There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

03 September 2015

White Pine Lake

Summer is quickly fading, and before long, the man will find himself removed from the land that he loves. For now though, let's start today's journey with a single step.

Fading into the landscape the higher he goes, mile after mile peels raw skin from his burning feet. His walking stick is holding up shaking limbs as well as his spirits.
Above the treeline, the glacial rocks become a playground. The high altitude plays with his better judgement as he scrambles and jumps.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The last drops of water fall on to his parched and cracked tongue. The clouds seem more magical above 10,000 feet.
White Pine Lake comes into view around the final bend in the trail. It's crystal clear blue waters temper the sweat, blood and tears of all those that make the seven mile journey to her shores.

He finds his solace, dare he says religion, in the wind kissed waves that lap the mountain.
Seven miles up, seven miles back. The route was much longer than expected, more gruesome and challenging than he was prepared for.

But survive, no, conquer the mountain he does.

In the fading light and images of the land he loves.


01 September 2015

Karen Blixen

In 1913, Karen Blixen left her hometown in Denmark to live in what was then called "British East Africa".

Except for leaving for a brief time to recuperate from syphilis that she caught from her cheating husband of convenience, Karen worked the land trying to grow a coffee plantation.

She did so with the help and respect of the Kikuyu tribe in what is now known as modern day Kenya.

In the Ngong hills outside the bustling city of Nairobi, one can still visit the grounds of Karen Blixen, her home, plantation, and farm equipment.

Walk around the peaceful gardens and try to imagine what it would have been like 100 years ago.

I finally watched the movie "Out of Africa", that is based upon Karen's novel of the same name. To see Kenya portrayed so wonderfully in that movie made this heart ache.

It is hard to put into words, perhaps it is something only those that have been there may understand.

Karen was there for almost twenty years. She never returned.

I was there for six years, and who knows what the future may bring.


30 August 2015

Garden of the Gods

Charles Elliott Perkins, head of the Burlington Railroad, purchased two hundred and forty acres of pristine Colorado Springs land in the 1870's.

Although thoughts originally were to build a railroad from Chicago to Colorado Springs, Perkins decided to keep this wilderness in it's natural state.

He died in 1907, and two years later his children donated his property to the city, knowing their father's feelings about this land.
"where it shall remain free to the public, where no intoxicating liquors shall be manufactured, sold, or dispensed, where no building or structure shall be erected except those necessary to properly care for, protect, and maintain the area as a public park."

His wishes continue to this day, with Garden of the Gods being free to the general public. You can walk through among the giant formations at your own free will.

Let a light breeze cool you down as the mighty Rocky mountains in the background, and explore the Garden of the Gods.


29 August 2015

The White Mountain trails of the Apache

Ten years he has been coming up to the White Mountains. Ten long years of toiling the burden of capitalism to further his own goals and dreams.

Tonight though he looks for something more, a late afternoon hike to venture into.

 The White Mountain trails of the Apache.
Among the bear and elk that rule this forest he steps. Eyes are constantly darting to and fro, he asks for protection from the Indian Gods. A black shape appears in the distance...

"an elk maybe? surely not a bear this close to town..."

He laughs as the cow comes into the clearing, followed by the rest of the herd.

Dark clouds start to take ominous form, thunder rumbles in the distance, getting closer.

A large rustle is heard close to him.
Looking up, the sun is setting fast, darkness is making it's way to bed in the trees. Quickly he makes his way along the trail in the diminishing light, the chanting of the Apache growing loud as night settles in.
The carnival of the animals can now begin.


28 August 2015

Yonder

You've heard the story...someone pulls out a map, points their finger blindly at a place, then decides to go there...

I do that, but with music.

I'd never heard of Yonder Mountain String Band before, but a Friday night summer concert in Colorado's infamous Red Rocks amphitheater is something I can't pass up.

The bluegrass strings of Yonder electrified the night air.


I'm already pointing my finger on the proverbial music map to see them again. For now though, I'll keep listening to snippets from the show that night.