Feeling So Alive

We just walked our first Gold Hill (a ‘low’ mountain called a hill by locals) walk of 2019!!!

This is a favorite walk of ours, especially on the shoulders of the seasons when the visitors haven’t yet arrived; as we have it all to ourselves!! You don’t live up here if you enjoy crowds!

This winter our little mountain village had an unprecedented amount of snow. It’s been very hard to deal with so very much snow. And it keeps snowing several times a week.

 Snow – Snow and more snow – too much frick’en snow

But this morning – it was beyond fabulous & not snowing when my husband & our canine kids waked Gold Hill under an ocean of cobalt blue sky that we had all to ourselves!

Hope, our border collie was blissfully flying from mountain peak to mountain peak

Joy, our sheltie was contented to find puddles of snow to make puppy dog snow angels

This walk, in these surroundings, under this blue, blue sky – just makes us feel so alive!! So happy to be alive ~

Crystal Peak


Making snow puppy angels

Living in Nature with Dogs

When I wake up every morning, I smile and say, ‘Thank you.’ Because out of my window I can see the mountains, then go hiking with my dog and share her bounding joy in the world.  – Carole King

Exactly – getting to live in the mountains is somewhat like being on vacation all the time & getting to live with our dogs up here is joyful & spontaneous. Our dogs aren’t just part of the furniture; they are closely connected to us.

Living inside nature gives me a sense of peacefulness and joy. I raise the shade in our window seat this morning and I delight in seeing the curl of the moon & Venus over our snowy valley.

Our dogs Joy (Sheltie) & Hope (Border collie) wag good morning.  They know that soon we will go for a walk in the mountains – how delightful! It’s a scientific finding that both nature & dogs are big time antidotes to stress – so we must be hitting the jackpot living in nature with dogs!!!

Just stepping outside is a spontaneous adventure with our dogs – walking our nature trail, our border collie Hope sees geese on the opposite side of the river. Crouching, she moves catlike & then pounces forward, delighting in the geese taking flight. Joy throws herself into a mound of snow & rolls around in childlike glee.

Most days have an underlying spontaneity to them because we live within nature – I pass Blue Mesa usually twice a week. I’ve seen a fox crossing the area, ice fishermen in action, sailboats floating on sunlit sparkles, ice skaters and sometimes I just have to get out of the car & take pictures – the beauty makes my eyes fill & my heart beat faster – it’s exciting & always feels new.

What are your positive experiences with nature & dogs?

Thank you.

I wish you peace, julie

Walking The River In Winter

“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress”. Barack Obama

Keep moving…keep moving physically and keep moving in the direction of what’s important to you. Walking feels good and is beneficial to maintaining our health, and too, we have a border collie and a sheltie, so we walk…walk…walk…

We live up in the mountains and this time of the year it is hard to find a place that is safe or viable for walking; so we walk our nature trail. We walk our nature trail the way the way we would walked around the block when we lived in suburbia.  Our nature trail runs along the back side of our cabin, along the river and through a wooded area. In the frigid winter the river freezes, with dollops of whip cream looking snow on top, which gives off the essence of a fairy tale.

The reason for winter according to the abbreviated version of Greek mythology: Zeus, the king of all the gods, had a lovely niece, Persephone. 

Hades, king of the underworld, was an ominous fellow who fell in love with Persephone. Before anyone could stop him, Hades grabbed Persephone and dove deep into the darkest depths of the Underworld.

Hades locked Persephone in a beautifully decorated room. He brought her all kinds of delicious food. Persephone refused to eat. She had heard if you ate anything in Hades, you could never leave. She had every intention of leaving as soon as she could figure a way out.

Time went by. Finally, in desperate hunger, Persephone ate six pomegranate seeds. She promptly burst into tears.

A deal was worked out: If Persephone would marry Hades, she would live as queen of the Underworld for six months each winter. In the spring, Persephone would return to earth and live there for six months.

Every spring, the earth comes to life with flowers blooming and crops growing and the fields are green. Every fall, Persephone returns to the underworld and Lake City gets colder and colder.…

Maybe Persephone was late returning to Hades this season because our spectacular autumn lasted and lasted making it an Indian summer that we were captivated with for an unusually long time…and the price seems to be that our really cold season started off long before it was officially winter. The frosty bitter cold we don’t usually experience until mid January began to poke us with its bony, icy fingers in October and became more and more brazen with countless mornings starting out below 0 and our days never climbing near the freezing mark of 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

I delight in the change of seasons and the peacefulness that envelopes us when our thousands of visitors leave but really – so very many days of temperatures starting at 0 and below…darn – over a few seeds – really – rather reminiscent of that bite of apple…darn those harsh consequences of old age and death and the unrelenting cold.

And yet…there is that charming view of Crystal Peak right in front of me. She looks like a heap of gingerbread with powdered sugar on top. The morning sunshine has finally reached our valley and with the nature trail calling for a walk…