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Posts Tagged ‘Spanish Peaks’

I found the brown seed pods of the yucca plant as beautiful in their own way as the tall white blossoms that would burst forth when spring finally came to Lathrop State Park. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Who can not hear the honk of wild geese flying overhead and not yearn to be up there with them. Not I. -- Photo by Alan D. Wilson

 

 “There must be a positive and negative in everything in the universe in order to complete a circuit or circle, without which there would be no activity, no motion.” John McDonald

Travels With Maggie*

Before leaving Lathrop State Park this morning, Maggie and I took a walk along the park’s Hogback Trail. The path was heavily dotted with juniper trees, some full of berries, and yucca plants full of left-over brown seed pods. The few oaks we passed were still leafless.

That’s because winter still ruled this 6,500-foot elevation Colorado Park, where sparse sprinkles of snow fell during the night. I suspected it would still be awhile before the yucca plants’ tall white blossoms showed themselves to the world.

Maggie and I startled a couple of deer as we came around the corner, although they took their time in scampering away, as if knowing we meant them no harm. Maggie has never shown an interest in deer. Her preferred animal to chase are lizards, to the point that she once followed them into a mass of cactus, with the expected result.

We also passed sandstone boulders, whose pinkish orange and pale brown hued surfaces showed patterns of their life long ago beneath the sea. Lichens added more color to the rocks and would eventually wear them back down to the sand they were before pressure glued the grains together.

It seems Mother Nature is always pointing out to us that life is indeed a circle, just as in Disney’s “The Lion King.”  The more I travel and observe the more I know this is true.

Back at the RV, Maggie and I drove around the park for one last look at this stunning place with twin lakes, Martin and Horseshoe, that sits in the shadow of the Spanish Peaks. If I hadn’t planned on meeting up with a friend at Zion National Park on the 29th, I would definitely have stayed longer.

The park’s parting gift to us was a flock of honking geese flying overhead. Maggie was already snoozing and didn’t hear them, but they sounded to me like the opening prelude to the day’s travel ahead. I was eager to begin the adventure.

Day 7 of the Journey, April 25, 2011

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A view of the Spanish Peaks, two Colorado volcanic mountains,  beyond Lathrop State Park's Martin Lake. The peaks were a popular landmark for Santa Fe Trail travelers. -- Photo by Pat Bean

A view of the Spanish Peaks, two Colorado volcanic mountains, beyond Lathrop State Park's Martin Lake. The peaks were a popular landmark for Santa Fe Trail travelers. -- Photo by Pat Bean

 “A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches, and thoughts. And the consequences wherher goor or bead of even the least of them are far reaching.” — Sivananda

Travels with Maggie*

At La Junta, I left Highway 50, dropping down to Highway 10, not to be confused with busy Interstate 10 that rolls across the country between the two big oceans. This 10 was a narrow, two-lane Colorado backroad with practically no traffic – exactly the kind I seek out in my travels.

It was a hilly route, surrounded mostly by small farms and agricultural fields with an occasional sign announcing the owners considered their property a ranch and not a farm.

Soon I began seeing cholla cactus, and then magpies, my first since leaving Texas, which except for a rare one in the Panhandle, has no magpies. Since I consider the magpie my animal totem, I was excited to once again be in their landscape

As I drove west, I gained enough elevation to pop my ears, and watched as the fields gave way to cholla cactus and the land took on a more 3D appearance.

Ahead, I knew, lay mountains, big ones. So as Maggie, who as usually was snoozing in the co-pilot seat, and I crested each new hill, I scanned the horizon for my first peek at the peaks.

Finally, despite low hanging clouds this day, I had it. And as usual, after months of absence from them, my eyes became moist.

A short time later, Maggie and I reached our day’s destination, Colorado’s Lathrop State Park, where I parked with a view of the Spanish Peaks out my window.

I wasn’t born in the mountains, but I felt I was home.

*Continuing Day 6 of the journey, April 24, 2011

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