Annie Mac has been in bed, saddled with the seasonal crud that has been floating through NW Colorado. Every year, old man winter eases himself out of bed, packs his snow and heads for where ever it is he goes. This year, old man has not been very plentiful towards donating the phat, fluffy snow to Ski Town USA. I suppose he sensed a stale and shallow economy and figured that perhaps he'd leave a ski resort with little to do but make snow, then dump the season's load all in February, then take a hiatus, and let Mother Nature Spring in for an early shot. With the hot, cold, windy, snowy months all mixed together, this menopausal gal did not configure her immune system to the havoc, and landed in bed for 10 days with a head full of snot.
Yeah, its been a really ugly ski season. The lower mountain closed 2 weeks early, and looking up at the mountain from my kitchen window, I see too many brown spots, and not enough of the much needed white. I do not ski, but in a town where snow = $$$, a shortened season means loss of revenue. Alas, the only considerable week of snow worthy of ski gods came while Ann Coulter was in town. Hmm, maybe ol Annie Coulter has herself in good with the weather maker supreme! So, thanks, Ann Coulter.
After 10 days in bed, and padding the investment portfolio of Kleenex with endless nose blows, my husband decided to get me out of the house, and take me on a photography weekend with him. www.mollydogimages.com, offers some beautiful scenes of all that is outdoors. My husband takes his time, scouting areas for the perfect shot. He's extremely meticulous, to the point of being anal, and thus it is reflected upon in his portfolios.
This weekend, the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, we are in Vernal, Utah. Some of you may know where Vernal is. A mere 4 our drive west of Steamboat Springs, CO, this small Utah town on the border of Colorado and Utah was once a plethora for ancient dinosaurs. Hence, the development of Dinosaur National Park. If you want to experience silence, then this is the place to be.
Saturday found us getting a cheap motel room, then loading our 2 faithful doggie companions in the car and venturing north on Utah's Highway 191 towards Flaming Gorge recreational area. Once 191 intersects with Highway 44, we turned left, took 44 to Red Canyon. My husband is always in search of the right light. Photographers want light that is gained either in the wee early hours or late night dusk to dark shadow casting light. We turned off Highway 44, and after a 4 mile, red dirt rutted road, came to a precipice which gave the viewer, the seeker of silence and beauty, great shots of the gorge, and the multi-hued red cliffs which become enraged when the setting sun hits them just right. The warmth I wished we had was not available, and it was a very brisk 40 degrees. Brrgh! But, our dogs loved it, and before I could nag to my husband to be careful, he was off with his camera, tripod and backpack in hand.
John has an eye for things. While most will look at a cliff, cloud, grain of sand or tree stump, John is an artist who can see beyond that and find himself deep inside time and space. I suppose being married to me has given him ample reason to look for peace and serenity in nature. I am everything opposite of what his photos capture. So, when people look at John's work, they walk away with a sense of awe and a blanket of inspiration that there are still hide-a-ways in this world where one can go to find their inner buddha.
I accompany John on some of his photo trips. For me, the peace comes in watching John create lasting spells of magic from behind his camera lens. Other times, I may go with him, but pull my beach chair from the car, and sit in our camp spot, reading until he returns. I get the sense that most of John's true creativity comes from his solo motorcycle trips, where I stay at home, with the dogs, and John can soar through the desert canyons and secret spaces between modern and ancient times, capturing the lingering spirits of our ancestors.
I suppose it is those times, when one can come to an inner peace and truly find the ultimate high. I know on hiking journeys of my own to the magic places of red dirt in Moab, Utah, I venture off alone, find a rock, sit and enjoy the scream of silence. I eavesdrop on Mother Nature's conversations and find myself suddenly calmed by the poetry from wind.