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

26 August 2016

Leftover Salmon

My seemingly annual return trip to Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado happened last July.

This time around it was to see the local band Greensky Bluegrass. Yet I was pleasantly surprised to find that Leftover Salmon was opening.
I settle into my front row and center seat.
Take a sip, grab a small bite, and enjoy the antics of the opening act.


22 August 2016

Hip hatchet & Sarah Jarosz

It's mid morning on a Sunday, and I'm driving through the high northern Arizona desert. The crackling of the radio only quiets on the National Public Radio station. I let it play.

They are talking about Sarah Jarosz and her new album. The single House of Mercy is played, and her hauntingly beautiful voice stays with me.
As soon as I get home, I find that she is touring, and with a couple of clicks, I find myself walking in Fremont, Seattle's famed "center of the universe" district, towards the Neptune.
While on the plane, I do a little more digging and find that the opening act is a band by the name of Hip Hatchet. I love the name, and the singer's beard even more.
When he starts to sing though, magic happens.
Heartfelt lyrics, true Americana.
Both artists create an atmosphere of chills and joy. It's that rare combination that one hopes for when seeing a show.
As I step out into the cool summer Seattle evening, I find myself under the marquee. I stop for a moment and close my eyes under the soft lights, and marvel at the experience I just had.

18 August 2016

The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel

After taking our time driving up from the Phoenix area, we finally pull into Williams, Arizona after a few hours. Tired and hungry, we find our home for the next couple of nights....


From the outside, it isn't all that impressive. Honestly, I was wondering if I'd made a big mistake. Yet once inside, you are immersed in the grand old splendor of the place.
The best part of staying here is having the train station that goes directly to the South Rim right behind the hotel. Train enthusiasts have old railway cars to explore.
We get checked in, then enjoy what the hotel has to offer ; a swimming pool and hot tub, a game room right out of the 1970's with Ms. Pacman and air hockey, vintage cars on the grounds outside, and just beautiful evening weather for cocktails whilst enjoying the sunset.
We are rested, refreshed, and ready to start a new adventure in the morning....

17 August 2016

Space truckin' in RMNP

Two days he had, that was all. The gas mask is securely fitted, the truck is put into drive and up the mountain road he climbs, to elevations above 12,000 feet.

Rocky Mountain National Park becomes his sanctuary.
He finds a dirt road that doesn't look well traveled. A perfect place to find that open vista so he can sit and cloudburst the heavens in his mind.
Traveling on, he finds the bluest of glacial lakes, with snow still clinging to the waters edge. Marmots are playfully sliding in the snow, unaware or perhaps not caring about the strangers watching them.

"A marmot is not a bad choice for my spirit animal in the next life."
A trail takes his burning lungs to new heights. Up here all willpower and self control is gone, but he has no worries and relinquishes all control to the Great Mother.
A rocky outcrop seems to call out danger, yet it is a call he can not ignore. Carefully stepping upon loose stone, he makes his way out to the cliffs edge, and watches the afternoon thunderstorm roll across the valley.
Herds of mighty elk graze on the tops of the majestic mountains. He sits on the edge of the great expanse, and breathes in the fresh air, letting it heal the toxicity that has permeated old cellular tissue and wasted muscle, renewing the soul for another day.
*****

05 August 2016

Williams

It is the last town bypassed by Interstate 40, a relic of the old Route 66. A place of steam engine trains, cowboys and handle bar mustaches. A city seemingly stuck in an era of yesteryear, and not wanting or needing to change a thing.

Welcome to Williams.
Neon antiques litter the main street, along with vintage cars and Harley bikes. In the emptiness and quiet of morning, I walk along the train tracks with a owner less dog, together we try to get a feel for this town.

Smokey the bear greets us and a flood of childhood memories cause my eyes to well up in tears.
I try to explain to Cbug and crazylegs the history of the West as we walk together in the Arizona evening, but my attempt at a history lesson is lost in youthful boredom.
That's OK though, as I like to think the memories and conversations will stick with them subconsciously.