June 29th, 2023
I got up at 3:30 am and had a good breakfast of eggs and peppers and homemade sourdough toast along with coffee. After driving up to the mountains, the border collies and I were hiking through the spruce and fir forest by 6am, at a place I visit several times from June into October, and have for years.
I climbed a dry exposed ridge to avoid all the snowbanks still present in this late melting year. We scrambled over rocks and picked through a relatively easy route until I got to the chute that I always follow to get up to some alpine lakes. I found the chute still packed with snow, so decided to alter my route for today, and try that one again a few weeks from now.
In all the years I have hiked off trail up here I have never encountered another person, though I never go on the weekends.
I had no trouble in the thin air, which is a sign the arterial stents I had put in last December are doing their job. One of the first signs of blocked arteries is a shortage of breath, which I started getting last October when I hiked up here, though at that time I didn’t know the reason for it.
It was wonderful to see the sunlight break through the early morning clouds and light up the peaks above where I was headed. Beau gets crazy happy when we head up, as he had been adventuring here all his life and recognizes it as soon as we leave the truck.
Nine month old Jess ran beside Beau, taking a clue that what makes him excited automatically makes her the same. It is nice to see that Beau has a “running through the woods" companion again, since twelve year old Hayley is always back next to me. She is starting to show her age, but toughs it out and handles all the obstacles, just at a slower pace.
At 9am I laid down for a nap in the warmth of the mountain sun. I awoke refreshed, and it seemed like I was encountering my second morning of the day. By the time we got down to the truck it was clouding up already, and later rain and thunder started in the mountains and drifted out over the plains.
(Videos from our backpack trip can be seen at this link: https://journeywest.com/20230629videos.html
More Journal Notes:
July 3rd, 2023
Part of being a successful human being is learning to be happy with what you have. My house is on a corner and I get plenty of street noise, but it feels like I have created a paradise back here with all the lush gardens of greens and beets and tomato plants. It is definitely a happy place for me and border collies and chickens. I have always been grateful to my ex wife for signing it over to me without me even asking. Below are a few videos I took and uploaded tonight in the back.
As I say in the videos I grow pretty much 100% edibles - primarily kale, beets, mustard, and tomatoes. What I or the dogs don’t eat the chickens will. (I found a few years ago if I sautee chopped up greens with eggs into a frittata the dogs will eat every bit of it, which is very healthy for them).
I get very good vibes walking around in the back in the early summer mornings and late evenings. My sense is it is a place where angels hang out.
As far as inside the house, the whole learning to be happy with what you have is a work in progress for me. All my hobbies have created an accumulation of things - computers and tech, photography, backpacking and camping, and snorkeling and kayaking. Fortunately I have plenty of room to store the stuff, but long term my plan is to divest a lot of it before I die. It is hard when you are still using most of these things though, at least sometimes.
My goal this week however is to go through much of it again and see if there is more I can get rid of. When you have a lot of stuff it is almost like a series of discoveries going from one box to the next seeing what is in it.
July 1, 2023
When the band at the Rose is not your favorite, the Dj can make up for it by playing good songs at the breaks. That is what happened tonight. Plus my absolute favorite partner, who I know from the Lindy Swing dances, was at the Rose tonight. She only shows up every two or three months, and can do the Lindy, Triple Step, waltz, etc. We do really well together and our two dances were a crazy high peak experience. (She is an elementary school librarian; I caught up with her and showed her photos of puppy Jess and my Montana trip tonight) She is one of those people who makes your life a whole lot richer just by being aquainted.
Here is a clip from her and I dancing in 2019, at the Rose to a Randy Rogers song, Kiss Me in the Dark, covered by the Union Gray band. I placed my phone in my front pocket to get the video. (I don’t do this anymore, but an very glad I did back then. It is hard to describe the pleasure you get from a few moments of dancing, when it all comes together like in this one; having these videos is a hint of what it is like).
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart"