"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

28 February 2010

Late Winter Thoughts

Dobet Gnahore sings mournfully from the speakers. I sip on a ginger brew, enjoying its bit of bite. Outside, it's snowing lightly, and the high peaks are obscured by clouds. It isn't horribly cold out. That's fine. This winter has been cold enough. Wood, such a precious commodity up here, even and especially this time of year, is in short supply.

That sounds silly, doesn't it? There are forests all around us, and whole swaths that have been laid to waste by pine beetles. Be that as it may, the wood that has been chopped down and seasoned for burning is not as plentiful because of how cold it's been this year. Some cats I'm acquainted with are either running low or are out, and the individual we all usually buy from is supposedly out for the year.

I keep in mind the vernal equinox is but twenty-one days away. It will be spring. For us here at ninety-one hundred eighteen feet, another month or month and a half and things will start to sprout and grow. There will be more green than just the pines. Humming birds will zip through the air, trilling as they go.

Winter is part of the cycle, I know this. And, here in the higher country of the pointylands, winter lasts much longer than at lower elevations. That's part of the price to be paid for living where others like to come and vacation and having the view of great peaks out one's windows.

Still, this year, I am quite through with winter. It's been long, dark, brutal, and cold. It's been a lean time. I lost my mother in the early part of the season, and I am far from pleased about that circumstance.

Stories, perpetuating the social construct of reality, speak of spring as the time of renewal and rebirth. New beginnings full of fresh promise. I'm not much for the social construct of reality, but I am a sucker a good story. I guess after a winter like this one, I feel like being suckered, although I find myself hoping it's actually for real and not just a royal scam.

24 February 2010

"Give Me Steam"

By virtue of the weekly news, it is now official;


In just a few short months, the sound of a steam whistle will fill our narrow-rift-like valley. It seems like much longer than just two summers. This news gets me to think of a song;

I am filled with joy. Choo-choo, muthafuckas!

22 February 2010

After Snow Meditation

It is the day after a three day snow storm. A cold sun shines on fresh powder. Thin breezes stir snow devils along the tall peaks. The very last of the flurry flakes, a deathrattle of the storm, spiral down from singular clouds drifting and disintegrating slowly across a frigid sky.

All told, there was maybe six or eight inches, at most, of fresh powder. Enough to cover the old snow and making travel along the roadways slower. Further south and west, the storm had more of an impact. Here, it was a dusting and some residual cold.

The snows have been heavier in the southwest. It has been said the greater metroplex has gotten more snow this year than we have. A ski patrol ranger at the cantina mentioned prayers he has for more snow in the next month. Mad Mike told Sabina and I it would have to snow four inches a day, every day, from a week ago until the spring runoff, for us to catch up to our average snowfall around here. There is fear that some of the rafting companies will not do so well come the summer.

So it goes...

The American Maghreb is not known to be a wet place. It never was, except maybe several millions of years ago when it was an ocean. There are those who would say the growing population in this part of the continent is exacerbating the problem. Water, the most precious substance in all the world, moreso than gold, folding paper, coins, rubies, or glass beads, becomes an even more valued commodity in times of drought. Cities need to satisfy their vanity with greenways, parks, and lush trees. Farming stations need to make sure their crops grow and livestock have something to drink, lest there's famine.

That ski patrol ranger told me the conditions up at Loveland, right there along the Roof of the World were worse than the year of the Hayman wildfire, eight years ago. I remember that summer; hot and dry. It's the only time I can remember water not being poured as a courtesy at coffeehouses or restaurants. A horticulturalist I was fucking at the time told me it would most likely only get worse. She was not exactly kind, or sane, for that manner, but I'm willing to say she was spot on with that prediction.

The spring runoff is still a couple of months off and the next two months are known to be two of the snowiest around here, so there is always a chance for a righteous blizzard, the type that cripples cities and hampers travel for days. I know there are those who are hoping and preying for such a happenstance. They're probably quite willing to sacrifice a virgin. Well, if one could be found.

21 February 2010

The Ghost Dances

I'm not quiet sure what possesses me to do it; trolling memory-boneyards for the ghosts of the past. Curiosity, perhaps. That curiosity that has either gotten me into loads of trouble or lead to, at least, some interesting adventures. It's a flip of a cosmic coin and a roll of the bones as to the outcome.

Sometimes, it just happens. The lark. The curiosity. I start with a scrap of name and begin searching. It is said curiosity can kill a cat, but if the cat has more than one life, why should it fear a single death?

