in the area, I would be happily engaged pursuing the sports and activities that I thirst for more exposure to. The question is whether the time should be put in making connections here or elsewhere, and I can’t help but think that I won’t be sure until I venture further west and make familiar some of the vast unknown that awaits me.
I haven’t been shooting as much with my DSLR, often too busy enjoying my activities to take out the larger camera. I have been posting photos to Instagram on my phone though, and this time around I’ll share those here for people who aren't connected to social media. In the future, I do plan to take better advantage of the Nikon as I move on to new subject matter and surroundings.
The view from the top of the hill behind the ranch.
Miley, the herd's official protector, resting after working the graveyard shift keeping the coyotes at bay.
Snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Victim: formerly known as coyote. Suspected killer: mountain lion.
When you're sitting on a cliff enjoying the sunset after a beautiful day and three golden eagles (not pictured) swoop by you and start dancing in the updrafts.
On a road ride past Carter Lake near the ranch in summer weather as Boston gets pounded by a blizzard. GPS says I hit 48.5 mph down a hill on my ride, the fastest I think I've ever been on a bike.
Mountain bike rides in conditions varying from icy to muddy (pictured) to buff, dry and fast.
Rock climbing in the Poudre Canyon, an hour or so drive NW from Fort Collins.
A view of the Poudre (pronounced 'pooter') from 'the Palace' wall.
Puttin' the ol' paws to work, learning how to hold into cracks in the rock.
Breaking out the downhill bike to find dumb hucks at the ranch because I miss riding it too much.
I just thought this was funny.