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Archive for April, 2014

I have been staring at the Rockies for the past 5 days.

The sun shines brightly and the breezes blow lightly until the whistling winds and snowy nights arrive.

I have been counting the hawks (3) and the elk (~100) and the mountain bluebirds (a handful) and the antelope (25) and the prairie dogs (too many to count) and the lone porcupine waiting to cross the road.

The fire crackles each evening while the sun sets. Park County glows and then sneaks into the shadows.

I have been counting the cars. Four seems like too many.

Threemile Mountain issues a challenge. Sticky bushes tug on my jeans and pull at my hips. The empty cave may have housed a bear or a mountain lion. Hawk number 4 floats overhead at the peak.

I have been trying to count the mountains – the ones with snow caps and the ones without – but it’s easier to count liquor stores. Two in Hartsel, population 677 in 2000.

The snow finally melts into a rutted, muddy road that takes us to Salida’s distillery with a dog and to Fairplay’s bowling alley with Dorothy’s Tamales inside and to Guffey’s Bull Moose Restaurant, but that one is closed for vacation.

I have been trying to imagine the High Plains in summertime, and I have been trying not to forget the inky nights full of stars I failed to count.

The mountains rise and rise. It is amazing anyone ever made it past them.

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