The whole time, I ask myself why. Wonder what the exercise is going to accomplish. I do not like to dance with the dead. I have no desire to encounter these specters within the realms of the flesh. There are reasons these things lie burned and buried.

Perhaps it is a matter of perspective and security; finding where they are in relation to me. It helps affirm a sort of likelihood of whether or not a fleshbound encounter might ever happen. Therein lies the illusion of security. But then the harsh reality sets in; if I can find them, then, quite obviously, they might just be able to find me, and that is a humbling realization as well as a harsh backfist of perspective.

20 February 2010

Purple Snow Prose

Flakes blow across the valley in the manner of light feathers and willow-the-wisp. Clouds cloak the higher peaks in phantasmal gray cotton-wool curtains. Outside is the still-quiet, which comes when it snows, and, in a place with only two hundred residents, it's quiet anyway, but even and especially on a snowy deep winter afternoon.

We bundle up for a walk to check the post. It's an excuse and to get out and taste the day, other than the gathering and splitting of firewood. Certainly, we could have schemed for a further trek, perhaps even a snowshoe, but that would have required an earlier start, and there was brunch and mochas to be had, and house to clean. So it goes.

So, we get ready to step out the front door. Everything is gray and still. This won't take long, and the walk in the cold air will be invigorating. The potential for hot tea upon arriving home stands as a sort of reward, or at least a nice treat on a snowy deep winter afternoon.

19 February 2010


One of the variations of the tale of Clifford Griffin;

"A story is told of one of the miners that worked there who's fiance was found dead on the eve of their wedding. He came west to forget everything and escape and after mining all day would retire to whiskey and his violin. Townsfolk would come outdoors each night to listen to him play. One day, as the last note rang out, so did a gunshot. The townsfolk found him dead with one bullet through his heart and burial instructions nearby."

In other versions, the girl just left him, and he became a drunk. His brother brought him out from England to sober him up and Clifford ended up running the mine. Although suicide is what is usually said, there are a handful that wonder if he wasn't just murdered. Some say on the anniversary of his death, if one listens around dusk, the sound of violin music can be heard wafting through the valley. The monument to his memory stands on a rock outcropping, which offers an impressive view and gleams quite majestically in the late afternoon sunlight.

The mine was called the 730 because of what time the workers were allowed to start. Its ruins stand in Brown's Gulch, at the end of a mining road that switches back along the northern end of the valley. Supposedly, there is a trail leading from the 730 to the summit of my personal Kilimanjaro. I've gone part way up that, but it was far later in the day when we attempted it than either of us liked, and we ended up turning around. It is a goal filed away in my maybe somedays, although I have every intention of one standing on top of my personal Kilimanjaro in that Johnny Clegg kind of way.

The remains of several mines pepper the mountainsides. Collapsed mine shafts and grated over holes give the impression of honeycombs or anthills. In the last few years, Sabina and I have explored several of the ruins. Every time we trek along that road, we find something new. It's one of our favorite trails.

I had been wanting to go see Clifford for quite some time. The snow wasn't too bad and it was a milder day. So, after a hearty breakfast, we grabbed our gear, slapped on our hikers and went on our way.

We did find mountain lion tracks in the snow. Some were fresher than others. The newest ones went off along Republican Mountain after the first switch back. We were mindful as we walked along, never straying more than ten or fifteen feet apart. Milarepa lopped along playfully, something I doubt she would if a predator was watching us.

After the ruins of the Maine Mine, there were very few tracks of any kind. It seemed like we were some the very few living creatures to be that far up in a few weeks. Although, Sabina did spy a single bighorn sheep, wearing a tracking collar, watching us from a rock face I was contemplating for a future scrabble.

We reached the great granite obelisk and we said our hellos to Clifford. There was a brief stop for wholegrain cookies and water. The wind picked up and there was a brief flurry. This was not surprising, given it's still winter and we were twelve-hundred feet above home.

On the way back down, Sabina made note of two different places to explore on future treks. I mused how, come high summer, we'd be going back up Brown's Gulch, much earlier this time, looking for my Kilimanjaro's summit amongst the wildflowers and waterways. Milarepa, tired from the walkabout, walked at my side, or just a little ahead of us.

