The Romance of the Road

I’ve hopped the Divide and traveled south of home, landing in Gunnison for a few weeks of concentrated writing, trading five consecutive weeks of winter storm warnings for a rolling sage brush chaparral. From the bench where I write, I can see across the valley through floor to ceiling windows to watch cars speeding toward Mt. Carbon and Crested Butte. The highway groans with restless hearts, I think, as I imagine people in their private…

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An Equinox Meditation

The arrival of Spring catches me off guard. As the planet tips the hemisphere where I live to equal night and day, I have forgotten its quickening. These long months in lockdown have me subdued. I’ve kept myself flattened for so long that I’ve forgotten what deep full breathing feels like. Scarcity is a second skin. One I wear far too easily. More difficult is to let it slough away. Today I realized the discipline…

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Be Home Now

“Breathing in, I know I am breathing in, Breathing out, I know I am breathing out,” —Thich Nhat Hanh After a week of real spring on the mountain—weather so warm it melted the two-foot drifts in the yard and opened the path through the woods where I hike with River in the summer, drying the six inches of mud gumming up the road—a mild, late-season snow settled in overnight and threatened my potted herbs and…

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The Hard Prayer

For this post, I excerpt the prologue of my memoir, Rough Beauty: Forty Seasons of Mountain Living, a Colorado Book Award Finalist, out in paperback on June 4th.  The passage details the cabin fire that claimed all my possessions and most of my writing two months before I turned 40 in the Spring of 2004.  The challenges of high altitude spring have been much on my mind as my corner of the Rockies has expierenced…

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Finding My Place

For years, I could see the Indian Peaks from the deck of the little cabin.  My life was oriented east-west.  The sun rose at my back and set in front of me.  And the mountains to the west—always the west along the Front Range of Colorado—anchored me in the middle of a compass.  “The mountains are west,” we say to tourists and new-combers trying to figure out where they are. When I moved to Milwaukee…

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