Patti’s Post: Solo morning magic

Spring is a  slippery, elusive concept here in the San Luis Valley with this year being no exception.  Some days are warm with temps in the 50’s, even 60’s and we’re darn proud of our sunshine, a commodity of regular dependability . The spring winds…. not so proud.  They rage with such force and fury as if we’re paying penance for some ancient, unforgivable sin with afternoon gusts up to 40, sometimes 50 MPH.  With that said, if one is to get out at all it must be done early as the winds kick up around noon. That’s what happens here in the San Luis Valley and it can kinda suck the Pollyanna right out of a person.  If not careful “it” (the wind) can mess you up and stir up an anger that feels old and deep and powerful.  Whata we do…???… we just put our heads down and think about something else.

Life in the cabin, on the ranch, has worked itself into a comfortable rhythm.  We wake up, drink coffee, space out in front of the computer, eat breakfast, download podcasts, button up, zip up, plug in, click in, step outside and ride.  Given the 24/7 togetherness we’ve come to know this year our morning rides have become a cherished  solo time for both of us to do with exactly what we want.  For me a ride begins with the podcast of choice which recently, is always…. “Snap Judgement” to which I’m seriously addicted.  I’m addicted in some old and deep way that feels as strong as the wind in spring.  Before I’m even off the ranch I’m feeling  “it” the beat of this smoking hot, NPR podcast that brings stories about life, to life…. with a beat.  I’m in love with Glynn Washington, the host – he’s the smokin’ hot part.  It’s his story telling “beat” that sets the tone and I’m hooked and by the time the story  unfolds I’m in hard.  Now why a white girl with a European heritage as old as mud can hook so deeply into just about any “brother’s beat” is a mystery, but I do.  Perhaps the answer hasn’t found it’s expression yet and is just spiraling around somewhere in my DNA…..whatever.   I put my head down and get sucked into the story.  I’m a “Snapper”.

I turn onto the frontage road and head East for a short time before turning South into our playground which is miles upon miles of public land with a combination of dirt roads and trails, volcanic plugs, mountains, rocks and rocks and very cool rocks and a freedom that goes, literally, all the way to Mexico.

Heaidng South on one of many roads which wonder around in the Limekiln area just east of Del Norte.
Heading South on one of many roads which wander around in the Limekiln area just East of Del Norte.
Rocks and rocks and rocks some just perfect for climbing.
Rocks and rocks and rocks some of them perfect for climbing.

To the locals the system of areas out here are often called The Stone Quarry, Limekiln, Mulhauser and/or Rifle Range.  I don’t know what the non locals call it perhaps because there are so few of them. This land provides a time and a place to be completely alone with only, perhaps, a mountain lion keeping a watchful eye.

Looking South from a ridge line with Bennett Peak (13,200 ft) in the background.
Looking South from a ridge line into the South San Juan Wilderness..

At some point during these morning rides it starts to happen…..the beat, the story, the steady, deep breathing all lay the foundation as the world unfolds and folds back into itself and a predictable sense starts to surface.  Stronger than the wind it’s a swelling in my chest  with a deep, deep, deep appreciation for the good health and extremely good fortune to be simply a part of this very moment.  I put my head down and think …. about this richness.

Looking North, Northeast towards the Sangre de Cristo Range working the way back home.
Looking North/Northeast towards the Sangre de Cristo Range working the way back home.

Sometime later, so lost in the stories and the land, I turn back and start picking my way back home.   As I turn West,  generally sometime before noon, the winds, which are always a headwind, have  picked up making it hard hold to and hear the stories.   I put my head down and sit tight with the little piece of solo morning magic I’ve just experienced and look forward to tomorrow.

The above post was written almost a week ago….. try to guess where we are now 🙂











10 thoughts on “Patti’s Post: Solo morning magic

  1. Great pnotos. Enjouthe desert riding, Patti and Gary. We are still waxing skis in the valley.
    See you in a month or so.

    1. Hey Rita!! Thanks for commenting… so good to see you in ABQ! Next time we should find something to talk about..:-) HA!

  2. Hi patti and Gary, nice to hear from you. We have had some beautiful Days here not much wind I probably shouldn’t sat it! Have fun in desert land, wonderful photos of all. We miss you. Suzie

    Sent from my iPad

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