It was a lovely hike, but the 730 always is. We've been up and down that trail hundreds of times and still find something new, which adds to its magic. When we arrived home, as with most times, the monument looked quite majestic in the late afternoon sunlight, as if Clifford was thanking us for visiting him. We both smiled at the thought.

17 February 2010

Lion Country

The stories started probably a month ago; the sightings of mountain lions. In one of the nearby townships, a one-hundred forty pound pit bull was dragged over a fence in broad daylight. Those who saw, unarmed, were powerless to do anything other than watch and wail about it. There have been tales of seeing tracks of what is probably a two-hundred fifty pound cat. Along the 730, the feeling of being watched by something just a little further up the trail.

On our last walkabout, Milarepa found gnawed on bones from a deer. I let her bring home part of a leg bone as a souvenir/chew-toy. Whether it was winter-kill and scavenged or the remains of something hunted is unknown. Other than the bones, we did not see any evidence of a predator being about, but that doesn't mean there wasn't one.

It's part of life when one gets out of the cities. There are mountain lions out in the badlands of eastern Colorado too. Usually, in the canyonious areas.

Some have decided to hold off on their walkabouts for another month. Until spring is closer and the lions disappear a bit further into the bush. Sort of like the idea of a bear being about, the thought of a mountain lion potentially watching, maybe even stalking, can be a little unsettling. I can understand that. Even and especially for those who trek without even the company of a dog.

We don't want to forfeit our walkabouts if we don't have to. Sabina has started to carry her pistol. Although, we were advised that in the instance of encountering a predator, to shoot at it, instead of just a firing off a warning. The hollow points could do more than enough damage if needs be. Some might find this advice cruel, but I don't. I'd rather be able to return home from my walkabouts, and if it's between a mountain lion or one of us, well, I find it completely justifiable to be a little bit selfish.

15 February 2010

Left-Handed Banjo

Once a week, a handful of local musicians gather at the Large Town Hall and have themselves a jam. It's a mix of bluegrass, acoustic, folk, Americana, and gospel. Fun, relaxed, and free. Sometimes, there's food brought in. We all bring our own drinks.

A couple years ago, for an anniversary, and as something of a joke, I bought Sabina a banjo. Since, like me, she's left handed, I made sure the instrument favored the correct hand. It was during the time we were procuring the House of Owls and Bats and when she'd get too stressy, I'd mention the world banjo to get her to smile. A big part of this came from an old Steve Martin routine;

"You can't be depressed when you're playing the banjo..."

She's noodled with it now and again, but never learned how to play. My father once tuned it for her. Sometimes, when listening to bluegrass or William Elliot Whitmore, Sabina will get a wistful look in her eyes and make a remark about when she learns how to play the banjo, the songs she'll do.

At the last jam, more than one of the locals told Sabina to bring her banjo. She mentioned she couldn't play, but the musicians were not swayed. They offered to teach her.

So, we went to the jam with our customary bottle of wine, except this time Sabina brought her left-handed banjo. The second we walked in the door, a seat was made available for her. One of the locals made sure her banjo was in tune and set about showing her cords.

I was very proud of her. It's a start. After almost two years, it looks like she might be on her way to learning to play. Part of me can visualize us sitting out on the porch in the afternoon, sipping whatever drink we might be having at the time, and Sabina strumming William Elliot Whitmore on that left-handed banjo I got for her.

13 February 2010

A New Year's Eve

The next time the sun rises, it will be the Year of the Tiger, 4708, according to far eastern calendars. I tend to dig on/celebrate/acknowledge this new year more than the western one, sometimes blaming it on my Buddhist leanings and the digging of far eastern philosophy. And given that at the beginning of this most recent western year I received less than pleasing news about my mother, I'm more than happy to welcome a new year. Perhaps something along the lines of what my sister would refer to as a cosmic reset.

It was a little disappointing that we missed the ice racing. Whether it was already done and over or just never happened, I'll never know. My daughter and I got down to the loch and all there were was some groups of ice-fishers. We hung out along the shore for a few minutes to decide our next course of action. A gray winter mountain day of snow and wind surrounded us. Going for a walkabout was not overly appealing.

So, I took her through the bayou district along the lagoon side of the loch, and she made fun of what she called mountain cookie-cutters. Sabina was helping out down at the winery, so we popped in there. Altogether, I tasted the equivalent of a glass of wine, maybe, and traded some pleasantries. Nothing I'd not had before, but a nice way to murder an hour. Sabina was, of course, being annoyed by the tourists coming in, and wanting to leave. It was not one of her usual days to be there.

