Montana Wolf

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Maverick Migration

"I want to sleep with you in the desert tonite, with a million stars all around..."

I'm having a series of Eagle's moments now that I've hit the road headed south. That's good. Because if  I learned anything from five weeks back in Mancos it's that living in a travel trailer with the night-temp hovering around zero sooo sucks. No running water, ditto. Only a pot to piss in, so to speak. Still and all, departing Mancos was wrenching. The time with Hope was a gift. The chance to drop in on one another with "just walking by with the dog" smile. To watch 'Dexter' and drink wine. Travel to one Thanksgiving with dearest friends and then whip up our own TG recipes and a ritual meal that brimmed with family flavors. Speaking of tin file of recipe cards took wing as I scurried down a stutter-bump gravel road a few days ago...which sent me on an unplanned meditation into sorting years worth of taste-bud, hand scribbled cards. I culled the cards with dishes I could easily get off the internet, and kept the gems in Aunt Clara's or Inga's swirling handwriting. Mom's sheath cake and holiday brisket. Aunt Dollie's oatmeal rocks. Good to revisit those index cards and remember the 3-layer lemon bars I'd forgotten.

It was good, very good, to work again. To give that talk at the Mancos library and get down and detailed with women in a workshop. "Life in the Spiritual Crosshairs," indeed. It's happening. It's intense. Beware of  dead zones and drama. Mine hovered around Tom-the-Ex, who seemed convinced that I had returned to Mancos to burglar and pillage, right down to the 2-inch dowel in the sliding glass door that happened to be on the second floor of a deck with no stairs. Did he really think I'd gone to Spiderman school? My girlfriend's Ex, on the other hand, died his gray chest hair before meeting his young girlfriend's parents on Turkey day. See what I mean? Drama and dead zones. (More to come on that dowel.)

The remainder of Mancos time was house sits at stunning ranches that included a parrot who laughed like me by the time my five days were up. He also lovingly asked "Is everything alright?" when I walked in the door. Who needs a man? Or a therapist? Whoops, strike that. I loved working with folks one-on-one again. And o my, I cherished laughing until I cried, hiking, hot-tubbing, drumming and sharing meals with sisters. Champagne and cigar nights. Sweet and raucous.

A few days before I left Hope and I grabbed the saw and sojourned into the La Plata's to cut her a Solstice tree. Snow had melted in Mancos but was knee-deep-beautiful at 10,000 feet amidst the spare, silver aspen trunks. A lovely, prickly blue spruce now tickles her ceiling...the gift of ever-green and new life in the dead of winter.

Goodbye to all that.
Hello warm-lands.

I was surprised at what an easy half-day drive Natural Bridges National Monument was to Mancos. We were the only visitors on the one-way loop on a shirt sleeve-warmth day. I passed on the campground in the park in favor of a cottonwood-studded wash I'd spied on the drive in. Parked and intent on capturing the final minutes of sun, I jumped on the bike and headed up the dirt 2-track as Teak ran along side. No birds or wildlife, rock was the awe of the day as sandstone turned blood red with sunset. As usual in the inner-mtn got cold once the sun went down. Read: we didn't dally the next morning. I fired up the pick-up and continued south through Monument Valley.

It was into Flagstaff for the final, cold night camp. Unbeknownst to me, my destination ended up a sublime Ponderosa forest, where I followed up on an invitation of a sorta-stranger. Thanks to the magic of Facebook, I now count my magazine editor among good friends. DRUM ROLLLLL....once beyond Flag I de-winterized the trailer. YAZZA! Hot and cold running water. Warm sun against the flesh. Sleeveless tops. And more than a little wonder to where this is all leads. Besides south and 'peaceful easy feelings.'  Time to start playing those Spanish language Cd's.

(You can see more pics on my Facebook page)