Then, it was back west. We drove up to the trailheads for Gray's and Torrey's, as well as the BLT, to take the back way home. Along that road, just a little east of the Bridge to Nowhere, are the ruins of a cabin, which Sabina wants to check out one of these days in the near future. Part of me is tepid about this. Sometimes, when Sabina spies ruins, deciding we absolutely must investigate, we end up scrabbling to get to them, and she sometimes ends up with a minor injury of some sort. Such circumstance gets me to think of a quote from Neil Peart;

"Adventures suck when you're having them."

Sometimes, those are true words...

I dropped my daughter off over at the cantina, so she could hang out with her one buddy, back in the flops. I inquired about the possibility of anything going on for Carnival in the next few days. Sabina and I had decided we were actually going to make an effort to go to the cantina and be social then. Any festivities, outside of the usual burger and beer night, have yet to be decided.

And that's been my new year's eve, thus far...

Here and now, the scent of red beans and rice wafts through the house. The radio plays at a pleasant level and occasionally turn my gaze outside to watch the light snow fall. Both Sabina and my daughter will be home within the next hour or so. I contemplate a cup of Nepali black tea.

Most likely, for new year's eve, it'll be a quiet night at home. Much like it was for the western one. Except, well, there's no pall of relative's impending death looming. That was so last month. Another year, by another way of time-keeping.

Maybe we'll play a game or watch a film. Read or talk. Perhaps not the most exciting way to mark a calendar's sloughing of chronological skin from one year to the next, but I have never claimed to be overly exciting.

11 February 2010


Sahel, for those not in the know, is the Arabic word for shore. A border. A line. A beginning or end, depending upon one's viewpoint. Of course, it could be said that end and begin are all one in the same.

In Africa, the region known as the Sahel stands between the arid north and the tropical south. A borderland, as it were. A frontier.

I call the narrow rift-like valley that stretches tunnel to tunnel a Sahel because it too is a shore. A line. A border. A frontier.

This pocket of nowhere is hemmed by national forests and wilderness areas. A border between the eastern front range of the Rocky Mountains and the High Country. Beyond the Roof of the World, stands the rest of the American Maghreb, and the rivers run after the twilight instead of the dawn.

Here, the ruins of the mining days stand so close. Ghosts of a bygone era and a fallen civilization. A sort of steampunk middle earth that was doing steampunk long before it became a genre of fiction or a fashion statement. Those who live in this stretch of geography are like refugees from a more affluent time. The history and mythology of the past runs along with, past, and, sometimes, merges with the present, molding into a yet unrealized future, thus showing time for the abstract that it is.

It feels like everywhere and nowhere all at once. Spit-shiny real and dreamlike all within the space of the same heartbeat. It is here dragons slither and coil along the tall peaks and the gods themselves dance with earthly feet. A place possessed of a certain magic should one pay close enough attention.

Our little Sahel is paradoxically the fringe of mountain jerkwaters and tourist traps and waystaion destinations along a major east-west route. One jumps off the end of the world to get here. A place inhabited by hucksters, snakeoil salesmen, gypsies, dreamers, and drop-outs from what could be dubiously called the real world.

I have lived in isolated and fringe-type places more of my life than not. Perhaps it's no surprise I found my Kashmir in such a place. An environment that seems pure mythology when trying to relate it to an outsider. But what said outsider does not see, or chooses not to, is how little difference there is between reality and such mythology when it gets down to brass tacks and bedposts.

10 February 2010

Study of a Mountain Afternoon [Deep Winter]

A steady wind dances through the Buddhist prayer flags that line the House of Owls and Bats, the front fence, and the out-buildings. I can occasionally hear our chimes clink out a soft tune. Not a horrific gale, but enough to justify a coat when going out. The outside air is crisp and not a cloud mares the turquoise blue sky. Patches of ground are beginning to appear from under the snow around the house.

Sipping the last of my coffee, I realize my only concrete schemes for the day include a walk to check the post and making lentils for dinner. There is something comforting in that. No further schemes. No obligations. Just being. Sometimes, that's enough.

Visitation is in a few days. I wonder if my little girl will further taunt me about her boyfriend, and then realize it's almost a given. The ice races are happening down on the Long Loch. Those are going on until the end of the month. My daughter finds them entertaining, and, when returning her to that suburban/wildlife interface enclave her mother and stepfather moved her to, she asks me to drive us along the Long Loch to watch the races as we pass by.

Either that, or a walkabout this visit. I've been wanting to go to the monument, having not seen Clifford since early, early autumn, when Sabina and I took Elvis and Priscilla up that way. The last time we were up the 730, was a little later in the autumn after that, when Sabina bashed her knee at one of the sets of ruins.

My brother somewhat spoke of coming up this way. Somewhat. He talks a good game, but he is a little bit of a flake. He tells me of disliking the cold and how the high sheer peaks of our little Sahel get him to feel claustrophobic and that he likes his suburb townhouse out in Saudi, which just baffles me because it's mutherfucking Saudi. Besides, there might be some sporting contest for him to watch on his flatscreen. I know better than to take it personally and work on not really thinking about it, so if he does contact me about coming up, it'll be a pleasant surprise.

Here and now, I finish my coffee. Having let Milarepa out, I know how the breeze will bite right through to the bone if one is not sufficiently bundled up. The weekly news for our little Sahel might be in the post. Going to check is just a catalyst for going for a walk. Once, very long ago, a gypsy told me walking is good for the soul. I'm not sure I have a soul to begin with, but I have found a certain meditative peace in putting one foot in front of the other.

07 February 2010

Pictures Through Time

The knock at the door was enough to get me to jump. It was a chilly gray day with low hanging clouds and almost constant flurries, making it rather quiet out. I was not expecting company.

He was an older man, bespectacled, perhaps in his mid-fifties to early sixties. He was smiling. Behind him, at the gate, was a woman. Obviously his wife. In his hands he held a camera and an old photograph.

"Hello and good afternoon," he began in a friendly tone as he held up the photograph. "This is a picture of my great uncle, taken in either the thirties or forties. I'm sure you recognize the building the background and maybe where it was taken from?"

The black and white photograph was of two men. They were standing on the porch of the House of Owls and Bats. The building in the background was once the township's schoolhouse, but now serves as the museum during the summer tourist season.

"That's neat," I said politely, hoping he didn't want to come in for tea or anything. My misanthropy made manifest.

"I was wondering if I could get a picture from the same place," the man said. "Sort of showing through the generations."

Milarepa was in the yard, and was excitedly watching these strangers. I stepped out onto the porch, pulling the door closed behind me. The man's wife seemed both uneasy and embarrassed by her husband's request. Despite myself, I smirked.

"Sure," I said with a shrug. "Let me grab the dog. She might lick you to death otherwise."

The wife apologized for dragging me out in the snow. The man got his photograph taken, holding the black and white of his great uncle. He thanked me several times over after the fact.

Once back inside, I watched them drive away. It was an interesting happenstance on a cold, snowy, and quiet afternoon. Still, I realized I probably shouldn't be too surprised. The house is one-hundred thirty years old, after all. There are bound to be some ghosts, and there fleshbound relatives, attached to it.

06 February 2010


Both Sabina and I love to go clambering around the various ruins around our Kashmir. Exploring and finding the secrets therein. Sabina, especially, is fascinated with the history of this place. All of us, gathered like refugees within the shadow of the fallen civilization, come and gone, known as the mining days.

It was the snakeoil salesman who runs the Loop Railroad, knowing Sabina's interest in the names of all the mines, that first told her of the Morningstar. Supposedly, getting close to the Morocco depot, there is the spot of abandon railway cars, called the Morningstar. Rail workers radio from that locale. According to the snakeoil salesman, somewhere down Cemetery Hill, is the ruins of a miner's cabin and collapsed shaft.

And, of course, Sabina wanted to find this. Me, being Sabina's lifemate and more than willing to have a walkabout adventure, was more than willing to go. Besides, I once wanted to be an archaeologist. Ruins intrigue me. And I am always up for an adventure and the possibility of collecting the stories contained therein.

We scoured that hillside from one end to the other and found no miner's cabin. Sabina reminisced about the tales of the mythical Brigadoon. I found that strangely appropriate and could not help but wonder if, all in good fun, the snakeoil salesman had sent Sabina snipe hunting.

Oh, we found artifacts and bones and magic. I am convinced the rules of reality, if there are such things, are wildly different here. There was the intricate lean-to blind and Milarepa's kill-find. The cast of daylight on the mountainside was the same softness I often see in summer. Amazing.

We slogged through deep snow and up hillsides, not bothering with the trivialities of trails. It was exhausting, though we did not realize it at the time. There was the marvel of the river being sheathed in a coat of sapphire blue ice. At one point, we did a bit of exploring around the Loop Railroad's sanctioned ruins of the Lebanon Mine, before heading back for home.

Sabina wants to bitch-slap the snakeoil salesman and demand he take us to these purported ruins. She wants to make sure as to whether Brigadoon is reality or fancy. Not that I blame her. I'd hold him down for it if it would make my lifemate happy. Still, I do not consider the walkabout a miscarriage by any stretch of the imagination. After all, we still had an adventure.

04 February 2010

Little Abuses

I find it amusing that the closest I've come to what might be considered abusing myself as of late has been the drinking of Coca-Cola from a glass bottle late in the afternoon and the consumption of a can of generic raviolis in which, the nutritional information stated there was three-hundred ninety grams of sodium per serving. This might not seem like abuse, persey, and I admit that. There might even be those who would think such an analogy borders upon demented and sad.

Allow me to explain; firstly, it has been a very long time since I could be honest in saying my vices are caffeine and nicotine. Like a few years. More like tea and curry, or wine and African fare, or water and mixed nuts. Seriously.

Gone are the days when I could consume a pot of coffee and then go straight to bed like nothing happened, save the consumption of liquid, which might result in a trip to the water closet. I might have some coffee in the mourning, but that's about it for caffeine, at least in such a concentrated dose. It is said the caffeine in tea is metabolized differently, and therefore, does not have quite the same effect. Basically, if I have coffee or soda late in the afternoon I find myself wide awake into the small hours between late night and early mourning.

Rare as hen's teeth is when we use salt in something we eat. We just don't and it's not as though our diet suffers because of it. Over at the cantina, on steak night, the staff knows Sabina and I want our steaks without salt. This is just understood. And those steaks are just as succulent and enjoyable.

So, I spent a night not being able to sleep until late and drinking a little more water than usual. I awoke with a little bit of a headache. A moment of indulgence and bad timing. So it goes.

I find the amusement in the fact that there was a time when saying I was abusing myself involved over-indulgences in the drink and sleeplessness. Perhaps smoking more than a pack and half in a day. And somehow, that was okay. It was all in the name of a good time. Perhaps having an adventure. Chasing a snake's tail down a rabbit hole to collect a story or two.

Perhaps I am getting old, but I cannot see myself doing such a thing anymore. It's been over a year since I've purchased a pack of smokes and getting drunk invites wild mood swings I'd rather not deal with. Going to juke joints, I find, is far too mentally exhausting. Even going to the cantina more than once every-so-often seems to be a bit of an effort, both from the standpoint of paradoxical misanthropy and dealing with drunken snowbums and regulars who would love nothing more than to hug and talk your ear off.

Just as I cannot see drinking caffeine late in the day or eating something pre-processed, given the salt content. The price to pay, whilst not as high as liver sprain and smoker's cough, are certainly no less annoying. Perhaps a little more amusing, in that way that only makes sense to me, but still annoying.

03 February 2010


It's that time of year again; rock mitigation. On the Road about a mile to the east, along the side of Democrat Mountain, is a sheer wall of rock, which, when the Road was being built, was blasted with explosives. Even before the blasting, this was a rather steep slope, it would appear. This has resulted in rock fences and subsequent maintenance to prevent slides, and there's been a more than one of those over the years.

I suppose, if one gives thought to it, in those narrow stretches and near the steep slopes, it can be a little terrifying to see a sign that reads; Falling Rock. Sort of like if one gives too much thought to going through a tunnel, being in a mineshaft, or a cave. There are tons of mountain right there, you're but a speck by way of comparison, and it would just suck should the mountain up and sneeze or otherwise shift its massive weight.

In such a circumstance, what is there to do? I mean, besides count three and prey?

So, the Road gets shut down for between twenty and thirty minutes whilst helicopters and workers in repelling gear work along the slope. An inconvenience, to be sure, but no more than a rock slide could cause. One must learn patience, and like in inclement weather, one must make time for such things.

Of course, I learned a long time ago when one is in a hurry for anything that's when mistakes can be made and it's hardly worth the trouble. I do find the mitigation annoying when I'm on my way to do something, but I also can perceive it as the universe reminding me to slow down and take in the world around me. And I do, listening to the riddles and hymns of the wild and the wind, the rhythms and rhymes of the cosmos. Upon reflection, I find myself happier and saner because of it.